Staff

Kiersten Iwai

Executive Director

Inside the office: Kiersten spends her time bragging about Forward Montana’s badass programs, staff, and interns.

Outside the office: You can find Kiersten eating french fries after a long day in the mountains or dancing the night away.

Amara Reese-Hansell

Program Director

Inside the Office: Amara enjoys telling poorly delivered jokes to anyone who will listen and being inspired by the young people that walk through the doors of FMT everyday.

Outside the Office: Amara likes to drink wine and spend time with her angel pup, Ren — also known as Rennifer, and provide skincare consultations to her friends (even when they haven’t requested one).

Annie Warner

Operations Manager

Inside the Office: Annie is most likely on her fourth cup of coffee and feeling jazzed about expense reports and democracy!
Outside the Office: Annie is either shredding fresh pow on the mountain or tossing out unsolicited podcast recommendations. Or else, check Costco.

Terry Bradley

Development Manager

Inside the Office: Terry can be found listening to classical music and thinking up new ways to get more people involved within democracy.

Outside the Office: Terry enjoys caring for his plants, propagating new plant babies, and can be found at any local farmers market buying even more plants.

Hannah Pate

Rural Outreach Coordinator

Inside the Office: Hannah can be found listening to podcasts on the way to her next Campus, and pondering how to get more young people involved across the state!
Outside the Office: Hannah likes to relax with her dog Oliver, drink too much caffeine and do her homework. Hannah is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations online through MSU-Billings.

Erin Miller

Statewide Organizing Manager

Inside the Office: Erin is doing her best to know the whos who and the whats what after relocating to Missoula from Kentucky in January 2018. #AspiringHBIC

Outside the Office: Erin can be found basking in the sun like an iguana.

Pari Kemmick

Billings Field Manager

Inside the Office: Pari gets SO excited about the people and places of Eastern Montana and how hard our volunteers and interns work to make it a better, more inclusive place.

Outside the Office: Pari can be found drinking champagne or exploring the state, finding every last body of water to soak in with her sweet partner and pup.

Emma Bode

Bozeman Field Manager

Inside the Office: Emma gets nerdy with the data and is energized by intern and volunteer passion for youth engagement.

Outside the Office: Emma can be found rambling around the mountains, rescuing overripe produce, or making unconventional concoctions in the kitchen.

McKeely Shannon

High School Program Manager

Inside the Office: McKeely can be found being a general enthusiast about the dedication of high schoolers to create change in their communities and state.
Outside the Office: McKeely is usually moseying around the outdoors, cooking for her friends, and reading one of the many library books she has checked out.

Trista Fery

Digital Communications Manager

Inside the Office: To the tune of whatever new artist she’s listening to that week, Trista is most likely consuming copious amounts of coffee while tracking social media accounts and following breaking news.

Outside the Office: Trista can be found experimenting with new recipes, taking laps at Bridger Bowl, or obsessing over her cat Meeko with whoever will listen.

#Temp Staff

Laura Duffy

Great Falls Community Organizer

Inside the Office: Laura spends her time uplifting youth voices in Great Falls so we can cultivate an ethic of civic engagement and channel our diverse perspectives towards shaping a brighter future in our community.

Out of Office: You can find Laura absorbing the breathtakingly beautiful Montana landscape while bicycling, snuggled up reading novels, or in the kitchen listening to podcasts and experimenting with new recipes.

Kenzie Carter

Missoula Lead Organizer

Inside the Office: Kenzie can be found making reliably undignified facial expressions during Zoom calls and happily wrangling a small but mighty herd of interns.

Outside the Office: Kenzie chronically overuses the word “Yeehaw” and channels the major horse-girl energy leftover from her childhood into watercolor paintings of oddly-proportioned cowgirls

Alice Collins

Bozeman Lead Organizer

Inside the Office: Alice is likely thinking up ways to make feminism more intersectional and smiling at the fierce advocacy of her coworkers and mentors at Forward Montana.

Outside the Office: Alice can be found running around the mountains and attempting to make an elaborate fancy cheese board in the backcountry.

Brian Hoffman

Flathead Lead Organizer

Inside the Office: Brian can be found reconnecting with his hometown community of Kalispell after moving back from Brooklyn and brainstorming ways to get folks in the Flathead Valley excited about voting.
Outside the Office: Brian can be found birdwatching, eating lots of cookies, and stealing his parents’ dog to go swimming in the lake.

Ellie Gluhosky

Missoula Community Organizer

Inside the office: Finding new and creative ways to engage with my favorite community, and using every ounce of voice and motivation to spread awareness about the issues!

Outside the Office: Most likely procrastinating by climbing a mountain or watching the Great British Baking Show, otherwise catch me at a Flippers partaking in $2 PBR night (;

Angie Hoang standing in front of brick wall

Angie Hoang

Content Creator

Inside the Office: Angie can be found sitting cross-legged in their chair or laying on the floor while they figure out how to make cute graphics that gets people excited about democracy!

Outside the Office: Angie is either recording music, helping a friend mix their next album, or loudly playing tunes while trying out a new recipe.

Claire Grisham

Operations Intern

Inside the Office: You can find Claire rotating from chair to couch to floor trying to get up to speed on accounting while getting excited about all the amazing programs at FMT!

Outside the Office: Claire is likely singing homemade songs to her fabulous cat, making a mess in the kitchen, or frolicking in the mountains!

 

Siesa is sitting cross legged on the ground in front of a smooth rock formation at dusk, and wearing a light toned head scarf, hoop earrings, a black sweater and dark green pants

Siesa Shuman

Billings Community Organizer

Inside the Office: Siesa can be found snacking and connecting the Billings community through civic engagement.

Outside the Office: Siesa is pretending its not actually that cold and camping in one of Montana’s beautiful backyards.

#GOTVTeam
Forward Montana staff member Abby Sophir, smiling in front of mountain background scene

Abby Sophir

GOTV Manager

Inside the Office?: You can find me dreaming up ideas about how to spread the census word across our state and supporting our awesome census team!

Outside the Office?: Find me seeking out new wildflower patches and swim holes, aimlessly wandering through thrift stores, or cozied in up my room with a craft project and book.

Ruthie is standing on the shores of a lake with mountains in the far distance behind it. She has on biking gear, a helmet, and is posing with one leg up on her bike.

Ruthie Barbour

GOTV Organizer

Inside the Office?: Getting stoked about the Census! Reaching out to community leaders and young community members alike to get them stoked about the Census too!

Outside the Office?: Frolicking around the many Montana trails and looking for bodies of water to swim in!

Eliza is blonde and wearing glasses, standing and smiling with sandstone red canyon background

Eliza Donahue

GOTV Organizer

Inside the Office?: Meeting with community leaders and dreaming up new ways to get people excited about the Census!

Outside the Office?: Spending too much money at the local bakery. Otherwise, getting started on a stack of books, writing, or singing in my car on the way to a mountain or river adventure.

Forward Montana staff Grace standing on dirt road with small donkey

Grace Benasutti

GOTV Organizer

Inside the Office?: Drinking coffee, creating way too many checklists, spreading Census eXcItEmEnT, and keeping my roommate’s cat out of my plants (when WFH)

Outside the Office?: Drinking (more) coffee and/or beer, supporting local businesses, and playing in the water! (Recently learned how to float on my back, so that’s been fun) Also continuing to keep my roommate’s cat out of my plants….

Forward Montana staff Izzy sitting on concrete ground in blue jumpsuit

Izzy Milch

GOTV Organizer

Inside the Office: Inside the ‘office,’ you can find me getting all riled up about various injustices and touting the benefits of blue light glasses.

Outside the Office: Outside the office, I’m either at the skatepark, in the woods with my dog, or curled up somewhere reading a trashy young adult novel or playing the Sims.

Forward Montana staff Madison standing in snowy field with pine trees in background

Madison Hebner

GOTV Organizer

Inside the Office: Drinking way too much coffee and thinking of new ideas to get young Montanans excited about the 2020 Census and General Election!

Outside the Office: Find me making extreme smoothie bowls or doing anything and everything with my husky pup, Laika!