Meet our Staff and Board of Directors

Our staff currently consists of two full-time staff members and two part-time staff members, and our Board of Directors is currently led by 12 dedicated and passionate volunteers who give their time and talents to help our organization run effectively and efficiently. We love our team, and hope you do too.

Family Promise Staff

Kevin Sylvester
Executive Director

Originally from New England, Kevin is most recently of Billings, MT, where he worked as the Regional Program Manager for the Montana Conservation Corps. In March 2015, Kevin became the second executive director at Family Promise of Gallatin Valley. Kevin holds a BA in Business Administration from the University of Connecticut and is perusing a graduate degree in Public Administration from Montana State University.

Kevin has been actively engaged in volunteer work, including: The Boy Scouts of America, Gallatin Valley Interfaith Association, Eagle Mount – Billings, and through his church. Kevin and his wife Carolynn enjoy hiking, skiing, rafting, and taking advantage of all the recreational opportunities Montana has to offer.

Kara Meier
Family Case Manager

Kara Meier has lived in Bozeman since 2000 and brings to the job over 15 years experience in mental health, developmental disabilities, and most recently, nonprofit work with adult felons. Her exhaustive knowledge of community resources combined with her sharp wit and passion for advocacy make her a natural for the job. Kara has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, the Help Center, and Big Sky Youth Empowerment, and loves anything to do with the outdoors. She is a graduate of MSU and the proud mom to 7-year old Stella who just happens to be the bee’s knees. Stop by to say hello or send her an email at

Debbie & Larry King
Sunday Coordinators

Larry and Debbie King are active members of the Mount Ellis Seventh Day Adventist Church. Larry is a native of Bozeman and Debbie is from Massachusetts. They have been married 28 years and have three children, all in college. Larry is a certified nurse’s aid and bus driver. Debbie is a registered nurse, but much prefers her home-based career in medical transcription. Since they have been volunteering through their church for all of their lives, Family Promise was a natural place for them to become involved.

Shelly Frye
Saturday Coordinator

Shelly is a Montana native, growing up in the small town of Hinsdale. Since graduating from MSU-Bozeman with a degree in Health and Human Development, Bozeman has been her home. Shelly has worked in the field of human services for over 30 years. She has been employed full-time by Reach Inc. for 18 years, where she currently serves as the Intensive Work Services Supervisor, and also helps coordinate the Special Olympics program. Actively involved with her church, the Bozeman Church of Christ, she has been involved with Family Promise for over ten years, including serving as Coordinator multiple times. She has worked for Family Promise since June of 2015 as the Saturday Coordinator. Shelly loves animals, especially her two “fur babies” Inky and Lucy, and maintains an active pet-sitting business.

Board of Directors

Kevin Thane
Board Chair

Kevin Thane has been active as a Family Promise volunteer since 2011. A long time resident of Bozeman, Kevin currently serves on the Sweet Pea Board of Directors, the Greater Gallatin Homeless Action Coalition, and is vice-chair of the City of Bozeman Affordable Housing Advisory Board.  He retired from Montana State University in 2013 where he served two terms as president of the Staff Senate.  During his time in Bozeman Kevin has served as president of the Downtown Bozeman Association and the Monforton Education Association and has volunteered for various other community organizations. He and his wife Pam have four grown children, three of whom live in Bozeman.

Matt Hudak, Financial Planner at Hudak & Associates
Board Vice Chair

After moving from Bozeman to Seattle where he earned his Bachelors degree in Biblical Literature specializing in Biblical Languages from Northwest University, Matt worked in the housing industry managing a large real estate rental portfolio until moving back to Bozeman, his hometown, with his wife Christa.  At that time, he worked at the HRDC in the Section 8 and Road to Home progams.  Now a partner in his family’s financial planning firm, Matt specializes in financial planning, charitable giving strategies, and asset management.  He holds several financial designations. Matt is passionate about serving people in our community and is actively engaged in ministry as a pastor at Bozeman Church.

Wendy Wigert, Director of Operations at Montana Conservation Corps
Board Treasurer

Wendy Wigert has worked as the Director of Operations with Montana Conservation Cops since December 1995.   Wendy and her husband Sven have two children — Svea born in 2000 and Jack in 2002.

Wendy graduated from Wittenberg University in Springfield Ohio with a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and Computer Science.  She worked with Ernst and Whinney for 3 years obtaining her Certificate of Public Accounting before specializing in non profit management. Wendy’s passion has always been with organizations focusing on empowering youth, community building, and fighting poverty. Wendy is currently a board member with The Corps Network and the Montana Girls STEM Collaborative Project. Wendy previously served with Greater Gallatin United Way, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Leadership Bozeman, Child Care Connections, and the Bozeman Youth Initiative.


Kristy Buckley, Lawyer at Crowley Fleck
Board Secretary

Kristy Buckley is a partner in the Bozeman office of the Crowley Fleck law firm, practicing Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation. She is an A-rated lawyer who has a master’s degree in Accounting and a Master of Laws in Taxation. Her practice focuses on retirement plans and health and welfare plans.  Having come from a modest beginning, she enjoys giving back to members in our community who are facing financial hardships. She has two boys, ages 5 and 7, and enjoys hiking and camping.

James Powell, Retired Vice President at Wells Fargo Bank
Immediate Past Board Chair

Jim served as the Vice President of Wells Fargo Bank in Bozeman.   Over the course of his 30 years in banking, 27 of those years were with Wells Fargo Bank in both the Billings and Bozeman markets.  Since moving back to Bozeman in 2004, Jim has been involved with, and part of the leadership team for a variety of community service groups and organizations such as The Exchange Club of Bozeman, Greater Gallatin United Way, and Prospera Business Network.  Jim grew up in eastern Montana and graduated from Montana State University Bozeman in 1983 in Finance.   He has a wife Nancy who works at Montana State University and has two children.

Michael Tess
Member at Large

Mike Tess retired from Montana State University in 2009 after 28 years in academic research, teaching and administration.  Mike and his wife, Kathy, are the proud parents of four children and 15 grandchildren.  Mike owns a small consulting business, Packhorse Services, LLC and serves as an elder for the Bozeman church of Christ.  He has been involved with Family Promise in Bozeman for about nine years.

Ken Gibson
Member at Large

Ken Gibson, a retired school teacher and administrator, is a Bozeman native and graduate of Montana State University. He taught social studies for nine years in Harrison, Montana and seven years at Bozeman High School before assuming a leadership position at the school. Ken finished his education career as an administrator at Bozeman High, including one year as the interim principal. He and his wife Lynn, who is a professor at Montana State University, have been long-time Family Promise volunteers at Hope Lutheran Church. In addition, Lynn attended the original Family Promise organizational meetings on behalf of Hope Lutheran. Ken and Lynn have one adult daughter who, along with her husband, teach and coach at Bozeman High School.

Roxanne Klingensmith, Deacon at St. James Episcopal Church and the Archdeacon of the Episcopal Diocese of Montana
Member at Large

Roxanne was born in Duluth, Minnesota; raised and educated in Minneapolis. She has lived in Bozeman since 1981; has also called Albany, New York and Calgary, Alberta home. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from University of Minnesota, a certificate from the School of Theology, University of the South in theological education. completed the Ministry Formation Program, Episcopal Diocese of Montana, and was ordained to the Diaconate in 1999. She has been a junior high teacher, office manager, job developer, employment specialist, welfare to work case manager.

Roxanne is active in community organizations particularly having to do with social justice issues.  She is the founder of Family Promise of the Gallatin Valley, an active member of the Gallatin Valley Interfaith Association and Bozeman business and  Professional Women, and is on the boards of Energy Share Bozeman and State of Montana. and a member of the Friends of Treatment Court. She was also the co-facilitator of the Gallatin County Re-entry Initiative Program (now called Fresh Start) and founder/facilitator of Survivors, a group that embraces formerly incarcerated and/or recovering drug and alcohol addicts who are committed to living a healthy and productive life and becoming responsible community members.  She served on the State of Montana Legislative Commission on Sentencing at the behest of Governor Bullock, 2015-2016.

Roxanne is an ordained Deacon assigned to St. James Episcopal Church, Bozeman and the Archdeacon of the Episcopal Diocese of Montana.

Jolene Barcus, SVP, Senior Credit Officer at Big Sky Western Bank a division of Glacier Bank
Member at Large

Jolene moved to Bozeman and started working at Big Sky Western Bank in January of 2008.  She has been in banking since 2002. Jolene has a BS in Communications from the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND and an AIB Certificate in Banking from UNLV, Las Vegas, NV and Graduated from Pacific Coast Banking School in Seattle, WA in 2012.

Community involvement is very important to Jolene, she is very active in Gallatin Co. 4-H as a club leader, County cooking leader and volunteer. Other organizations Jolene is currently or has been involved with are the Montana Hope Project, Gallatin County College Business Degree Advisory Board, Gallatin County Big Brothers Big Sisters, Bozeman Exchange Club, Girl Scout and Community Café.

Jolene and her two kids and her husband Glen along with his two kids enjoy spending time at sporting events, hiking and traveling. Jolene is from Broadus, Montana where her family still resides on a cattle ranch.

Dan Aune, President of Aune Associates Consulting
Member at Large

Dan offers a wealth of administrative, program and clinical supervision, training and business development experience. Along with Mr. Aune’s consulting experience, he acts as the Executive Director of Mental Health America of Montana, a statewide mental health advocacy and education non-profit organization serving Montana. Before developing Aune Associates Consulting, Mr. Aune served as the Business Development Director and Senior Consultant for OPEN MINDS, a national behavioral health consultant group. Mr. Aune has managed numerous behavioral health (inpatient and outpatient) and residential settings across the country to include Kentucky, North Dakota, Minnesota, Colorado, and Montana.

Dan additionally serves as a technical assistance consultant for the National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA) and the University of Maryland – National Technical Assistance Network for Children’s Behavioral Health working to build operational capacity to assist tribal health care organizations to financial sustainability. Dan also brings experience as the Pediatric Services – Clinic/Hospital Director at PRAIRIE St. John’s in Fargo, North Dakota for 5 years.

Mr. Aune received his dual Bachelors of Sociology/Social Work degree from Montana State University and his Masters of Social Work from the University of Denver.  He maintains consultations in over 25 tribal communities across North America.


Carl Nystuen, Financial Advisor at D.A. Davidson & Co.
Member at Large

Carl is a Montana Native, born and raised throughout the state before moving to Bozeman ten years ago. After completing a successful college career at Montana State University, earning a triple-major in business and competing for the Bobcat Cross-Country and Track teams, Carl began his career with D.A. Davidson. Today Carl continues his involvement in the Bozeman community through the University and a variety of nonprofit committees and boards including Leadership Bozeman, MSU Alumni Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and YMCA; while also pursuing a number of outdoor activities throughout Montana.