Meet our Staff and Board of Directors

Our staff consists of three 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
ksylvester@familypromisegv.org

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
kmeier@familypromisegv.org

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 kmeier@familypromisegv.org.

Christine Armstrong
Volunteer & Outreach Manager
carmstrong@familypromisegv.org

A Montana native, Christine grew up in the Magic City, and moved to Bozeman in 2007 to pursue an education at Montana State University and seize Bozeman’s access to outdoor recreation. Christine earned a B.S. in Community Health from MSU and is also a Certified Health Education Specialist.Christine’s introduction to Bozeman’s non-profit community was through the Montana Conservation Corps, where she worked as an Administrative Assistant providing program and fundraising support. She then continued on to the Gallatin City-County Health Department, where she served as an AmeriCorps VISTA, leading projects aimed at improving health and community outreach. Christine’s next adventure was as a Preventive Health Strategist at TwoMedicine Health providing on-site health education, account management, and activity-planning. She continued on to the HRDC as a Services Navigator, helping connect low-income families and individuals with services and resources in the Gallatin Valley. Christine came to Family Promise of Gallatin Valley is June of 2015.

When the snow melts and the roads thaw, Christine can be found relishing Montana’s gorgeous views, and hitting the pavement to explore her home state. She also enjoys supporting her local non-profits through volunteering and attending community events, and taking in Bozeman’s thriving downtown culture and local farmer’s markets.

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

James Powell, Retired Vice President at Wells Fargo Bank
Board President

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.

Matt Hudak, Financial Planner at Raymond James
Board Treasurer

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 Secretary

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.

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Lisa Price, Community Volunteer
Member at Large, Immediate Past Board President

Lisa was born and raised in Colorado, giving her a great love and respect for the outdoors. She graduated from Texas Woman’s University with a degree in Criminal Justice, and has lived all over the country enjoying the many diverse cultures. Lisa retired in 2010 as a lieutenant with the Kent Police Department in Washington State after 26 years in law enforcement. While in Washington, Lisa was an active member of Rotary and served on the board of the African American Cultural Center.

Lisa joined the Family Promise board in 2011 and is also active with Bozeman Business and Professional Women, along with several social groups. She and her husband, Ron, enjoy all the activities and opportunities Bozeman and Montana have to offer. This includes biking, hiking, snowshoeing, skiing and playing with their beautiful Springer Spaniel, Jeffie.

Mary McMakin, Realtor at ERA Landmark
Member at Large

Mary McMakin is a realtor of ERA Landmark and a former executive with Great Harvest Franchising. She is an active volunteer in the public schools and First Presbyterian Church.  She is a former Peace Corps Volunteer in Gabon and a graduate of Emory University. She and her husband Tom live in Bozeman with their two children.

Betsy Crabs, Community Volunteer
Member at Large

Betsy Crabs moved to Bozeman in 1984 from Denver, CO.  She began her career as a teacher in Oklahoma City, OK, and later earned an educational specialist degree in library media from the University of Colorado.  She and her husband purchased Charlie’s restaurant on Main Street in Bozeman in 1985.  They later co-managed a private fly fishing club in Island Park, Idaho.  Active in her church, First Presbyterian, she is the elder in charge of Mission and Outreach.  She has also served as the Family Promise Volunteer Coordinator for her church and joins the Board as Secretary.

Becky Turner, Certified Public Accountant
Member at Large

Becky is a native Montanan, having grown up on a ranch outside Helena.  She moved to Bozeman to attend Montana State University, and graduated in 2005 with Bachelor’s degree in Business Finance and then again in 2008 with Masters of Professional Accountancy.  She maintains a Certified Public Accountant license within the State of Montana and recently completed the Pacific Coast Banking School program.  Becky has been with Glacier Bancorp, Inc. for the past 8 years and is the Internal Auditor for their Bozeman division, Big Sky Western Bank.  She is active in Four Corners Toastmasters, Gallatin Valley Pheasants Forever, and the MT Society of CPAs.  Becky, along with her husband of 5 years, enjoys anything outdoors skiing, hiking, camping, gardening and spending time with their Springer Spaniel puppies.

Kevin Thane
Member at Large

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.

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.

Kristy Buckley, Lawyer at Crowley Fleck
Member at Large

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.

Catrina Lofgren
Member at Large

Catrina was raised in Texas and moved to Bozeman in 2003.  She is married to Neal Lofgren and they have two boys, Oliver (10) and Elliot (8).  Catrina attended Montana State University where she received an accounting undergraduate degree.  For a brief stint, the Lofgren’s lived in California.  While Catrina was there she attended San Jose State University and received a master’s degree in taxation.  She has worked as an accountant/CPA for 6 years, mostly in Gallatin Valley as a public accountant.  For the last year, she has worked as a Controller for 2 software companies in Gallatin Valley (Texbase and Pulsara). She and her family are regular attenders of the Bozeman United Methodist Church, where she has volunteered for Family Promise for the last couple of years.  She has mostly volunteered on move in day, although she has served as an overnight host.

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.