Meet our Staff and Board of Directors

Our staff currently consists of three full-time staff members and two part-time staff members. Our Board of Directors is a group of dedicated and passionate volunteers who give their time and talents to help our organization run effectively and efficiently.

Family Promise Staff

Kevin Sylvester
Executive Director
ksylvester@familypromisegv.org

Originally from New England, Kevin moved to Billings, MT nearly a decade ago and has been involved in Montana’s nonprofits ever since. In March 2015, Kevin became the executive director at Family Promise of Gallatin Valley and oversees the organization’s strategic plan, fundraising initiatives, and internal operations. Kevin holds a BS in Business Administration from the University of Connecticut and is finishing his graduate degree in Public Administration from Montana State University. Kevin is also a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE). In 2017, Kevin was named a 20 Under 40 recipient, an honor that spotlights southwest Montana’s top young business professionals.

Kevin has been actively engaged in volunteer work, including: The Boy Scouts of America, Gallatin Valley Interfaith Association, AFP- Montana, 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 has lived in Bozeman since 2000, and brings over 20 years of experience in mental health, developmental and physical disabilities, at-risk youth and the criminal justice system in Minnesota, Vermont and Montana. She has a BS in Sociology and Criminal Justice and a MA in Psychology. Her exhaustive knowledge of community resources and her active participation on numerous committees, 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, Big Sky Youth Empowerment (BYEP), and sat on the Restorative Justice Council. She relishes in the expansive playground of Montana when she is not working. She has a 9-year-old daughter who enjoys accompanying her to work when she is able. Stop by and say hello or send her an email at kmeier@familypromisegv.org.

Jill Yoder
Development and Volunteer Manager
jyoder@familypromisegv.org

Jill is a long-time resident of Bozeman and brings with her a diverse skill set and a wealth of experience.  During her graduate studies at Montana State University, Jill taught writing, tutored at the Writing Center, and volunteered as a writing tutor at the American Indian Center.  Since finishing her MA in English, Jill has worked at The Gallatin Mental Health Center, was self-employed as a contract editor/writer, and was a marketing assistant at a small locally owned business.  Jill enjoys developing and nurturing relationships within the community, new and old.

Jill is the mother of two fun teenagers. Her daughter is a freshman at Columbia University, and her son is a junior at Bozeman High.  On weekends and days off you can find Jill fishing, backpacking, taking her dog Scarlet for a walk around town, and gardening.  She generally just enjoys being outdoors.

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

Matt Hudak, Financial Planner at Hudak & Associates
Board 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.

Kristy Buckley, Lawyer at Crowley Fleck
Board Vice Chair

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.

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.

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Jolene Randall, SVP, Senior Credit Officer at Big Sky Western Bank a division of Glacier Bank
Board Secretary

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.

Kevin Thane
Immediate Past 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.

Lori Hart, Realtor at Hart Real Estate Solutions
Member at Large

Lori joins the Family Promise Board after years of volunteer work with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Toledo and various churches.  She is passionate about serving others and helping transform lives. After a decade as an estate planning attorney and another decade as a full-time mother, Lori joined her husband, Tim, in starting Hart Real Estate Solutions. Together, they work with a dedicated team to serve others with their real estate needs. Lori and Tim are raising 3 children in the Bozeman community and schools.  With their family, they enjoy Bozeman’s many outdoor amenities, spending time with friends, art and music.

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.