Grant Kier, Executive Director Grant took over the helm of Five Valleys at the close of 2007, after serving for two productive and successful years as Executive Director of the growing Bitter Root Land Trust, located in Hamilton, Montana. During his tenure at the Bitter Root Land Trust, Grant was instrumental in advancing the organization’s conservation work and establishing key partnerships that led to the passage of a $10 million Open Space Bond in Ravalli County. Grant is a graduate of the University of Colorado, and holds an MS degree in geology. He has parlayed that degree and a lifelong devotion to the outdoors and the natural world into a career in research, scientific consulting, outdoor education, and, of course, plenty of hell-bent-for-leather outdoor recreation. Whether you are out on the river or biking, hiking, or skiing on some of our wonderful open lands around Missoula, don’t be surprised if you run into Grant, his wife Bex, their daughter Fiona, and their two Siberian huskies, Kenai and Kanchi.

Bray Beltrán, GIS Specialist – Bray manages Five Valleys' GIS database, including data analysis, and map design and production. Bray holds a M.S. in Environmental Life Sciences from Arizona State University. He joined us on shared appointment with Heart of the Rockies initiative where he is in charge of delivering the latest science in climate adaptation and habitat connectivity to conservation practitioners in the Central Rocky Mountain region. Bray grew up in Colombia but has been living in the US since 2000. He enjoys hiking, playing sports, and when feeling inspired he likes to try his hand at making his abuela’s Colombian dishes.

Ryan Chapin, Stewardship Director – Ryan Chapin is the director of Five Valleys’ stewardship program. This involves overseeing the annual monitoring and compliance of conservation easements, managing lands owned by the land trust, and leading the “Hands-On-The-Land” volunteer program. Ryan holds a BA in Business from Montana State University and a MA in Geography from the University of Toledo. Ryan has owned his own small business and worked in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. He grew up in Ohio near the farm his extended family still runs today. Ryan and his wife Kate have two children, Quinn and Ella. He enjoys camping, trail running, gardening, and hunting with family and friends.

Beth Cogswell, Associate DirectorBeth manages internal operations for Five Valleys Land Trust and oversees the outreach and education department. She co-chairs the banquet committee and enjoys being part of such a fun, successful event that continues to grow each year. Beth has seventeen years of non-profit management experience. She is a fourth generation Montanan who grew up in Great Falls. She has always found solace in Montana’s wild places whether it’s hiking, skiing, or swimming in a pristine, mountain lake. She is grateful to be part of an organization that works to retain Montana’s rural character. Beth and her husband Rick have two sons, Finn and Sam, and a Standard Poodle named Harry.

Patience Grant, Office Manager – Patience grew up on a working dairy farm in Vermont, a portion of which remains in her family and is currently sustainably managed forestland under conservation easement. She holds a B.S. in Animal Science from the University of Vermont. After discontinuing farming she moved to Washington where she raised her children. She recently moved to Missoula to be close to family and spend time with her granddaughter. Patience enjoys hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing through the forested mountains.

Pelah Hoyt, Lands DirectorPelah directs Five Valleys' lands program and works with landowners and partners to reach shared conservation goals. Among the many landowners she has been honored to work with, she found it particularly rewarding to help Bob Hayes protect his Evaro ranch and its meadows of camas that she loved as a kid while growing up in the nearby Jocko Valley, north of Missoula. Pelah has a Master’s in Resource Conservation from the University of Montana College of Forestry and Conservation, and served in the Peace Corps in Ecuador. She thinks she may have the best job in the world and is blessed to have twin boys with her husband Mark.

Alice Jones, Lands Attorney – Alice was born in Missoula and grew up in Portland, Oregon. Alice returned to Missoula to get her English degree at the University of Montana. After graduating from UM, Alice received a Fulbright Scholarship to teach English for a year in Madrid. Alice earned her J.D. from the University of Washington School of Law in Seattle in 2013. While in law school, Alice focused on environmental and public interest law. Alice came to Five Valleys on a post-graduate fellowship in September 2013 and was delighted to join Five Valleys’ staff in January 2014. As Lands Attorney, Alice primarily works on writing and interpreting conservation easements. When she's not working on land conservation, Alice spends as much time as possible outside enjoying Montana's incredible open spaces.

Glenn Marangelo, Planned Giving Director – For ten years, Glenn served as Five Valleys’ Development Director. Transitioning to Planned Giving Director in 2015, he is bringing the relationships he has developed and his passion for Five Valleys’ mission to the next level – working with supporters interested in remembering the organization in their wills and/or estate plans. Glenn holds a MS in Resource Management and Administration from Antioch University and a BS in Environmental Business and Economics from Rutgers University. Glenn has over 20 years experience in non-profit fundraising and administration. He enjoys backpacking, fly-fishing, hunting, and studying and observing a wide variety of wildlife with his wife Jenny and dog Mono.

Sarah Richey, Conservation Project Manager – Sarah Richey is a conservation project manager at Five Valleys. Sarah is originally from Salt Lake City, Utah and holds a B.S. in Biology and an M.S. in Environmental Studies, both from University of Montana, Missoula. Her work experience includes positions in field biology, environmental education, and natural resource management in western Montana. Sarah serves on the board of directors for the Wild Rockies Field Institute. She and her husband Dave love raising their two boys in the mountains, rivers, and wide open spaces of western Montana.

Whitney Schwab, Philanthropy Director – Whitney brings a passion for fundraising and development as director of Five Valleys philanthropy program. Whitney earned a MS in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana and a BS in Natural Resources Recreation Management from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. She holds the mission of Five Valleys close to her heart having grown up on 6 acres of land that backed up to protected open space. She is now pleased to have recreated that connection from her childhood by living at the base of Mt Jumbo and having daily access to some of Missoula’s best open space. Whitney spends her time running, biking, skiing, and playing with her son, Lander, and husband, Nate, in Montana’s open spaces near and far.

Jenny Tollefson, Stewardship Manager – Jenny joined the Five Valleys staff in 2011. She monitors conservation easements, works with landowners on restoration and management projects, and coordinates educational programs and partnerships. Jenny grew up in western Washington and fell in love with Montana while spending summers with extended family on Swan Lake. Jenny holds a MS in Botany from the University of Vermont and has over 20 years experience in ecology, conservation, and environmental education. She enjoys gardening, camping, skiing, and reading books with her husband Winsor and two children, Will and Iris.

Fast Facts

In 1989 Five Valley River Park Association becomes Five Valleys Land Trust. >>

News & Events

2015 Banquet and Auction >>

Rattlesnake Land Trust Closes and Passes Responsibility to Five Valleys Land Trust >>