Denny Iverson grew up on a farm in Minnesota, moving to Potomac with his parents in 1975. The Iversons bought a ranch there that Denny, his wife Charlotte, his brother Les and sister-in-law Sue, operate today. The next generation of Iversons are now making a living on the ranch, too: Denny's daughter, Courtney, son-in-law Jeff, and Les’ son Justin and his wife Jennifer, are now also living and working on the ranch. Denny is a past board member and is also a board member of the Blackfoot Challenge. The Iversons placed an easement on their ranch some years ago and in 2016, Denny and Char placed an easement on some of their own farmland that the ranch operates along with the home ranch. Denny spent 30 years working as a logger to support his ranching habit before selling the business three years ago to ranch full time.
Allan realized his appreciation of western Montana, and the importance of open space, at a young age while growing up on a cattle ranch in the Flint Creek valley near Philipsburg. In 1996, Allan Graduated from Montana State University with a BS degree in Engineering. Since graduation, he has worked for Dick Anderson Construction. Through his participation in several nonprofit boards over his career, he has realized the importance of giving back to the community. Upon understanding the vision of Five Valleys Land Trust, he recognized one way to give back is to protect and preserve parts of Montana for future generations, while finding a balance with responsible development and growth. Along with spending as much time as possible with his six year old daughter, he enjoys rock climbing, mountaineering, backpacking, skiing, hunting and fishing.
Julie began her relationship with the landscapes of western
Montana while completing an internship on Flathead Lake as she
worked towards a BS in Resource Ecology and Management from the University of
Michigan, 24 years ago. This inspired her to graduate early in order to move to Montana full-time. Her next years were spent in the field, working intimately with the
plants, wildlife and landscapes of the region. While completing her MS at the
University of Idaho, she focused her studies and research on the impact
landscape changes and habitat fragmentation has on wildlife and plant
populations. Sixteen years ago, upon graduation, Julie began volunteering with Five
Valleys, recognizing the influence that Five Valleys’ work would have on
shaping the region as growth and development pressure expanded. For the past 10
years Julie has worked in Missoula as an RN while raising her three children,
but stays grounded through her connections to, and almost daily use of, the
open spaces and wild places throughout the five valleys. As her kids grow
older, she is ready to begin putting energy directly back into the exciting
work of Five Valleys in an effort to give back to the surrounding natural world
that sustains her.
Growing up on the doorstep of Glacier National Park, Rachel gained a deep appreciation for wild and protected spaces. Preserving and protecting landscapes for this generation and the next ensures that the wild stays wild. Rachel is a University of Montana alum with a degree in Accounting and Finance and is also a Certified Public Accountant. Rachel spends her days as the Director of Finance for MoFi and her nights and weekends exploring trails, mountains, and rivers with her husband Dame and dog Asher.
A midwestern transplant, Mike moved to Missoula from Ohio in 2004 to complete a bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies at the University of Montana. In the following years he developed a strong relationship with the landscape of western Montana through his work as an outdoor educator, running event organizer, and most recently, as a professional mountain runner. Mike has found joy, challenge, empowerment, beauty, solitude and community among the open spaces he has spent so much time in over the last decade. He hopes to do his part to preserve this landscape so others may develop their own personal relationship with these special places.
Rick co-founded both Rocky Mountain Development Group and Wishrock Housing Partners and as President and member of Wishrock’s Executive Committee, Rick is responsible for business development and formulation of the company’s investment and development strategies. In his twelve years in the real estate development business Rick has completed numerous projects in a variety of areas of the industry from land development projects to commercial real estate and, since 2008, focused on the acquisition and redevelopment of affordable housing cross the country.
Prior to working in the field of real estate development, Rick taught entrepreneurship and strategic management at the University of Montana School of Business. He currently serves on the boards of several Missoula nonprofit organizations, including the Mayor’s Council on Affordable Housing, where he most recently led a successful funding campaign to build a new homeless shelter for the city.
Rick holds a Master’s in Business from The University of Montana, a Master’s in Fine Arts from New England College, and a bachelor’s degree in human ecology from the College of the Atlantic. Rick has received a certificate in Advanced Development Management from Harvard University Graduate School of Design.
Originally from Texas, David spent two years in Ghana as a Peace Corps volunteer planting trees to slow the spread of the Sahara. He then attended Indiana University where he earned a Master's degree in Public Administration and Natural Resource Management. David started work as an Intern with The Nature Conservancy in Indiana and has served in various jobs at TNC including Director of Stewardship, Conservation Planner, and Alaska State Director. He launched TNC's Africa program in 2007, and currently serves as Interim Chief Conservation Officer. David has also had a long interest in Land Trusts, serving on the board of the Sycamore Land Trust in Indiana and the Great Land Trust in Alaska. After living in Tanzania and searching all over the USA, David and his wife, Joey, chose Missoula as the best place in the world to live, work and play. He wants to keep it that way.
Jen grew up in Polson, Montana with a family that hiked, backpacked and hunted in the Mission and Pintler mountains, played on Flathead Lake, and fished, kayaked and rafted rivers all over Montana. Her love of Montana open spaces is deeply ingrained in who she is. After finishing graduate school in Minneapolis, she methodically worked her way back to Missoula. She is a Nurse Anesthesiologist that was worked all over Western Montana but now stays closer to home and works only in Missoula. Sharing her love of Big Sky Country with her husband, son, and friends brings her the most joy.
Elizabeth grew up in both the mountains and the coastline of North Carolina and moved to Montana in 1999. Her background is grounded mostly in outdoor education working for various places including the North Carolina Outward Bound School, the National Outdoor Leadership School and the Chadwick School. She got her undergrad at Appalachian State University in Recreation Management and her Master's Degree in Educational Leadership at the University of Montana. Currently, she directs the University of Montana’s Outdoor Program and has been in that position since 2004. She teaches courses annually for the American Mountain Guide Association, Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics and the Western Montana Avalanche Center. She is passionate about wild places and loves adventuring with her husband and two daughters any time of the year.
Addrien learned to value community and collaborative efforts while teaching in Shelby and Seeley Lake after college. Her long-time career was owning and operating Rovero’s in Seeley Lake for twenty-one years and raising four children. Addrien later became Founding Director and President of the Seeley Lake Historical Museum and Visitor Center, Seeley Lake Community Council Chair, a board member the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula Board, a member of Missoula County’s Open Lands Advisory Committee, a Missoula County School Board trustee, and a member of the FVLT Stewardship and Conservation Committee.
Recently retired after serving two years on the Montana Wilderness Association’s Board of Directors as State President, Addrien is eager to now assist in promoting and representing the critical values and lands surrounding Missoula. Addrien and her husband Jim focus on family, back-county backpacking, day hikes, skiing, and discovering other world cultures while on long-distance trails abroad.
Dan grew up in Minnesota where he spent many hours fishing with his dad and grandpa. He graduated with degrees from the University of Minnesota (B.S.), Kansas State (M.S.), and from Yale (Ph.D.) in wildlife conservation. He taught at the University of California for a short time as a sabbatical replacement, then took a faculty position at the University of Montana in the Wildlife Biology Program in 1984. He served as director of that program for 20 years before he retired. Dan and his graduate students worked primarily on endangered species in Montana and in Asia. He served on several boards through his career, including the Montana Chapter of The Nature Conservancy where he served as board chair for four years. Conservation of wildlife and wild places continues to be one of his highest priorities.
Shaun grew up playing in the open spaces of the Cascade Mountains in Washington. He moved to Missoula to attend the University of Montana, earning a degree in Recreation Management with a focus on Nature Based Tourism. Currently, Shaun runs his own business, MTCX, which hosts races, and provides retail outdoor products. Shaun has a diverse professional background in recreation and natural resources. He stared at Adventure Cycling Association in 2003 and helped with bike tours and planning. He also spent five years working at The American Prairie Resource in the lands and real estate department. Most recently, Shaun worked at The Cycling House planning bike tours and running the human resources.
John is the publisher at Mountain Press Publishing, an independent press that has achieved national recognition for its books for both young and old on natural history and history, located in Missoula. He served as president of the Rocky Mountain Book Publishers Association and as a board member of the Publisher's Association of the West. A native Montanan, John is active locally, serving as a trustee of the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula, on the Missoula County Weed Board and formerly on the Missoula County Open Lands Committee. John was a member of the original Open Lands Working Group that presented the county commissioners with a report in June 2006 which resulted in the Open Space Bond being placed on the ballot later that year. In 2007, the Rimel family placed their ranch under a conservation easement with Five Valleys Land Trust. In his spare time, he lives to sail on Flathead Lake, horseback ride, run rivers, take off in his sea kayak or motorcycle, or ski when there’s snow. With John’s daughter and son both out of the house, he and his wife Karen are left to do the chores themselves on the family ranch in the foothills of the Sapphire Mountains, south of Missoula.
As someone who grew up in Missoula, Jeff recognizes the changes in the local landscape and values the importance of stewardship. He is an attorney with Crowley Fleck PLLP. Prior to entering private practice, he worked for the Honorable Donald W. Molloy, the chief federal judge in Montana. Jeff attended college at the United States Naval Academy and law school at the University of Montana. He served as a commander and naval aviator in the Navy. He currently is a commissioner with the Missoula County Airport Authority.
Stan was born and raised in Kansas, but has lived all over the United States, including nearly 25 years in Alaska. He currently is Vice President for Bird Conservation at the National Audubon Society, for which he has worked for 20 years, including 10 years as state director in Alaska. Stan represented The Wilderness Society in Alaska during passage of the Alaska Lands Act, worked on the professional staff of a committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, and coordinated restoration and science programs for the joint federal-state trustee council administering the billion-dollar settlement following the Exxon Valdez oil spill. He has a M.S. degree in biology from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and wide experience in applying science to public policy and natural resources conservation. His passion is birds and bird conservation. Stan and his wife raised three sons (now adults) and are thrilled to now make their home in Missoula.
Linden (she/her/hers) grew up in Dillon, Montana. She received a BS in Wildlife Biology and works at the Rocky Mountain Research Station as an Ecology Research Assistant. She spends her field seasons collecting data on local grasslands to better understand the wealth of the systems that surround us. Becoming a caretaker of the Rock Creek Confluence in 2022 with her partner, Jackson, and wild pup, Eddy, has been a dream come true for this enthusiastic outdoorswoman. She plans to use her restoration skill set to be a good steward of native plant communities at the Confluence Property. You can find her enjoying time off climbing beautiful Montana rock, cross-country skiing near Rock Creek, and trying to catch spectacular alpine blooms.
Madison joined the Five Valleys staff in 2022. She grew up in Missoula and left to pursue a B.A. from Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA. Her degree in Philosophy did not, however, inform her life philosophy: play outside often. That personal philosophy was inspired by her time spent on Missoula’s open spaces throughout childhood. This lifelong connection to Montana’s conserved lands makes her deeply passionate about the mission of Five Valleys. As the Membership and Volunteer Coordinator, Madison coordinates Five Valleys membership management and volunteer opportunities along with assisting with the overall development efforts for the organization. In her free time, Madison can be found river surfing, uphill skiing or mountain running.
Eric Greenwell comes to Montana by way of Idaho and Oregon, where he studied humanities, comparative literature and creative writing and taught rhetoric and composition. Through unique programs which blend writing and ecology, he has lived on homesteads and research stations in the wild and scenic corridor of the Rogue River and the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. Immersive experiences like these have instilled in Eric an appreciation for the need to find creative solutions to complex social, cultural, and ecological challenges to preserve the unparalleled lands and values which sustain the peoples, floras, and faunas of the Intermountain West. He arrived in Milltown, Montana with his partner, Belinda, and at Five Valleys Land Trust in July of 2021 after working with community partners to complete a $6.5 million acquisition of the East Moraine Community Forest in Wallowa County, Oregon as well as leading the design of a multiple-use management strategy to balance its habitat, cultural resources, forestry, rangeland management and recreation.
Ben joined the Five Valleys Land Trust team in 2021. He found his way to Missoula in 2004 to earn a BS in Geology with an emphasis in Groundwater Hydrology from the University of Montana, and assisted with the groundwater modeling efforts around the Milltown Dam removal. After a season or two chasing powder turns he immersed himself in water rights work, first as a hydrogeologist and consultant, and eventually as a restoration specialist with the Clark Fork Coalition. Ben joins the Five Valleys team after four years as the Executive Director of MTB Missoula, where he embraced the collaborative problem solving at the heart of community open space conservation in western Montana. He spends his time away from work in the kitchen or on the trails with his partner, Kiley, and two dogs, Franklin and Gonzo.
Ramey oversees the year round fundraising efforts of Five Valleys and brings a passion for development to the organization's team. She grew up in the Bitterroot Valley where the importance of having access to open space was something her parents instilled in her at a young age. Ramey has BA in Journalism from the University of Montana, Missoula. She, her husband Jesse, and sons Evan and Olin love getting outside to enjoy all the fun activities western Montana's open spaces offer year-round.
Jackson (he/him/his) joined Five Valleys from Washington State where, aside from a hiatus on the Pacific Crest Trail, he has spent the past decade planning and leading stewardship programs on public lands. He received a degree in Environmental Education from Western Washington University and has worked as a crew leader for Washington Trails Association, a stewardship coordinator for Kitsap County Parks, and now as a project manager for Missoula County’s Parks, Trails and Open Lands Program. Jackson joined the Five Valleys team in 2022 and is excited to continue interacting with neighbors, visitors and partner organizations as a caretaker at the Confluence. He feels fortunate to be living at the property with his partner, Linden, and dog, Eddy. Jackson splits his leisure hours between attempting to perfect dessert recipes, speculating about next year’s morel foraging prospects, and helping Eddy figure out where she lost her frisbee.
Martin joined the Five Valleys team in 2022 but has been following and enjoying the conservation efforts of Five Valleys for over two decades. Martin moved to Missoula in 1996 and began his career in natural resource consulting. After 26 years in the private sector, Martin decided to focus his efforts on the important task of land conservation and is honored and excited to bring his experience to the Five Valleys team. In his role as a Conservation Project Manager, Martin's focus is working with private landowners on new conservation easement projects, specifically in the Flint Creek Valley. When not in the office, Martin enjoys roaming around in woods with his family and friends.
Whitney brings a passion for conservation and over 20 years of experience in nonprofit development and organizational management to her role as Executive Director. Previous to her role as Executive Director, Whitney served as Five Valleys’ Philanthropy Director for five years, where she played a key role in community conservation efforts in the Flint Creek Valley and on Mount Dean Stone. Whitney holds an 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. Having grown up on six acres that backed up to protected open space, Whitney holds the mission of Five Valleys close to her heart. She is pleased to be able to have recreated that childhood connection by living at the base of Mount 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.
Ryan joined Five Valleys in 2020, as part of the stewardship team. His focus is on conservation easement monitoring and building lasting relationships with landowners. Ryan grew up on the Missouri River between Great Falls and Helena and he received a BS in Wildlife Biology from the University of Montana. After growing up thinking he’d never leave Montana, an MS in Applied Ecology carried him to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Soon, what was supposed to be a short two-year absence turned into eight years away as he worked as a private lands biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Before joining Five Valleys, Ryan worked as an independent consultant conducting conservation easement baseline surveys across Montana for both NGOs and government agencies. He is thrilled to be back in Montana where he and his partner, Naomi, can be found catching concerts and Griz games or chasing trout, upland birds, and sunsets with their dogs, Barley and Olive.
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.
Lena joined the Five Valleys staff in 2015. As the Conservation and Communications Manager, Lena manages Five Valleys' communications and publications, and assists with fundraising efforts and conservation easement monitoring. A fifth generation Montanan, she grew up on a farm on the Yellowstone River, north of Miles City. Her upbringing instilled in her a deep love for Montana’s open spaces and rural traditions. Lena holds a BA in English-Creative Writing from the University of Montana, and feels incredibly lucky to be tasked with telling Five Valleys' story. On her way to Five Valleys, she interned and wrote freelance for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation's Bugle magazine and worked for the Montana Natural History Center. In her free time, she can often be found outside enjoying Montana's landscape with her husband, Erik, and son, Leif.
Boston Wakeham joined Five Valleys in 2021 to help keep the administrative wheels of the organization greased and maintain the organization’s operational success. Boston received a BS in Parks, Tourism, and Recreation Management from the University of Montana. After several years of boots-on-the-ground conservation work with the Montana Conservation Corps and the National Park Service, he decided to lean into his coordination and organization strengths by working in between HR and Operations at onXmaps. Boston brings a passion for structure and efficiency that will help strengthen the already impressive foundation at Five Valleys. Outside of work, when Boston, his partner, Lisa, and their dog Cholla aren’t floating rivers or exploring new trails, he is likely hosting potlucks or board game nights.
Katy joined the Five Valleys team full time in 2020. As Development Coordinator, Katy helps to organize fundraising, community and volunteering events and communications. Her passion for the outdoors started when she was young, while exploring the parks and streams around her childhood home in Indiana. This passion only magnified upon coming to Montana and realizing she had moved to an incredibly special place. With a Master's Degree in Public Administration from the University of Montana and experience at various non-profit organizations, Katy strives to make a positive impact in her community on a daily basis. While not in the office, Katy can be found running on the trails, enjoying local brews, and learning new hobbies like skiing and fly fishing.
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