Citizens For A Better Flathead
P.O. Box 771, 35 4th St. West, Kalispell, MT 59903
t. 406.756.8993          f. 406 756-8991



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Citizens for a Better Flathead Staff

Richard Turbiak, Executive Director, (Kalispell) comes to Citizens with over 35 years of experience in the corporate and non-profit sectors, and has been deeply engaged in the communities in which he’s lived. He has served on the boards of the Boulder Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Boulder Chamber of Commerce, and the Colorado Shakespeare Festival. He’s also an artist and has served on the Boulder Arts Commission. He continues to reconcile an analyst’s head with an artist’s heart. And although he doesn’t have direct land-use planning policy experience, he’s spent over 20 years living in Boulder, where it’s in the community’s DNA. Richard is a native of New York City who first fell in love with the Flathead Valley on a cross-country road trip 25 years ago and fell in love with the area – it’s beauty, the people – and he knew this is where he wanted to settle. After a continuing life journey through Taos, New Mexico and Boulder, Colorado, he and his wife feel they’ve arrived.

Allison Batch, Sustainability Program Coordinator, joined us in February 2015. A Minnesota native, Allison graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in Sociology and Sustainability Studies. Allison first moved to Montana in 2011 to work for a Nature Conservancy-owned guest ranch on the Rocky Mountain Front and consequently fell in love with the state. She completed two AmeriCorps service terms in Helena, first as a Crew Leader for the Montana Conservation Corps, then as a VISTA with a non-profit organization focused on recycling and multi-modal transportation. Allison is passionate about public service, environmental stewardship, and getting into the woods often.

Linda Jaquette, Development Assistant, joined our staff in December 2014. She spent the last 23 years of her career working as a graphic designer, advertising writer and multi-media coordinator at Hagadone Montana Publishing LLC. Linda and her husband moved from Northern California 28 years ago to Many Glacier as the owners and operators of the horse concessions in Glacier National Park. Prior to that, she worked in the transportation department of the San Juan Unified School District in Carmichael, California. She served as the chief job steward and political action coordinator for Chapter 127 of the California School Employees Association for over six years. She has run for state legislature twice, is committed to social justice and protecting the environment and is an advocate for our mission. Linda has a degree in computer information science and graphic design.

Don Bauder, Volunteer Bookkeeper, has given CBF more than twenty four years of great volunteer service and provided important consistency and stability in this task. Equally noteworthy is his passion and long term advocacy for our mission.


Citizens for a Better Flathead 2017 Board of Directors

Dustin Leftridge, Board Chair, (Kalispell) grew up in the Mountains of Western Montana and the Redwoods of the Pacific Northwest. He attended The University of Montana for his undergraduate degrees in Geology and Political Science where he served as the president of the student body and the board chair of the Montana Public Interest Research Group. Dustin received his J.D. from the University of Montana School of Law where he served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Public Land and Resources Law Review and interned for the U.S. Forest Service. During his summers, Dustin worked as a river guide throughout Montana and Idaho, where his admiration for wild places, such as the Middle Fork of the Salmon, inspired his career in conservation and public interest law. Dustin currently serves on the board of directors for the Montana Environmental Information Center and works as a trial attorney for McGarvey, Heberling, Sullivan and Lacey P.C. in Kalispell. Board Member since 2015.

Wendy Coyne, Co-Chair, (Whitefish) has been a home owner in Whitefish for seventeen years, and a permanent resident for four. In 2014 Wendy retired from 35 years at JPMorgan Chase where she was a Senior Vice President and Regional Sales Manager covering the Western Region for Chase. Wendy began her career in Chicago and earned a Masters of Management from Northwestern University. While living in Chicago she served on several boards, including Women In Management, Kohl's Children's Museum, Greater North Michigan Ave Association, Rotary International of Wilmette and others throughout her career. After retirement Wendy became involved in the Whitefish Community as well. She now serves on the boards of Whitefish Animal Group (WAG) and Whitefish Community Garden as well as Citizens for a Better Flathead. Wendy is widowed and has three grandchildren. Board member since 2016.

Randy Kenyon, Treasurer/Secretary, (Polebridge) After graduating from college in 1972, Randy landed in Kalispell in 1974 where he served disabled adults for many years, culminating in director of case management for a nonprofit organization. Randy retired from nonprofit work in 2014, at which time he and his wife Donna fulfilled their lifelong dream of building a home and living off the grid enjoying our wild places. He has always been a firm believer in giving back to his community, resulting in his affiliation with of a number of wide ranging local organizations, many as a board member, including the Kalispell City Council from 2000 to 2014. He is at present on the boards of two other conservation groups: the North Fork Preservation and Trails Association, as well president of the North Fork Landowners Association and chair of the North Fork Land Use Advisory Committee. Board member since 2016.

Ethan Welder, Past-Chair (Kalispell) is an attorney with McGarvey, Heberling, Sullivan & Lacey. He graduated from the University Of Montana School Of Law in 2011, and was admitted to the Montana State Bar that same year.  Ethan has a variety of trial and courtroom experience, having practiced civil, criminal, family and administrative law before various courts and government agencies. Ethan’s close connection to the natural world drives his professional interest in the cleanup existing environmental contamination, the protection and preservation of our environment and the promotion of sound land use and planning decisions. Ethan and his wife Kendra are the proud parents of two sons who are fourth generation Montanans. Ethan and his family spend a majority of their free time floating, fishing and generally enjoying Montana lakes and rivers. Board member since 2014.

Gregg Davis (Lakeside): Gregg has spent over 25 years in the Flathead Valley and is now an economics professor and head of the new Center for Business and Research at Flathead Valley Community College (FVCC), where he will study local business and economic issues. Gregg received his undergraduate degree in Anthropology at the University of Montana, as well as his Masters in Economics. He received his Ph.D. in Economics at West Virginia University. He was a professor and research economist at the University in Montana in Missoula where he did a study on Medicare and uncompensated health care in Missoula. His findings dealt with the massive costs of prison populations and other uncompensated healthcare. He also held research professorships at Marshall University and University of Louisiana-Monroe. He has served on the advisory board of the Association of Universities for Business Economic Research (AUBER), and currently serves on the board of the Montana Council for Economic Education (MCEE). He looks forward to servings as a liaison on the behalf of Citizens with FVCC and the Flathead Business Roundtable. Gregg is an avid hiker, cross-country skier and flatwater kayaker. Board member since 2017.

Mary Jo Gardner (Kalispell) Mary Jo is a fifth-generation Flathead Valley resident who grew up on a farm on Lake Blaine Road at the base of the Swan Range foothills. She graduated from Montana State University with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and Curriculum (Fifth-year Degree in Science and Math). Her first teaching assignment was at Pleasant Valley, a one-room schoolhouse with 19 students. Mary Jo retired from almost 40 years of teaching mainly primary grades in 2013. Teaching science and environmental education has always been a passion of hers. One of Mary Jo’s favorite quotes is, “Live simply so that others may simply live.” – Mahatma Gandhi. Board member since 2016.

Gil Jordan (Coram): Gil was born and raised in Southern California, earned a bachelor's degree in Language Arts, then a master's in Theatre Arts from UCLA. He worked as the technical director for seven years at the 1300-seat La Mirada Civic Theatre before moving to Montana in 1985, where he served 13 years as a social worker at the Western Montana Mental Health Center. He was Executive Director for the Northwest Montana Historical Society and Museum at Central School, from which he recently retired after 12 years of service. In the community, Gil has: served on the Flathead County Library Foundation Board of Directors for six years, three as President of the Board; Volunteered and is still active for 30 years on the Coram-West Glacier Fire Department, 28 years and counting as Secretary-Treasurer; served as a board member and Cultural and Arts Representative for the Flathead Convention and Visitors Bureau; and was debate coach for seven years with the Whitefish High School Speech and Debate team. Gil is a runner, having completed 35 full marathons and two ultras. He lives with his wife of 40 years, Kimberly Pinter, in Coram, seven miles from the west entrance to Glacier National Park. Board member since 2017.


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