BOARD OF DIRECTORS
It is impossible for our words to completely sum up the depth of character, wisdom, experience, and love that we believe God has orchestrated in the leadership of the Flathead Warming Center.
Luke Heffernan (Chairman and CoFounder) – is a building contractor (Prime Enterprises) in the Valley that sees a need and wants to do something about it! Luke’s knowledge in running a successful business is an asset to the FWC. Luke is a builder in every sense of the word. With a personal solid foundation, Luke doesn’t just construct buildings, he builds meaningful relationships! His heart for others changes lives. As a board member for Feed The Flathead, God has sparked a fire in his heart for the homeless. There are homeless individuals that will encounter Christ because of God’s love and direction in Luke’s life. God has called Luke to our mission and he has been following that call without hesitation. You’d be hard pressed to find another that is more committed and a greater champion in helping the homeless in our community!
Tonya Horn (Executive Director and CoFounder) – is the professional with experience and know-how behind this project. She has 20+ years of experience in social work, currently working in our community with individuals who struggle with severe and disabling mental illness. Tonya previously directed the Bozeman Warming Center for two years. She comes with policies and procedures that are effective and proven, as well as the dream, vision, and “the why” for what we’re doing! She has taken in stride hard questions related to low barrier shelter professionally. Tonya believes she is called to invest in our mission. She has a passion for low barrier access to shelter and the way that she loves people is inspiring!
Luke and Tonya; an introduction NOT by chance! Luke, seeing a need in our community, called Bozeman and spoke to the new shelter manager to learn about low barrier shelter. He saw the need and planned to do something about it! This call was just two weeks prior to 2018 Christmas shopping when Tonya overheard a conversation as Luke spoke to one of his friends about his heart to open a low barrier shelter in the Flathead! Tonya’s jaw hit the ground! A low barrier shelter had also been on Tonya’s heart. She interrupted to introduce herself. An introduction, not by chance, rather by God’s design! Luke and Tonya became instant friends on a mission and have been pressing forward ever since and have made what God has placed on their hearts, The Flathead Warming Center, a reality.
Jane Emmert (Vice-Chairman)– works at Kalispell Regional Health Center as the Director of ASSIST. ASSIST is a nonprofit organization founded on Christian principles and the belief that we are “Neighbors Helping Neighbors.” The mission of ASSIST is to help our socially and physically isolated neighbors connect to resources they need to regain their health and independence after medical incidences. ASSIST is an innovative program that has gained national attention for the imperative assistance the program provides for those in our community who are most vulnerable. Jane is a proven leader who has a passion to help those in need of shelter. In her work, she sees the barriers that clients face to find shelter. Jane has important knowledge, experience, and skill in successfully starting a program, as well as vast experience in the recruitment, training, and development of volunteers. Jane is a great supporter of our mission!
Shirley Willis (Treasurer)- is the Director of the Lighthouse Christian Home in Somers; making an impact in the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities. She has vast experience in fundraising and events, and also in board development. Shirley has experience in grant work and her expertise and knowledge in getting funds for particular projects is especially helpful. Shirley has a true gift in working with others. She is known as “the boss” as she uses her gift of humor to relate to the individuals she serves and loves. Shirley gets the job done. It is her leadership that has been an asset in making the Lighthouse Christian Home sustainable. It is her leadership that has created a family in the Lighthouse. It is said that you can tell a lot about a person by how they make others feel about themselves. Shirley’s love for God is displayed in how she makes others feel. She is dedicated and very thoughtful in everything she does. Shirley is a professional that’s good to have in your corner as she has many skills to offer. We are very grateful to have her in our corner!
Jerie Betschart (Secretary) – Is the Patrol Administrative Assistant with the Kalispell Police Department. As a former police officer, Jerie knows the need in our community. She sees the need first hand, up close and personal, as she greets each morning the individuals without shelter who sleep in chairs in the KPD lobby. She greets most by name and all with compassion, working hard to link our homeless neighbors to needed resources. Jerie believes that as the FWC meets this need in our community, no one will need to sleep in the police station lobby again! Although Jerie’s role on the FWC Board Of Directors isn’t an official representation of KPD, with the endorsement of Chief Overman, Jerie has her pulse on the department and the need within our community for a low barrier shelter. She is enthusiastic about investing in the FWC.
Board Members at Large
Monty and Holly Christensen – have served in ministry together for many years. Their love for Christ and each other is an inspiration. Monty and Holly are the founders of Prison Impact Ministries (1984) and have invested years ministering to those with addictions. Monty is the author of “70 x 7 and Beyond” – Hope For The Addicted, The Prisoner, The Prodigal, And Those They Hurt. Chuck Colson says, “The Monty Christensen story is honest, vivid, direct. He offers a compelling testimony to the amazing grace and forgiveness of our God- and His sovereign power to restore His children.” The Kalispell Warming Center project is near to Monty and Holly’s heart.
Dusty Dziza – is a wife and mother of four. She’s the broker/owner of Flathead Land & Home, Inc. DBA Flathead Lake Land & Home. She has a passion for design, remodeling, and real estate development. On July 13, 2018, Dusty’s son, Devin Hines, died at the age of 27. He had struggled most of his life to build relationships and find his place in this world. Devin had spent many years of his adult life homeless. Even when Devin wasn’t homeless, he told his mom that he felt homeless in his heart. “Devin taught our family what homeless people really need. Of course, a warm safe place to sleep but they’re also desperate for connection. Devin explained that being homeless makes you feel invisible. Devin taught us to greet our homeless neighbors, look them in the eye, and find connection and love through conversation.”
Bethany Johnson – is a Realtor with Deaton & Company in the Flathead. Bethany states, “Having the privilege to create new bonds and make life- long relationships with others can’t be called “work” for me. I’m doing something I was born to do- build friendships wherever I go and being the mediator along the way.” Bethany’s introduction to the Flathead Warming Center is another story of “not by chance”. In a local coffee shop, the summer of 2019, she overheard Luke and Tonya’s conversation about the FWC. She kindly interrupted to hear about our mission and it didn’t take long for Bethany to say, “Sold!” Bethany has a passion for the mission of the Flathead Warming Center. She understands that the one cure for homelessness is real estate. Bethany’s heart and skill are great assets to our mission.
Debbie Mulcahy- is the KRMC Emergency Room Charge RN. In her 24 years at Kalispell Regional Medical Center, Debbie has observed an uptick in homeless individuals seeking shelter in the ER. Debbie sees the need for an emergency shelter first hand. “It is a challenge to get patients into shelters at night, and oftentimes existing facilities are full. It’s hard to put somebody out on the street at night time, especially when it is cold.” Debbie has been appointed to the Flathead Warming Center by the Kalispell Regional Healthcare Executive Leadership Team. As the Flathead Warming Center aims to be a resource for our community’s frontline providers, Debbie is a valued Board Member with a wealth of experience and knowledge.
Roger Nasset- served as the Kalispell Police Chief for 11 years, retiring from the Kalispell Police Department Decemberof 2017. A native of Montana., Roger earned a Bachelor degree in Criminal Justice and graduated from the FBI National Academy in 2006. He served as the President of the Montana Chiefs of Police. Roger is currently working in Private Security in the Valley. Roger states, “As a public servant for 25 years and being a Montana Native, I have seen the progression of homelessness in our and other communities around the state.I have had many opportunities to interact with the homeless. There are a variety of reasons for their circumstances. The vast majority of the homeless are down on their luck and with a helping hand, it is my prayer that they can find a better way forward.” Roger’s extensive background in community safety is an asset in our mission to provide a warm and safe shelter to anyone in need. It is an honor to have Roger’s service on the Flathead Warming Center Board of Directors.
Jeffrey Scogin – M.A. , LCPC- is a Licensed Clinical Counselor and specializes in trauma and abuse. He is respected in the community as his faith guides his counsel. On the FWC board, Jeffrey will be a strong, confident force that won’t pull punches and will say it like it is in love. Jeffrey understands that it is an honor, that comes with great responsibility when we intervene in another’s life. Jeffrey is ministry minded. His leadership, wisdom, and trauma-informed counsel will be a great asset as we work with individuals in our community who are struggling to survive.
Steve Snipstead – is the pastor at Faith Free Lutheran Church in Kalispell since 1987. Steve graduated from Augsburg College, Minneapolis Minnesota. He received his Masters of Divinity from the Free Lutheran Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from Bethel University. Pastor Snipstead is not someone that just knows the Bible, he is a servant first! He is a servant to our community in roles such as Volunteer Police Chaplain. As Luke and Tonya began to reach out to leaders in our community, Steve’s name was mentioned numerous times because of his standing in the community and because of his heart for others. Pastor Steve’s quiet wisdom, rooted in his faith and ministry, is vital to the success of the Flathead Warming Center.