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.
Darrin Andrews (Vice-Chairman) – is an Executive Vice President for a US-based fortune 500 industrial coatings company. Darrin’s career path has led him to live in various US states and Canadian provinces. Still, his true passion and calling is working with groups that support the housing vulnerable and homeless community. During his years living in various areas, he has gained extensive experience doing “outreach” work and acting as a “front line” volunteer, where his empathy, genuine compassion, and advocacy have had a significant impact on lives. He has also been involved in the formation of several programs to help serve those in need. Darrin’s ambition is to transition from the corporate environment into more impactful work helping the homeless (where his true heart lies). He brings the balance of business experience and the understanding he has gleaned from years of front-line activity to the FWC board. Darrin has been an on-site volunteer working directly with Warming Center guests from the very beginning and feels that the Flathead Warming Center is a blessing to all and an incredible opportunity for all of us to serve those in need.
Haley Barrile (Treasurer) – is a technology executive with over 20 years in leadership roles at fast-growing software companies, focusing primarily on the areas of operations, customer success, partnerships and human resources. Since moving to the Flathead Valley in 2018, she was a founding member and Chief Operating Officer of local venture capital firm, Two Bear Capital. Currently Haley runs a consulting business where she coaches and advises several companies in the Flathead and throughout the country. She has a degree in economics and a Masters in Business, both from Stanford University. Volunteering has been an important part of Haley’s life since childhood and she’s thrilled to have been introduced to the Warming Center by a close friend who serves Warming Center guests through Shepherd’s Hand. Haley enjoys contributing her deep business and technology experience as a member of the Warming Center board and interacting with the guests as a regular volunteer.
Jane Emmert (Secretary)– 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!
Board Members at Large
Nick Aemisegger – is a Kalispell native. He graduated from the University of Montana in 1992 with a degree in Business Administration. He received a full merit scholarship from the Texas Tech School of Law in Lubbock, Texas, where he graduated in 1997. Since graduating from law school, Nick has been involved in public service for most of his career. While living in Tennessee from 1998-2004, Nick served as Assistant Attorney General for the State of Tennessee, Special Counsel to the Commissioner, and General Counsel for the Department of Health. Since returning to Kalispell, Nick has spent most of the last 17 years as a manager for Kalispell’s first full-time public defender office. In that capacity, Nick has worked tirelessly to protect the rights of indigent defendants, ensure integrity in the criminal justice system, and find ways to prevent individuals from cycling back into the criminal justice system. In the last several years, Nick has seen a marked increase in mentally ill and homeless individuals languishing in our county jail due to a lack of affordable housing and a precipitous decline in behavioral health services. Nick is honored to work with the Warming Center to help address the needs of the most vulnerable people in our community.
Jerie Betschart – 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.
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.
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.
Shirley Willis – 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!