Myrna Adams Dumontier is a dedicated cultural coordinator, educator and liaison for her Salish tribe. She served as a CSKT Councilmember representing her native Arlee district from August 2018 until January 2020. Myrna graduated from the University of Montana with a Bachelors degree in Social Work with emphasis in addiction and psychology studies and received an honorary degree from Salish Kootenai College in Native American Studies.
Myrna has worked in Drug and Alcohol Prevention and addictions treatment much of her forty plus year career on the reservation and attributes her cultural knowledge to growing up in a traditional family. That traditional knowledge has been applied to curriculum development in various work environments such as Head Start, resulting in the first ever language immersion classroom, and continues to benefit ongoing efforts in her community to preserve and perpetuate the Salish Language, culture and lifeways.
Born out of the knowledge of ancestral homelands, Myrna’s favorite recreation is packing into the Bob Marshall Wilderness. She is a certified Wilderness Packer and hopes one day to devote her time to explore more of the wilderness with tribal people.
A resident of St. Ignatius, Emily Thueson's commitment to animals and nonprofits is boundless. Emily is a mental health advocate who works with addiction recovery groups. She works with animals as much as people. She cared for educational ambassador birds at the Montana Wild Wings Recovery Center along with taking care of birds in their rehabilitation center. Her passion for nonprofit work was inspired through years of association with the Glacier Conservancy and the Glacier Natural History Association, and she recently moved from West Glacier to St. Ignatius to be on the Flathead Reservation in the middle of ARC's geographical center of operations. Over the years, she has harnessed her connections in the Glacier Park community to support valuable nonprofit projects and rescue the most down-and-out animals who needed a second chance, and she now brings her expertise and energy to ARC.
Emily is excited to serve ARC's Secretary.
Most people know Jill as the award-winning and Emmy-nominated reporter seen nightly anchoring the 5:30 and 10:00 news on KPAX. Not many know that she spent ten years married to Steve Allard, sharing a name well-known on the Flathead Reservation due to its long-time association with St. Ignatius. Fewer still know Jill’s love for her dogs and her passion for highlighting animal causes through her professional work. Jill earned her degree in communications (with a political science minor) from Washington State University and moved to Montana in the early 2000s, eventually becoming the most popular and recognizable journalist in Western Montana.
An Elder of the Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribes, Betty Fyant has called Arlee her home for her entire life. She has spent 40 years working for the CSKT Tribes in various capacities, much of that time at Tribal Health. Betty’s sensitivity to the plight of reservation animals and her understanding of the living reality of reservation communities are valuable and important additions to ARC’s Board of Directors.
Growing up a member of the Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) of the Flathead Nation in Ronan, Shane Morigeau has a very personal understanding of the needs, strengths, visions, challenges, and history of the People ARC serves. He has sought to serve the interests of his People through a budding political career, serving as member of the Montana House of Representatives (2017- 20) and the Montana Senate (2020-present). Sen. Morigeau graduated from the Alexander Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana and the James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona. He has also served CSKT as an attorney.
Filip Panusz has spent roughly 15 years working on animal related issues in the nonprofit field. He holds a B.S. in Wildlife Biology and an M.A. in Environmental Ethics. He has served as Executive Director for three separate nonprofits including the Mission Valley Animal Shelter on the Flathead Indian Reservation.
Filip feels drawn to nonprofit work that helps both animals and people - particularly those who have faced injustice or pain.
He lives with his beloved wife, daughter and a canine rescue in western Montana, where he arrived 28 years ago, seeking a freer, slower, and more genuine life that was down-to-earth and just a tad less civilized.
In the rare moments he finds for himself, Filip enjoys admiring the beauty of birds, wildlife, and remote wild landscapes.
Gary Robson has served on numerous nonprofit boards and most recently worked as Executive Director of Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary. He has worked extensively in accessibility for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing people; he wrote three books on the subject and received three related U.S. patents. He has written 29 books, hundreds of articles, and many grant applications. He is perhaps best known for his “Who Pooped in the Park” nature/science book series for children, which has sold over 650,000 copies.
He taught computer-related courses at Rocky Mountain College in cooperation with tribal colleges across the State of Montana, and at two California colleges.
He lives in Montana with his wife, two rescue dogs, and two cats. They have two daughters and two grandchildren.
Dr. Rhonda Hamerslough-Koester (Aug '19-Jun '21) is a business owner and Certified Professional Dog Trainer. Rhonda holds two BS degrees (Health Science and Registered Dental Hygiene) and an MS in School Counseling. She completed an Educational Specialist Degree in School Psychology and a doctorate in Educational Administration and Leadership at Loma Linda University (LLU). After 15 years of teaching, Rhonda moved to the Pacific Northwest where she served on the Board of Directors for an animal shelter in Idaho and was subsequently hired as Executive Director and tasked with building a new facility. Today, she continues this work through her Pawsitively Social Emotional Learning curriculum, which has been adopted by schools throughout the United States.
While serving on the ARC Board, Ms. Andrews-Gould was the Director of the Business Program at the Salish Kootenai College in Pablo, MT. More recently she was promoted to the position of Dean and had to take leave from her ARC Board role to accommodate her new and vast responsibilities at SKC. She looks forward to continuing her support for ARC in other ways, and we hope to welcome her back to the Board in the future. She holds both a B.A. and M.A. from California Coastal University.
Holly Swenson holds a BSN from Montana State University and has served on multiple nonprofit boards including Dunrovin Ranch, The Girls Way, and Sussex School. She has a long-time association with Bank of Montana, where she currently works as their Community and Business Development Officer.
Kristen Desjarlais (Mar '20-Dec '22)
has a passion for children and animals and their well-being. She works as the head Counselor for Ronan Middle School on the Flathead Indian Reservation. Kristen is a firm believer in the importance of mental health support and the power of Social & Emotional Learning within schools. She is a First Generation Descendant of the Salish Tribe.
Kirsten Holland (Aug '19-Mar '20) was one of ARC's founding Board Members. She came to the organization with a deep passion for canine rescue, having been the Executive Director of the Flathead County Animal Shelter in the past. Kirsten also had extensive professional nonprofit fundraising experience, most recently with Swan Valley Connections.
Alina Graves (Mar '20-Mar '22) is a native of Ronan and a First Generation Descendant of the Salish Tribe. She currently works as a Social Studies teacher at the Ronan Middle School.
Alina's association with ARC stems from her passion for teaching children and her passion for animals. She has volunteered for the Mission Valley Animal Shelter for a number of years, which is where she met ARC's founder during his time running that shelter. At the time, Alina volunteered to serve on an Advisory Council for Community Canines and adopted an adorable homeless corgi mix pup who has since become a beloved family member.