Board Vice President
Southwest Montana sagebrush partnership program manager
Heidi has been with Heart of the Rockies Initiatives since 2021. Heidi works to produce on the ground, tangible conservation outcomes that are rooted in local community values. And that’s what she enjoys most about her work: getting outside and meeting and working with folks to reach a common goal, especially when she gets to work with and mentor young ecologists. Getting outside in beautiful places is something she also loves doing with friends and family. Heidi colleagues appreciate her dedication to on-the-ground work, her companionable presence, and her willingness to talk dogs.
Gary has been working in conservation for more than 40 years, dedicated to retaining access to natural resources. He has been with Heart of the Rockies since 2017, where he has been building momentum for private land conservation in our region to make a durable impact and help others make a difference in this special place. On the land, Gary loves birding, building, skiing, and cherishing his family. Gary’s colleagues appreciate that he is a “man of action”, and is eager to move past planning into action.
JoAnn has been with us since 2011, where she is thought of as the fairy Godmother of Heart of the Rockies. Beyond managing finances and land trust relationships, she also leads the communications team and is most passionate about the creativity involved in branding, storytelling, and problem solving. She reflects on times she has been out on the landscape with landowners and partners as a rewarding aspect of her job, where she witnesses the emotional connection people have with the landscape. Outside of work, Jo expresses her creativity through painting and cooking up a mean Chile Relleno for friends and family.
Development & Communications Coordinator
Emma joined Heart of the Rockies in 2020. Emma is trained as a mathematician and philosopher, and loves learning how to do things well, then better. She uses those skills at Heart of the Rockies to think deeply about what it means to actively shape the west, in collaboration with the land, and all the beings who reside here, to be a place in which we may all love being alive. Much of the work Emma does for Heart of the Rockies is abstract, so outside of work she loves to make someone’s day tangibly better. Usually, that someone is a dog at a shelter looking for a forever home. Indeed, her dearest passion is developing and fostering humane relationships with nonhuman animals. Emma’s colleagues appreciate her as “the dog-hugging voice of youth” – she keeps the team grounded with Harry Potter references and cute puppy anecdotes.
Kali started working with Heart of the Rockies Initiative in 2018. Though trained as a dancer, Kali makes our organizational culture welcoming and inclusive, a place where each of us is valued and invited to show up as a full human. She ensures our strategies and visions are well planned, but easily and creatively adapts when those plans go sideways. Kali is committed to conservation not only to protect wildlife, but also to ensure that the world remains habitable for her child and future generations. People are her motivation in her work and her life – Helping people with whatever they need help with, big or small – solving a problem, cooking them a meal, organizing around a neighborhood issue, or just listening. She is passionate about ensuring all people can have agency in their lives and meaningfully contribute to solving problems that affect them. Kali’s colleagues appreciate that she is ambitious, focused, and wicked smart, with a delightful sense of humor and enviable taste.
High Divide Collaborative Program Manager
Emily has worked with Heart of the Rockies Initiative since she interned in 2017. In her work, Emily is inspired by our partners in the High Divide, who are incredible people doing great work. She loves taking the time to listen and get to know each individual partner, then bring them all together in community during field trips or any sort of workshop that gets people outside on the ground. Emily brings her love of building and supporting community into all facets of her life by making a meal for a friend, shoveling a neighbors driveway, driving folks to the airport, or any small gesture that shows care and appreciation. Emily’s colleagues appreciate that she is a humble, hard worker who, despite her busy schedule, always makes time for dog-related conversation.
Conservation and GIS Coordinator
Amy has worked with Heart of the Rockies Initiative since summer 2021. She is trained as a cartographer, and uses her skills to make maps that artistically express the places people love. She also uses those skills at Heart of the Rockies to bring people together to uncover and connect over commonalities as humans. And that is what she loves most about her work: cultivating community and strong relationships between people and landscapes. Amy’s colleagues appreciate her appetite for stimulating, intellectual challenge and problem solving, as well as the compassion she shows everyone with whom she interacts. Amy is passionate about all types of skiing – skate, classic, backcountry, or a powder day at the ‘bowl. Her passion extends to other mountain sports like trail running, and really any super hard endurance activity.
Southwest Montana sagebrush partnership program manager
Kara recently came to Heart of the Rockies from the Centennial Valley Association. She is known for her homemade orange rolls and her ability to boil water in a paper cup over a campfire, which comes in handy more often than you might think. At work, she enjoys listening, learning, and collaborating with people of various perspectives, as well as finding opportunities to amplify community voices while setting the stage for future generations. To Kara, every day is a new adventure with a lesson to learn, a river to canoe, or a book to read. She emphasizes this belief by commonly quoting the movie UP: “Adventure is out there!”
Nate joined our team in 2022 from the Utah Division of WIldlife Resources. Nate moves through life determined to leave things better than he found them: in conservation this means helping communities and individuals adapt to change, and on the trails during his long training runs in the mountains this means practicing stellar Leave No Trace principles. He enjoys the challenge of trying to understand how pieces of a complex issue fit together, which ultimately will help shape how the landscape he loves will look moving forward. Nate relishes the simple daily actions of opening the door for someone or smiling at people on the trails as an easy way to give back. The ultimate test of his compassion came when he was smacked on the back by a baby mountain gorilla in Rwanda, but even then, Nate managed to smile.
Jim came to Heart of the Rockies in 2022 after a long career as a biologist for Montana Fish, WIldlife and Parks. Other notable achievements and talents of his include writing and publishing a book, The Path of the Puma, alligator wrestling, surfing, and being able to make friends with anyone. The latter is important for his work as well, where people and connections motivate him. Jim loves storytelling and mentoring younger professionals, and is excited to work with rural and local communities to conserve wild things and wild places.
Bray served Heart of the Rockies from 2013 to 2023 as our Conservation & Equity Director. We will be forever grateful for Bray’s transformational leadership. We are thrilled to continue receiving his consult in the coming years.