Terry Preite has worked in health care for over 40 years. Her focus has been on community programs that support patients returning to home after an acute care stay. Getting her start as a community based social worker; she has been in administration for over 30 years. Terry has worked for Benefis Health System since 1993 and has served as President of Spectrum Medical since 2007. She currently leads regional relationships for Benefis as well, as working with area hospitals to coordinate and improve care in rural Montana. Most recently became President of Benefis Health System Foundation and Pre and Post-Acute Care.
Kathie Waters is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and is the Mental Health Coordinator at Crossroads Correctional Center in Shelby, MT. Kathie has long advocated for people with mental illness and helped start the Phillips County Local advisory council, serving as Secretary of that board for several years. Kathie has also been active in advocacy and education for Alzheimer’s and Dementia awareness.
Kathie has been on the Board of Directors of Disability Rights Montana since January 2018, after being elected chair of the PAIMI council. Kathie chose to volunteer for Disability Rights Montana because of the importance of their overall vision and mission, which is in line with her values:
Disability Rights Montana envisions a society where people with disabilities have equality of opportunity and are able to participate fully in community life by exercising choice and self-determination.
The Mission of Disability Rights Montana is to protect and advocate for the human, legal, and civil rights of Montanans with disabilities while advancing dignity, equality, and self-determination.
Kathie lives in Shelby with her husband of 25 years, as they continue to raise their three children, stay involved in church and with extended family.
Summit Independent Living Center, Missoula
Travis has been a member of the Board of Directors since January 2008. Travis is a member of the Board’s legislative committee.
Travis first got involved in the disability rights movement as a student at the University of Montana with the student organization, Alliance for Disability and Students of the University of Montana (ADSUM), serving as the group’s president in 2001-02. Also as a student, Travis got involved with the national organization, National Youth Leadership Network, where he served for five years on the organization’s governing board, including a year as the board’s vice president. In 2006, he received a bachelor’s degree of social work from the University of Montana. Currently, Travis works as an advocacy coordinator at Summit Independent Living Center in Missoula.
As a person with a spinal cord injury, Travis knows first hand many of the challenges Montanan’s with disabilities face everyday and works with Disability Rights Montana to pursue it’s mission to protect and advocate for the human, legal, and civil rights of Montanan’s with disabilities while advancing dignity, equality, and self-determination.
From a young age growing up around family members with significant disabilities, I have always been passionate that every individual has the right to live as independently as they choose, have the right to engage in their community, have the right to make mistakes, and most importantly deserve dignity and respect. I began my career in human services in junior high as a member of a volunteer youth group that provided recreation activities for adults with developmental disabilities.
That passion grew into a lifelong career beginning as an advocate for the elderly and adults with developmental disabilities. Then working many years for Montana independent living (IL) centers. During my career in IL, I actively participated on numerous work groups and task forces across Montana providing input and direction regarding services that impact people with disabilities. Most recently I served as the Region VIII Representative on the National Council on Independent Living based in Washington, D.C.
I have been married 26 years to Todd Hoar who also has made not only a career, but whole life choice, to advocate for and provide independent life choices and opportunities for people with disabilities to live full, rewarding lives. Our two daughters have also encompassed this passion in their lives. Both have achievements in volunteer and academic awards for promoting independence for people with disabilities. Each has learned first-hand via their own diagnosis’ (one severe anxiety, the other an orthopedic impairment) the impacts of major life activities that many take for granted.
I struggled many years ago with my own diagnosis of depression and anxiety. I soon learned of the invaluable support and emotional stability that diagnosis and proper treatment can bring. Currently as the HR Administrator for Town Pump Corporation, I make a positive impact through training, coaching, and mentoring our managers and staff regarding providing appropriate employee accommodations and other employment related issues. I also still volunteer alongside my husband with the same youth group from junior high!
Maryanne is a member of the Board of Directors. She is also member of the PAIMI Advisory Council and serves as Vice Chair of the Council.
Maryanne was an adult case manager at the Dillon Western Montana Mental Health Office for 15 years until January 2, 2018 when the company closed their rural office. She has experienced first- hand the frustrations of sorting through the complex (and often non-existent) services trying to find help for family members and her clients who are facing mental health problems.
She sees the recent budget cuts causing a crisis for many of the previous clients who depended on the mental health services provided by their office. She daily hears the concerns of other providers in the area who are overloaded and unable to keep up with all the needs of this population.
“Part of the unique legacy our founding fathers left us with was the concept that we must protect the God-given rights of everyone,” Maryanne said, “When we lose sight of that mission, no one will be safe. The most vulnerable people in our society are the elderly, the unborn and the disabled. Without protection and advocacy organizations such as Disability Rights Montana, these people often have no one to advocate for them and cannot afford legal representation.”
Maryanne spent 20 years in geriatrics as the social services/admissions/marketing director in a 105 bed skilled nursing facility. She wrote feature articles for the Montana Standard for ten years under the name Maryanne Davis Silve. Older people and those with special needs were the focus of many of her person profile articles.
Part of the philosophy that drew her to Disability Rights Montana is her belief that we need to empower those who struggle with disabilities. We also need to dispel the myths that surround those challenges and open the doors for these people to be treated with equal respect and opportunity so they may move toward accomplishing their individual goals in life.
Dave retired as Chief Information Officer from Pacific Steel & Recycling after almost 34 years of employment. He previously served as Pacific’s treasurer for 15 years. The treasurer’s duties at that time included supervising both the accounting and computer departments. In 2000, a decision was made to split the oversight of accounting away from the computer department and Dave decided to lead the computer side of the business. A job he did until his retirement in 2015.
Serving charitable and non-profit organizations in a voluntary capacity was highly recommended at Pacific and this is something that Dave is continuing in his retirement. In addition to the Disabililty Rights of Montana board, Dave is currently serving on the Great Falls Benefis Health System board of directors.
Richards is married to Rebecca Bogden-Richards. He has a son, Nick, from a previous marriage and a daughter with Rebecca, Keira. Keira was born with Cystic Fibrosis and both parents have, since her birth, been trying to learn what can be done to help make her life better. “If, during this process, either of us are lucky enough to assist other individuals improve their quality of life, we will do that.”
Dave, a CPA, graduated from Montana State University with a B.A. in Accounting. Dave was elected Secretary/Treasurer of the DRM Board of Directors in January 2017.
Will has been on the Board of Directors of Disability Rights Montana since July 2010. Will currently serves as Vice President. He hopes to utilize his skills and experience to advance the mission of Disability Rights Montana.
Will volunteers because he believes the challenges facing Montanans with disabilities and their families are often complex, intimidating, and frightening. Sometimes they involve unintentional – or even willful – violations of these individuals’ human, legal, and civil rights. It is a terrible thing to fear for the safety and welfare of a family member with a disability, and to feel powerless to help protect them. Will volunteers for Disability Rights Montana because it is often the last and best hope that Montanans with disabilities have to protect their dignity, to exercise self-determination, and to receive equal treatment under the law.
Most importantly, Will is the father of two sons, one of whom is an adult with disabilities. He has recently completed a career in sales and marketing with over 40 years of experience in the forest products industry. Will has a master’s degree in business administration, speaks fluent German, and has traveled extensively. He especially enjoys reading, music, outdoor activities and keeping up with current events.