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!