Board of Directors

Disability Rights Montana is governed by a statewide, cross-disability, volunteer Board of Directors. Through personal and professional experiences, the directors represent people with mental illnesses, developmental disabilities, brain injuries, physical disabilities, and visual and hearing impairments.

The Board reviews the advocacy and legal needs of people with disabilities. It establishes priorities, policies, and the budget for our organization. Each year the Board determines the level of resources allocated to individual, systems, and policy advocacy to protect the legal, human, and civil rights of Montanans with disabilities.

The Board of Directors meets quarterly. The regular full board meetings are generally on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and are normally held in Helena, although on occasion are held in different parts of the state.

Click here to download an application for the Board of Directors and send completed applications to

Current Board of Directors

Donna Gleaves – President
Joel Peden – Vice President
Kathie Waters
Meg Traci
Jen Garber
Elden Reddig – Secretary/Treasurer
Jackie Stewart
Paula McMahon
Gabrielle Broere

PAIMI Advisory Council

The PAIMI (Protection & Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness) Advisory Council advises Disability Rights Montana on priorities to be carried out in protecting and advocating the rights of people with mental illness. At least 60% of the Advisory Council members or their family members have received or are receiving mental health services. The members are responsible for educating the public regarding Disability Rights Montana’s purpose, priorities, and activities.

The Advisory Council meets four times per year and the meetings are generally on Fridays from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The meetings usually occur in Helena, although on occasion are held in different parts of the state.

Current PAIMI Advisory Council members:

Kathie Waters, Chair
Maryanne Silve, Recording Secretary
Suzanne Hopkins
Tammy Lincoln
Charles White
Charlie McCarthy
Jean Strudthoff, Vice Chair
Jennifer Smith
Paula Holdeman


We work hard to provide high quality services to individuals with disabilities. We follow professional ethics, laws regarding confidentiality, and are trained in disability etiquette.

Current Staff:

Bernie Franks-Ongoy, Executive Director
Eva Belatski, Advocacy Specialist
Ryan Clouse, Advocacy Specialist
Jon Eichler, Health and Wellness Coordinator
Teddi Everett, Advocacy Specialist
Kona Franks-Ongoy, Advocacy Specialist
Christa Gabriel, Advocacy Specialist
Tal Goldin, Attorney
Kathy Hampton, Advocacy Specialist
Mike Lahr, Attorney
Katherine Murfitt, Director of Finance and Administration
Casey Pallister, Investigator/Advocacy Specialist
Faun Pullin, Office Coordinator
Christiane Rudmann, Investigator/Advocacy Specialist
Christine Simonich, Advocacy Specialist
Jason Socci, Executive Assistant
Michelle Weltman, Attorney

Click here for employment or volunteer opportunities.