Women In Action | Board Members & Staff
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BOARD MEMBERS:

Marne Hayes

Marne Hayes

WIA PRESIDENT
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Why are you passionate about WIA?  The thing that inspires me about Women in Action is our dedication to providing programs that focus on health, wellness, and active lifestyles for the people of Big Sky.  The variety of health resources offered community-wide to the opportunity for camps, art and enrichment programs for Big Sky’s children has made what I believe to be an exceptional difference in our community.  And of course, the fierce dedication of the women on this board, from the beginning over a decade ago to now, is more than inspiring.

 

What do you like most about living in Big Sky?  Mostly I love that just about everything I enjoy doing is right outside my door. That our way of life is fueled by national forests, rivers, trails, and amazing landscapes.  I love that Big Sky a passionate community that faces challenges with collaboration and bold ideas and that even in the face of adversity we are all acting on behalf of keeping Big Sky as the place we all love to work, live, and play.  

 

Where can we find you when you aren’t working with WIA?  Probably chasing my dogs around the trails, or enjoying time in the woods with my husband.  I’m a much happier person when I find time to get out the door and enjoy this place for all of its grandeur and adventure.  So, I do that as much as possible.  

 

How do you want to be remembered?  Loaded question!  I think mainly I’d like to be remembered as a kind person.  Also, as someone who is open to new ideas, the power of collective energy, and finding solutions that work.  I have been very fortunate to call Big Sky home for nearly 25 years, and have had community leadership roles and roles that allow me to stay in the background.  Perspective is something that I feel very fortunate to have, and I hope I’ve always used it to do the best job, be the best ally and the most considerate participant along the way.  Honesty, compassion and an open mind are powerful tools.

 

What is your favorite inspirational quote or a person that inspires you?  There are so many.  I don’t even know who said this one, but I’ve always liked it:   “Remember, your dreams are as hungry as your demons.  Make sure you’re feeding the right ones.”

Jennifer Reed

Jennifer Reed

WIA VICE PRESIDENT
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Why are you passionate about WIA? I think it is important that the community in which one lives is a healthy one. While we all live in Big Sky for its beauty and various outdoors activities, it has less meaning to me if individuals in our community are struggling. WIA strives to enrich the lives of children, families and individuals. When lives are enriched, everyone in Big Sky benefits and our community is healthier for it. I think this is important work for any community.

 

What do you like most about living in Big Sky?  I’m thankful for the quality of life we have in Big Sky. Originally, we moved to Big Sky for the skiing & hiking. We had no idea we had chosen such a wonderful community where we have developed lasting friendships. And there are so many enjoyable things to do here—from summer concerts and artistic events at the WMPAC to playing in the great outdoors.

 

Where can we find you when you aren’t working with WIA?  Most likely you can find me outside, walking or hiking with our best buddy, a yellow Labrador retriever. I also love to downhill ski, play the piano and sing. 

 

How do you want to be remembered? I just hope I will be remembered!! 

 

What is your favorite inspirational quote or a person that inspires you? John Muir   Current favorite quote of his: “Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.”

Pat Kimmel

Pat Kimmel

WIA TREASURER
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Why are you passionate about WIA? Being a mother of 2 and a grandmother of 5, I have always been very invested in children and feel that every child deserves to have th opportunity to partake in experiences that will enrich their lives.  Women In Action not only helps children who might not be able to afford those opportunities, but we also help their families to seek help as well. 

 

What do you like most about living in Big Sky? I have always loved the mountains and was immediately drawn to Big Sky when I first visited here 24 years ago.  I love the fact that people here are so invested in the community and care so much about each other. 

 

Where can we find you when you aren’t working with WIA? I love being outside in nature, so hiking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing are what I love to do with good friends, family, and my dog, Boomer.

 

How do you want to be remembered? I want to be remembered as a kind, loving person who gets joy out of helping others.

 

What is your favorite inspirational quote or a person that inspires you?I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”  –Maya Angelou

Sharon Clarke

Sharon Clarke

WIA SECRETARY
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Why are you passionate about WIA?  I am proud to be a small part of WIA. I love that WIA as a group strives to make life richer for children and families in Big Sky, giving back what was given to me.  

 

What do you like most about living in Big Sky?I like so much about Big Sky; the beauty, the backcountry, the outdoor sports and of course the people who make it even more fantastic.

 

Where can we find you when you aren’t working with WIA?   You can often find me skiing, horseback riding, or doing almost anything that is outdoors.

 

How do you want to be remembered?   I would like to be remembered for having tried my best at everything i did. 

 

What’s your favorite quote?  Be strong, you never know who you are inspiring.  (unknown)

Andrea Scholz

Andrea Scholz

WIA BOARD MEMBER
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Why are you passionate about WIA? I initially joined WIA to get more involved with our community, but stay on the Board because I believe the programs we offer are crucial for the friends and families that call Big Sky home.

 

What do you like most about living in Big Sky or why did you pick Big Sky?  The thing I like most about Big Sky is the same reason I moved to this beautiful town… my husband, Mike Scholz!  After dating long distance for four years we were married and I moved here in July of 2003 with my family, which is now our family. 

 

Where can we find you when you aren’t working with WIA?   My background is related to IT and includes software development and testing, curriculum development and Sarbanes Oxley auditing.  I am a CAP mentor and CASA/GAL volunteer.  Whenever possible I enjoy cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter, and hiking and in the summer.

 

What’s your favorite quote? I tried to follow this advice while raising our three children:  “Prepare the child for the path, not the path for the child”.

Kay Reeves

Kay Reeves

WIA BOARD MEMBER
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Why are you passionate about WIA? Enriching the lives of Big Sky families is important work.  

 

What do you like most about living in Big Sky?  The people, the mountains, and the small town.

 

Where can we find you when you aren’t working with WIA?  At the Big Sky Community Library:)

 

How do you want to be remembered?   As a role model for indoor girls living in an outdoor world.

 

What is your favorite inspirational quote or a person that inspires you?  Psalm 23

Betsy McFadden

Betsy McFadden

WIA BOARD MEMBER
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Why are you passionate about WIA?  If I can help even one child overcome economic, education or emotional disadvantages to become a strong and confident adult it may help me become a better, caring human being.

 

What do you like most about living in Big Sky? I came to Big Sky for the skiing but after moving here in 2007, I came to appreciate this small town with wonderful people, many of whom have the same passions and outlook on life as I do.

 

Where can we find you when you aren’t working with WIA? I can be found skiing in the winter, hiking or playing golf in the summer.

 

What is your favorite inspirational quote or a person that inspires you?  “I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.”  Maya Angelou

Mia Lennon

Mia Lennon

WIA BOARD MEMBER

Stacey Chapman

WIA BOARD MEMBER
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Why are you passionate about WIA?  I am excited to be part of a team that works to meet the needs of children and families in our community.

 

What do you like most about living in Big Sky? Being in a small town with spectacular beauty and incredible people.

 

Where can we find you when you aren’t working with WIA?  Enjoying time with my husband, playing pickle ball, golf, or on a long walk.

 

How do you want to be remembered?  As someone who made people smile and made a positive difference in their lives.

 

What is your favorite inspirational quote or a person that inspires you?  “Don’t bother to give God instructions, just report for duty.”   Corrie ten Boom

ADVISORY COUNCIL:

Rachel Thesing

Rachel Thesing

WIA ADVISORY COUNCIL CHAIRMAN
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Why are you passionate about WIA?  I am passionate about the education and wellbeing of children.  We will be defined by their success. I feel through WIA and the programs that we provide, we are helping to give the children in our community access to opportunities that they so richly deserve.

 

What do you like most about living in Big Sky? The easy access to the outdoors.

 

Where can we find you when you aren’t working with WIA? Read, bike and ski.

 

What is your favorite inspirational quote or a person that inspires you?  “We make a living by what we get.  We make a life by what we give.”  –Sir Winston Churchill.

Ania Bulis

Ania Bulis

WIA ADVISORY COUNCIL
Barbara Barnhart

Barbara Barnhart

WIA ADVISORY COUNCIL
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Why are you passionate about WIA?  I am passionate about WIA because it directs its funds and volunteer hours to Big Sky specifically, and I am interested in advocating for Big Sky families in the area of behavioral and mental health. I feel strongly about WIA as it is the only organization currently providing counseling support to families in Big Sky. 

 

I have held many non-profit Board positions and chaired many fundraisers in the Philadelphia area over the years – most recently 8 years on The Village board, a residential treatment program for girls who are victims of trauma and abuse. My area of expertise is development and fundraising and I created the first fundraising events for The Village and for Boys Latin charter school. Both organizations currently continue with these successful yearly fundraising events/ efforts.  I am excited to be working with Women In Action. 

 

What do you like most about living in Big Sky? I live in Big Sky 6 months a year and enjoy the breathtaking  beauty of the mountains and the wonderful outdoor activities that the area provides. I am grateful to be able to spend time in Big Sky doing what gives me such pleasure and want to give back to this community by helping children and families that are less fortunate, in need, or at risk.

 

Where can we find you when you aren’t working with WIA? When I am not in Big Sky, I can be found in Haverford, PA where my husband and I have lived for 25 years and raised our two children- Carter (24) and Grant (22).

 

How do you want to be remembered?  I would like to be remembered as someone who contributed with my time and talent and made a difference with organizations that I have been associated, and  to also be remembered as a caring and loving friend, mother and wife.

 

What is your favorite inspirational quote or a person that inspires you?  My favorite quote is  by Leonard Cohen – “Ring the bells that still can ring, forget your perfect offering, there is a crack in everything, that is how the light gets in.”

Kelly Welsh

Kelly Welsh

WIA ADVISORY COUNCIL
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Why are you passionate about WIA?  I am passionate about WIA for many reasons but especially because it pays for a drug and alcohol counselor in the Big Sky community.  Most people who have addiction issues cannot recover without the help of counselors and once the whole family has some counseling it improves the addicts chance of recovering.

 

What do you like most about living in Big Sky? I love living in “the last best place” because of the beauty, healthy lifestyle and the wonderful people I have met and become friends with.

 

Where can we find you when you aren’t working with WIA? In Dallas Texas when I am not traveling and in Big Sky the other half of the year.

 

How do you want to be remembered?  I want to be remembered as a good and loyal wife, mother, sister and friend.  I want to be generous with those who are down on their luck due to lack of good employment and/or bad health.

 

What is your favorite inspirational quote or a person that inspires you?  Mother (Saint) Teresa inspires me because she had the courage to care for those, in India, who had nothing and children who might not have had food or a place to sleep. She cared for those dying or suffering from HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis.  She believed that all people were worthy of receiving help.

STAFF:

Jennifer O'Connor

Jennifer O’Connor

WIA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
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Why are you passionate about WIA?  I am proud to be part of an organization that recognizes the needs of the community and then brings the right people and resources together to create real change.  WIA gives me the opportunity to collaborate with the most amazing people, businesses, organizations, and foundations.  While my previous work experience has been in human resources and business management, I have always worked with organizations that benefit children. My role with WIA is the perfect blend of my business background and volunteer passions.  I love being a part of WIA and wake up every day thankful to be part of something so wonderful!

 

What do you like most about living in Big Sky or why did you pick Big Sky?  I originally came to Big Sky because I love outdoor adventure.  I’ve made it my home because there is such a strong sense of community and it’s a wonderful place to raise a family.

 

Where can we find you when you aren’t working with WIA? I love working with the children in Big Sky.  I lead a Girl Scout Troop, a Cub Scout Den, and a high school Venturing Crew.  In my free time, you’ll find me out on adventures with my husband, Dave O’Connor of Buck’s T4, and with our three amazing children.  We love traveling, camping, hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, boating, fishing, and all kinds of other outdoor activities. 

 

How do you want to be remembered?  I want to be remembered for creating positive changes in the world around me, and most importantly, I want to inspire children to do the same. 

 

What is your favorite inspirational quote or a person that inspires you? “The meaning of life is to find your gift.  The purpose of life is to give it away.”   –William Shakespeare