Ralph has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Forest Management and has 25 plus years of Forestry related jobs, seasonally and full time that concluded in being the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Forestry Department Head. In September 1999 he was promoted to the General Manager of Mission Valley Power for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and retired in September 2014. Ralph has 2 children, 8 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren. His hobbies include hunting, golf, sun, and fun.
Francine Mathias Dupuis is a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and a lifelong resident of the Flathead Reservation. Francine has been active in Tribal affairs for many years and has a special interest in education. She helps run the family ranch and likes to attend Powwows whenever she can. She is a graduate of Salish Kootenai College with an Associate Degree. France has nine children and many grandchildren. Several of her children have attended Salish Kootenai College and she remains committed to the success of the College as she feels it is a wonderful opportunity for reservation residents.
Debby grew up in Ronan, Montana, and graduated from Montana State University in 1972. After various positions in marketing in the ski industry, largely for Lake Tahoe resorts, she moved to San Francisco, married, had two children, and became the sales director for Sanspray, a manufacturing company. Debby returned to the ski industry in 1989 when she moved to Vail, Colorado and managed the western office for Snow Country magazine, a New York Times lifestyle publication. In 2007 she returned to her roots in Montana and became more involved in her family’s long-time business, Montana Community Banks. She spends her free time enjoying family, traveling, hiking, skiing, reading, writing, and long conversations while watching sunsets at Flathead Lake.
Dr. Joseph F. McDonald is the founder and President Emeritus of Salish Kootenai College. He finished his public education career as the principle of Ronan High School. He currently serves on the Board of the Ft. Connah Restoration Society, the National Board of American Indian Business Leaders, and the Ronan Telephone Holding Company. He is active in tribal cultural events and environmental concerns. His hobbies include attending sporting events, golf, camping, and fishing in the backcountry and traveling.
Jay Wilson Preston
Jay Wilson Preston is currently President and CEO of Ronan Telephone Company. Jay was born in Missoula, MT and as a young child moved to Ronan where he graduated High School. Jay continued his education at Montana State University earning his Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering. Jay went on to Columbia University Graduate School of Business in New York City earning his MBA.
Jay enjoys spending time with his wife Cynthia and his 5 sons and 3 grandchildren. Jay’s hobbies include being a private pilot, sailing, both racing and cruising, while his intellectual passion is history and a lifelong interest in economic development and local community affairs.
Bruno Friia is CEO/Owner of Lambros Real Estate. His alma mater is Temple University. An active member of his community, Bruno also serves on boards of local community organizations and is an active supporter of Missoula arts and service associations. Some of his Community affiliations include Missoula Children’s Theater, Missoula Symphony; Rotary Club; University of Montana Excellence Fun. Previous affiliations include Chairman of the Missoula County Airport Authority; Director of Missoula Aids Council; Director of Missoula Chamber of Commerce; State Chair of Montana Red Cross; Trustee of the Community Medical Center; Board Member of St. Patrick’s Hospital Foundation Development Council; Missoula Housing Task Force. His hobbies include competitive pistol competition.
Leonard Gray was born in St. Ignatius and raised in Hot Springs. He graduated from high school in Hot Springs and started a seven-year career as a professional jockey racing horses. Afterward, he attended Salish Kootenai College and earned bachelors in human services. He began working for CSKT in the Personnel Office helping displaced workers and eventually moved into the tribal legal system. He worked 13 years total in the Probation, Prosecutors, and the Defenders offices.
Leonard lives in Hot Springs on a small ranch where he was raised. He spends his spare time around horses. His two children are working, one in Alaska in social services, and the other in the Air Force.
Ernest "Bud" Moran
Ernest “Bud” Moran is a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and grew up in Arlee, MT where he graduated high school. After graduation, Bud served 9 years with the United States Marine Corps. Bud attended Salish Kootenai College studying Business Administration.
Bud’s professional career is robust with leadership roles. Bud is a past Superintendent with the Bureau of Indian Affairs NW Region, as well as Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribal Councilmen and Chairmen, Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribal Gaming, Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribal Credit Manager and worked with OEO program stationed at the University of Montana.
Bud currently serves on the Salish Kootenai Technology Board of Directors in addition to the Salish Kootenai College Foundation Board of Directors. Bud also served on the Salish Kootenai College Board of Directors in past years.
Ellen Swaney (Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes) has an M.Ed. Degree in Administration and minor in Native American Studies from Montana State University - Bozeman. Her undergraduate degree was in Social Studies from Pacific Union College. She has a teaching and administrative background at the K-12 and higher education levels. She taught and served as an administrator in K-12 parochial and public schools/tribal organizations in Hayward, CA; Las Vegas, NV; San Gabriel, CA; and City of Commerce, CA. She has worked on two other reservations other than her own – Crow and Fort Belknap. She served as faculty and TRIO program director for Student Support Services and Upward Bound at Salish Kootenai College. She was born and raised on the Flathead Reservation and is a member of the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes.
Swaney served as the Operations Director for the Community Health and Development Department at Salish Kootenai College, a tribally chartered college of the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes on the Flathead Reservation in western Montana from October 2009 to July 2010.
Swaney retired in July 2009 from the position of Director of American Indian/Minority Achievement, a state-funded position in the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education for the Montana University System, where she served since 1990. Her primary responsibilities include 1) oversight of the TRACKS project, which is monitoring American Indian students within the Montana University System with the goal of graduating more American Indian students at the postsecondary level; 2) liaison and coordination of activities with the tribal governments and their seven tribal colleges, and with other minority communities and organizations; 3) oversight of the diversity/minority action plans of eleven campuses of the Montana University System; and 4) provision of cultural diversity training programs for the administrators, faculty, staff, and students of the Montana University System. Swaney also served as an advocate for American Indian/minority students, faculty and staff of the MUS and has additional responsibilities for the implementation of Indian Education for All, MCA 20-1-501, in the Montana University System. She also served as the ADA coordinator for OCHE. Swaney had oversight responsibility for the Montana Tribal Colleges Tribal History Projects, a two year State of Montana project with the seven Montana tribal colleges.
Swaney served on the University of Montana – Western’s Teacher Education Advisory Board and has served a 3-year term on the Office of Public Instruction’s Special Education Advisory Panel. She represented higher education on the Board of Public Education and the Office of Public Instruction’s Montana Advisory Council on Indian Education (MACIE), and is a long time member of the Montana Indian Education Association (MIEA). Swaney chaired the planning committee for Montana’s Conference on Race 2006: Partnering Indians and non-Indians for Change held in Helena in November 2006 and served on two previous such conferences held in 2004 and 2002, and served on the planning committee for the university systems two conferences: “Intersecting Interests: Tribal Knowledge and Research Communities”. She served on the Governor’s Transition work group reviewing current policies on procedures for students with disabilities as they transition into postsecondary education and the world of work.
Swaney is the proud parent of a daughter, Brooke Swaney-Pepion, a 2003 graduate of Stanford University, and the prestigious film school, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University.
Bio Coming Soon
Rhonda Whiting is a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. She previously served as Vice President of Communications for S&K Technologies Inc. Prior to that, she was appointed by President Clinton to work as the National Outreach Coordinator for Native American Economic Development at the Small Business Administration. Additionally, she owned her own communications consulting business; and worked in the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Legal Department. She has also worked in education as the Assistant Director and Instructor for Native American Studies at the University of Montana. Her political experience includes Political Director of Native American Outreach for the Democratic National Committee and various positions within the Montana and local Democratic Party. Whiting attended Hellgate High School and has a Masters Degree in Education, and a Juris Doctorate, both from the University of Montana. She has three daughters and five grandchildren.
Linda King is an enrolled member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes who has been involved with the making of professional traditional dance and ceremonial dress items for over 38 years. She is endorsed by the Salish Culture Committee and teaches the traditional arts of beading, dance dress, and tipi construction.
Linda learned her skills from her family members and elders in her community. She attended powwows and developed ideas of her own about how to construct regalia traditional dance dresses. In 1972, she started a beading company in her home selling and taking orders for traditional beaded items. Linda has continued to create a variety of apparel, including traditional and contemporary beaded objects and dance outfits, and has won recognition for her beautiful beaded designs and star quilts.
She obtained a Child Development Associate degree from Salish Kootenai College in 1990 and then began teaching Indian traditional cultural arts at the college. Linda has also taught parenting and cultural awareness classes at the Kicking Horse Job Corps Center. As a community leader Linda King serves on the Salish Kootenai Tribal Powwow Committee and has been a traditional Indian knowledge arts consultant and instructor for public schools on and outside her local community.
In 1992, Linda was selected by the State of Montana as one of their highlighted artists and to give lectures and demonstrations as part of the traveling exhibit called “Bridles, Bits and Beads.”
She has reviewed grants for the Montana Arts Council and was a Master Artist for the Montana Folk and Traditional Apprenticeship Program.
Linda’s traditional dance and beadwork can be seen throughout the United States and in several foreign countries such as New Zealand and Norway. She was a costume designer for a production by the New York based Fagan Dance Co. and Don Pullen for Sacred Common Ground collaboration with the Chief Cliff Drummers and Singers, and the wardrobe designer for the Salish-Pend d’Oreille Meet Lewis & Clark Pageant with a cast of 53. She has appeared in various publications such as the Tribal College Journal, the American Indian Entrepreneurs, and Traditional Arts. She received the Best of Show award in Santa Monica, California and the “Lemlmts” award.
Rob joined the financial services industry in 1999 when he started his career with Oppenheimer Funds in Denver, Colorado. In 2003, he made a change from stocks and bonds to insurance and moved to Polson, Montana. Here he joined PayneWest as a benefit and commercial sales executive. Rob is a graduate of Montana State University Bozeman with a bachelor’s degree in history and a minor in English. He holds insurance licenses in property & casualty and life, health, & limited lines. When he is not busy working with his PayneWest clients and colleagues, Rob enjoys boating, fishing, and hiking with his wife, Erin, and son, Conner.
Bio Coming Soon
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