Change doesn’t happen alone.  That’s why United Way of the Lewis and Clark Area is dedicated to building partnerships and collaborations that take on the big issues in Jefferson, Broadwater, and Lewis and Clark counties.  We work with nonprofits, businesses, cities, counties, and community members like you to study the issues our neighbors face and come up with innovative solutions to help them lead their best lives.

No matter what community you visit, United Way is dedicated to four areas of focus: health, education, financial stability, and meeting the basic needs of every person.  The priorities set by our communities determine how we tackle the issues that cause our neighbors hardship.

Meet our Team

Emily McVey, Executive Director

Emily has lived in Montana her whole life.  She and her husband, Mike, raised their children in Helena, participating in a number of extracurricular activities such as Boy Scouts and sports. Emily’s background includes a formal education in culinary arts, sociology, and public relations, and she’s currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Administration.  Her nonprofit experience includes working at Montana Youth Homes, Rocky Mountain Development Council, and Florence Crittenton as well as volunteering for other nonprofit organizations.  Though she enjoyed her last position with the State of Montana, Emily is glad to return to the nonprofit sector and work with other nonprofits to make meaningful change happen in the tri-county area.  When she is out of the office, Emily enjoys learning and trying out new hobbies by taking classes. 

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Shelli Gwinn, Executive Assistant

Shelli has lived all over this beautiful country! She was born in California but, has spent time in New York, Kentucky, Kansas, Arizona, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, and the incomparable Montana! After raising 3 children she has been gifted with 6 grandchildren, 4 of whom reside here. After all her travel and life experience, Helena is where she has chosen to make her forever home. Shelli’s background includes 30 years of Administrative Assistant experience in both general office work and in the nonprofit sector. Previous positions include work with the Montana Department of Transportation, Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks, as well as nonprofit work in Arizona with a Domestic Violence Counseling Center serving families in crisis. She chose a position with the United Way out of a desire to give back to her community by being involved. When she is out of the office Shelli’s time is devoted to her grandchildren, her Service Dog Professor, reading books, and exploring the state she has come to love.

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Jeff Buscher, Director of Community Impact

Jeff is a native of Iowa and was a first-generation college student, completing degrees in religion and philosophy from William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, and his Master of Divinity degree at Midwestern Seminary.  Never one to shy from adventure, Jeff spent a lot of time backpacking across the country.  Jeff met and married his wife, Kayle, in Montrose Colorado.  He’s dedicated his life and career to helping others, even spending time in Honduras, Thailand, Kenya, Zambia, and India. Jeff enjoys all that Montana’s scenic beauty offers, from hiking and floating in the summer to cross country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter months. Most of all, he enjoys spending time with his 3-year-old grandson, Jonah. 

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David W. Crenshaw, Director of Development and Marketing

Dave was born in Florida and joined the military directly out of high school. He served 20 years in the Navy and Naval Reserve, mostly in the public affairs community, providing photojournalistic and editorial support to base newspapers, as well as working a little in broadcasting, media relations, and community relations. In addition to the United States, He’s visited a bunch of countries across five continents, circumnavigated the globe once, and lived in Italy (where his eldest daughter was born) and Iceland. He was also stationed aboard two ships, both out of Norfolk, Va. – the battleship Iowa and the amphibious assault ship Iwo Jima, both of which are now decommissioned. Eventually, he managed to earn a bachelor's degree in communications and spent several years working as the civilian public affairs officer for a small naval installation near Memphis. Today, he lives with his wife Kimberly, two of their three adult children (the oldest is married and lives in Indiana), and four dogs in the Helena area, where they are all thrilled to call home.

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Our Board

The United Way Board of Directors is made up of a diverse group of community leaders from the public (government), nonprofit, and private sectors. These dedicated volunteers bring a wealth of knowledge, talents, and skills to the United Way of the Lewis and Clark Area, helping to govern and guide the organization.

To learn about the time and location of the next monthly board meeting, call (406) 442-4360.

Riley Kurtz, President, TSYS

Steve Rock, Immediate Past President, Northwestern Energy

Chris Hunter, Vice President, Biologist, State Bureau Chief (Retired)

Angie Murdo, Treasurer, Anderson Zurmuehlen

Nancy Granger Cormier, Secretary, Morrison-Maierle, Inc.

Andy Fjeseth, State of Montana

McKenzie McCarthy, Montana Association of Counties

Bob Ebner, Aflac Insurance

Kellie Ashby, Dental Coordinator/Contractor Fort Harrison

Leann Colella, Project Manager, State of MT DLI

Sarah Bond, Lawyer with Attorney Generals Office, Self Employed Lawyer

Sassion Beckman, Office Manager/Communication Director, MBIA, Exit Realty

Amy Emmert, Senior Director of Population Health, St. Peters Health

Kenneth Varns, Attorney, Department of Health and Human Services

View our most recent Form 990

United Way fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in every community.

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION

  • ANTI-RACISM AND ETHNIC DISCRIMINATION STATEMENT

We recognize structural racism/ethnic discrimination and other forms of oppression have contributed to persistent disparities which United Way seeks to dismantle.

We understand that these disparities have existed in the past and persist into the present.

We acknowledge that these inequities are the result of policies and practices that work to marginalize entire populations of people.

We unequivocally denounce racism/ethnic discrimination because it undermines the well-being and vitality of our communities.

Our United Way network strives to engage community members, especially those whose voices have traditionally been marginalized.

We work with residents and public and private partners to co-create solutions that ensure everyone has the resources, supports, opportunities and networks they need to thrive.

We commit to leveraging all of our assets (convening, strategic investments, awareness building, advocacy) to create more equitable communities.