About Us

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 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 has a Master’s degree in Public Administration. Her nonprofit experience includes working at Montana Youth Homes, Rocky Mountain Development Council, and Florence Crittenton Home 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 has an established career as community development professional. Teaching and engaging students in projects across the country and internationally for the past several years. His commitment to our community and his understanding of collective impact principles enables him to guide a variety projects through the United Way. Jeff brings a wealth of experience to the team here in the Lewis & Clark Area. Past adventures in urban and rural settings in the states, Honduras, Thailand, Kenya and Zambia, gave him the experience required to earn a Doctoral degree in 2016. When he’s not working on community projects, Jeff enjoys all the scenic beauty the area offers, hiking, biking and canoeing, especially if he can spend it with his family, including his remarkable grandchildren.

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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, Century21

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. (Retired)

Andy Fjeseth, State of Montana

McKenzie McCarthy, Montana Association of Counties

Kellie Ashby, Dental Coordinator/Contractor Fort Harrison

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