Meet The Team

 

Molly stands smiling, hands folded in front, beside the concrete half-wall of MonTECHs wheelchair ramp.Molly Kimmel, OTR/L, became director of MonTECH during the pandemic of Spring 2020 – a memorable time to take the helm. Molly first connected with MonTECH in 2012 in the course of her work as an occupational therapist. “I realized the value of having access to innovative equipment and tools and the importance of sharing this resource with my community,” Molly explains. “From that day on, I have been a fierce supporter of the MonTECH program and its mission.” Molly was an occupational therapist at St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula for nine years. In addition to heading MonTECH, she serves as the Montana State Coordinator and Occupational Therapy Core Faculty for the Utah Regional Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (URLEND) program. She is a certified stroke rehabilitation specialist, an instructor in infant massage, and a frequent volunteer who serves our community in a variety of ways. If you would like to contact Molly directly, please write molly.kimmel@mso.umt.edu.

 

 

staff--Marlena

 

Marlena Lanini, MOT, P.E., OTR/L, joined MonTECH in October of 2016 as the Eastern Clinical Coordinator for MonTECH’s new office in Billings.  Marlena received a Master’s of Occupational Therapy from Colorado State University (CSU) in Fort Collins, CO.  During this time, she worked for CSU’s Assistive Technology Resource Center, where she developed a love for helping connect people with the right technology.  Marlena subsequently served as an occupational therapist in school districts in Colorado and Nevada.  Prior to training as an occupational therapist, Marlena graduated from Northwestern University in Environmental Engineering and worked as a consulting engineer for ten years.  Marlena is a Billings native and is excited to return to Montana.  She enjoys camping, running, gardening, and spending time with her family.

 

 

Michelle stands on rocks of creek bed near water, smiling and wearing orange back pack.Michelle Allen, B.A., ATP, is the Assistive Technology Professional for MonTECH. Michelle has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a minor in Family Relations/Child Development from Oklahoma State University. In 2019, she became a certified Assistive Technology Professional. While working with children with developmental delays, she developed a love for assistive technology. She has experience working with equipment from low-tech to high-tech and strongly believes people can achieve their full potential with the right tools. Michelle enjoys problem solving and says there is nothing better than helping people find an item that enhances independence and increases participation in their community. Michelle has lived in Missoula for 13 years and enjoys camping, hiking, and spending time with her family.

 

 

staff--Dave

 

Dave Gentry, B.S., is MonTECH’s Assistive Technology Resource Coordinator and has been with MonTECH since March, 2014.  He manages the shipping and receiving of MonTECH items. He is also an expert in the use of low-vision equipment and regularly demonstrates that equipment.  Dave has a Bachelor of Science in Social Science from Frostburg State University in Maryland. He has had a long career in human services, working with the Housing Authority, WORD, Summit Independent Living, and in the Senior and Long-term Care Division for the state of Montana.  Dave likes working with people with disabilities, playing a part in improving their quality of life. In his off-time, Dave is a classic-car enthusiast. His favorite completed project is a beautiful ‘57 Chevy two-door, hardtop Bel Air, which he rebuilt using parts from 15 different cars.  Dave also enjoys live music and traveling the globe.

 

 

staff--ShawnaShawna Hanson, B.A., is the Media Outreach Coordinator for MonTECH and for the Montana Family to Family Health Information Center. With degrees in journalism and English, and seven years working in academic publishing, she is pleased to promote MonTECH and the F2F through presentations, print, and social media.  Her unorthodox career path has permitted her to work with people facing a wide range of both physical and mental-health challenges. She is also the mother of an adult son who is autistic and nonspeaking. His use of an iPad to communicate has been life changing and powerful personal evidence of the difference assistive tech can make. Her experience, both at home and in the workplace, makes her an enthusiastic supporter of MonTECH.  When not writing or talking about MonTECH, Shawna is engaged in the daily struggle not to be outwitted or outplayed by her sons.

 

 

 

Close-up of Wisam, dressed in jacket and tie standing in front of lush shrubs and palms.Wisam Raheem, B.Sc., joined MonTECH’s team as our Accessibility and Media Design Specialist in January 2020. He has a bachelor’s degree in Applied Laser Physics and a Higher Diploma in Computer Science from the University of Technology, Baghdad. Wisam troubleshoots tech issues, assists with more complex demos, and repairs tech as problems surface. He also employs his considerable talent in design to create professional and accessible publications for MonTECH and other Rural Institute programs.  He values the challenge of learning how new assistive devices work and being employed in a field that allows him to help others. Outside of MonTECH, Wisam is enjoys cooking, baking, and handcrafting.

 

 

 

Maddy stands smiling outside MonTECH's door. MonTECH's logo is on the door. Maddy is wearing a mask so you can only see her eyes.Maddy Musson joined MonTECH in January 2020. She is our Program Coordinator, the friendly face that greets you when you walk in the door of our Missoula office. With a background in customer service and administrative support, she takes on the wide range of organizational tasks that can slow down any office. MonTECH was fortunate Maddy joined the team when she did; with the introduction of COVID-19 to our state, Maddy has taken on a leadership role in managing the cleaning protocols necessary to keep our team and consumers safe.  Maddy grew up on the Montana Hi-Line. While she finds walks along the river or hikes in the mountains nice, she most enjoys a satisfying book, a good cup of tea and a comfy couch.

 

 

 

Woman smiling, wearing hiking gear and posing with pine trees and a mountain peak behind her.Dr. Julie Williams (she/her), Ph.D., joined MonTECH in March 2021 as a Media Information Specialist, doing outreach in Eastern Montana for the Montana Assistive Technology Loan Program. She earned a Ph.D. in English from the University of New Mexico, where she continues to work part-time in the Department of Film and Digital Arts. An educator and activist at heart, she has taught at universities in Montana, New Mexico, and California, and worked with programs for disabled veterans, substance recovery programs, and mutual aid groups bringing health care to uninsured and homeless populations. She served on the Government Relations Advisory Committee for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society from 2018-2020, doing research and lobbying members of Congress to enact paid family leave, expand Medicare, and include people with disabilities in disaster planning efforts. She grew up in Eastern Montana where she developed a lifelong passion for flying, and hopes to finish her certification for a private pilot’s license soon.

 

 

Young blonde woman stands on rocky outcrop with breathtaking mountains in background.

 

Madi Kelly, B.S., officially joined the MonTECH team in August 2021. She wrapped up her undergraduate studies at the University of Montana in Spring 2022 with a B.S. in Exercise Science. She has an extensive background working with adults and children with disabilities, propelling her to pursue a career in Occupational Therapy. Madi is currently an Assistive Technology Ambassador for MonTECH, specializing in assistive technologies for memory support, aging in place, home health, social interaction, and smart home support.  Outside of the office, you will find Madi cuddling her kitty, spending time on the water, or hiking throughout beautiful Montana.

 

 

 

 

Blonde woman smiles while leaning against a farm truck, a green field with farm machinery behind her.Kendra Joyce, OTR/L, is a Montana native, raised in the small town of Geraldine, MT. After rodeoing and obtaining her bachelor’s degree at Montana State University, Kendra was eager to begin her path toward a career helping others help themselves. Kendra received her Doctorate in Occupational Therapy from Rocky Mountain College in 2021 and is now a professor for the program teaching rural, agricultural, mental health, and policy content. She is also the Founder/Executive Director of the Cutting Fences Foundation. Through the foundation she hosts the Cutting Fences Podcast, where she interviews individuals in agriculture who have continued to farm and ranch despite disability or injury. She is very passionate about advocating for how occupational therapy and assistive technology/adaptive equipment can help to improve independence, function, mental wellness, and quality of life and is excited about her role with MonTECH as an Assistive Technology Ambassador.

 

Olivia King joined the MonTECH team in May 2022. She has taken on the role of anYoung woman with red streaks in her hair, glasses, and a straw hat smiles in front of a blooming lilac bush. Assistive Technology Assistant, providing support to MonTECH’s team members and consumers, while learning the ins-and-outs of assistive equipment prior to her professional endeavors. Olivia strongly believes that everyone deserves affordable access to the tools and resources that enhance their independence and quality of life. She is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Psychology at the University of Montana, and intends to pursue a career in Occupational Therapy. Outside of MonTECH, Olivia is an avid gardener and enjoys kayaking, mountain biking, and reading mystery novels.