Anna-Margaret Goldman, M.A., Ph.D., recently joined the Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities as the Director of MonTECH. Anna-Margaret graduated from Miami University of Ohio in Organizational Communication. Following college, she served as an AmeriCorps VISTA and continued her work as a Youth Development Coordinator for The Flagship Program in Missoula, Montana. Anna-Margaret received her Master’s degree and her Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration at The University of Alabama. During this time, she worked for the International Journal of Researcher Development and with the Center of Sustainable Service and Volunteerism to help run a school-based mentoring program. She is excited to bring her background in developing educational programs and trainings, partnering with community organizations, and grant writing/management to the assistive technology community. She enjoys hiking, running, skiing, and spending time with her husband and dog in her free time.
Julianna Whittaker, B.A., is the new Assistive Technology Specialist for MonTECH. She grew up in the Pacific Northwest, where she graduated from Oregon State University with a BA in Speech Communication, and a minor in Women’s Studies. She completed two years of AmeriCorps in Sonoma County, CA, working with CalSERVES, an after-school program. She is always open to an adventure, so she told her husband he could pick the next place they lived. That’s how they ended up in Montana! She most recently worked for the Montana Telecommunications Access Program (MTAP) for the state of Montana, where she discovered her love of AT and helping people meet their goals. She loves cooking, spending time with family and friends, traveling, and enjoys getting outside to explore as much as she can with her husband and toddler son.
Claire Adam, DPT, joined the Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities in November, 2016, as the Clinical Coordinator for the Montana Adaptive Equipment Program (MAEP). Claire is originally from Seattle and has a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the University of Washington. As a physical therapist, Claire has worked primarily with pediatric clients in both school and outpatient settings in Washington, Idaho, and Montana. She is looking forward to using her experience as a physical therapist to help people find the best adaptive equipment to meet their needs. She is happy to be in Missoula and enjoys outdoor activities, especially hiking, backpacking, and cross-country skiing. She also enjoys swimming, yoga, reading, and going on adventures with her husband.
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.
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.
Scott Thomas, B.S., joined MonTECH in June, 2016, as the Social Media Coordinator. He assists MonTECH in multiple areas, including writing blog entries, assisting with social media management, and sharing his personal experiences with eye gaze technology and home environmental controls. Scott earned a degree in Business Finance from Montana State University. His previous work was as a sales executive for PayneWest Insurance. He lives with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), and uses an eye-operated computer for work and communication. He is passionate about helping others learn about and benefit from assistive technologies, as he has personally benefited. Scott has traveled extensively in the United States, Mexico, and Ireland. He enjoys time outdoors, reading, and spending time with his partner and dog.
Shawna Hanson, B.A., is the Media Outreach Coordinator for MonTECH. With degrees in journalism and English, and seven years working in academic publishing, she is pleased to promote MonTECH through presentations, print, and social media. Her unorthodox career path has permitted her to work with people facing a wide range of challenges: those working toward recovery after serious accidents or stroke, those who are aging, and people who are living with mental illness. As the mother of a son who is nonverbal with severe autism, she has experienced first-hand the powerful difference assistive technology can make in the life of a family. Her experience, both at home and in the workplace, makes her an enthusiastic supporter of MonTECH. When not thinking, writing, or talking about MonTECH, Shawna is engaged in the daily struggle not to be outwitted or outplayed by her teenaged sons. She is also an avid reader and dog-mom to her bulldog, Lu.
Bobby Dutreix, B.A., provides technical support to the MonTECH team. He checks in, maintains, and updates equipment. When new devices are purchased, Bobby learns the device and how it is used so that he can share the information with the MonTECH team and the consumers who access the MATP program. He also helps with day-to-day operations and customer service, providing expert feedback during demonstrations and evaluations involving high-tech equipment. If your visit to MonTECH involves computer use or computer access, there is a good chance Bobby will be involved. He is currently a senior at the University of Montana pursuing a degree in Management Information Systems. As a transplant to Montana from Texas, Bobby enjoys travelling, backpacking, hiking, and generally exploring all Montana has to offer.
Megan Smisek joined MonTECH in March of 2017 as a student worker for MonTECH’s new office in Billings. She will assist MonTECH with various projects in the Billings office and day-to-day operations. Megan is currently a graduate student in the Master of Occupational Therapy Program at the University of Mary in Billings, MT. Prior to moving to Montana, Megan earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Movement Science from Winona State University. Megan is originally from Minnesota, and is excited to be in Billings pursuing her degree and living in a new place! She enjoys spending time with family and friends at the cabin, water sports on the lake, and reading whenever time allows!