Board and Staff

The Montana State Parks Foundation was incorporated August 2015. We’ll be expanding our board to provide more depth and regional expertise in the near future.

Coby Gierke

Coby Gierke

Executive Director

Missoula, Montana

Four generations of descendants before Coby have found balance working and living with the incredible landscapes that make Montana the "Last Best Place". A western Montana transplant from the wide open spaces near Miles City and Glendive, Coby brings years of innovative public lands conservation experience gained through work with four National Parks, the U.S. Forest Service, the Montana Conservation Corps, and several conservation non-profit organizations to his role with the Montana State Parks Foundation.

As a strong proponent of partnership and cooperation amongst land management agencies, local businesses, and community-backed groups, Coby is working to achieve the shared potential of Montana's State Parks and communities.

As a graduate of Portland State University, Coby has spent his entire young adult life as a professional and personal advocate of public lands and wide open spaces. You can find him on his raft, snowboard or mountain bike all across Montana often with his wife and young-at-heart pup in tow.

Alex Tyson

Alex Tyson

Board Member

Billings, Montana

As the Executive Director of Visit Billings, Alex deeply appreciates and understands the significance of tourism in southeast Montana and the impact parks have on the Billings’ economy.  In fact, parks are literally in her blood.  Born in Yosemite National Park, Alex also lived in other national parks including Crater Lake and Yellowstone.  One of her first jobs was scooping ice cream for visitors at the old Hamilton Store in Mammoth Hot Springs.

Prior to her work with Visit Billings and the Billings Chamber of Commerce, Alex anchored and produced "Montana This Morning" for CBS affiliate KTVQ.  A 24-year resident of Billings, she is a graduate of MSU-Billings and has served as past president of the MSU Billings Alumni Advisory Board, as a board member of the Billings Education Foundation, MetraPark Advisory Board and Big Sky State Games along with state tourism associations including Voices of Montana Tourism.  For 24 years, Alex has proudly called Billings her home with her husband Calvin and their two children.

Brent Campbell Photo

Brent Campbell

Board Member

Missoula, Montana

Brent has more than 30 years of experience in business leadership, project management, engineering, community planning, and infrastructure finance. As the CEO of WGM Group, he has extensive experience in management, finance, strategy, and entrepreneurship. He currently serves on several economic development boards, which provides him with experience and expertise in finance, workforce development, and new business startups. He is also an owner and investor in several small established or start-up companies.

Diane Conradi

Diane Conradi

Board Chair

Whitefish, Montana

Diane's law practice focuses on real estate, business, water, and environmental law. She uses her wide-ranging skills to guide individuals and businesses through the complexities of residential, commercial and conservation real estate transactions. A founder of Whitefish Legacy Partners, Diane's vision helped this nonprofit conserve over 2,000 acres of public and private land and build over 30 miles of recreational trails on the outskirts of Whitefish. This $14 million, 10-year project has resulted in an internationally recognized mountain bike trail system and thousands of acres of land to roam only a few short miles from town.

Terry Hanson

Terry Hanson

Board Member

Miles City, Montana

Terry was born and raised in Miles City, MT.  He briefly attended Miles Community College, North Dakota State University before enlisting in then US Navy.  After his naval service, he earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Montana and a law degree from the University of South Dakota.  He began his professional career with a short stint as legal service attorney in eastern Montana, followed by Head Counsel for the Montana Public Service Commission in the early 70s while the Colstrip power plant was still in development. He was a Deputy County Attorney fir Flathead County for about a year before establishing a private practice in Miles City which he has operated for over 40 years.  Terry is a former member of Board of Directors of Montana Trial Lawyers for 10 years and a 45 year member of Northern Plains Resource Council.  Terry loves spending time outdoors, particularly with the oars of his raft in hand while navigating white water stretches of river in the northwestern US.

Lee Gault

Lee Gault

Board Member

Bozeman, Montana

Lee’s love of the outdoors began at the age of six when his family took a cross-country camping trip to attend the World’s Fair in Seattle. He began is outdoor career leading wilderness therapy trips with delinquent youth in New Mexico. He spent 10 years as an instructor, course director and program director with the Colorado and North Carolina Outward Bound Schools between stints as a classroom teacher and counselor. For the past 23 years he worked for the Montana Conservation Corps as Regional Director and Director of Programs and Partnerships fulfilling his passion for providing conservation service experiences for youth and young adults. Lee lives in Bozeman with his wife and daughter.

Tom Kerr Photo

TOm kerr

Board Member

Missoula, Montana

Tom has worked in the financial services industry for over 25 years.  Currently he is a Senior Investment Specialist at WestPac Wealth Partners in Missoula, MT. Prior to that he was Chief Investment Officer and Director of Research of SGL Investment Advisors. He was also a Portfolio Manager and Equity Analyst for a $4 billion investment firm in Los Angeles, CA.   There he was the co-manager of the Smallcap Value strategy and RCB Smallcap Value Mutual Fund as well an Equity Analyst covering consumer products, business services, retail and media industries.   At RCB he was instrumental in developing an innovative and original research process and investment philosophy for the firm.  Prior to that he was a financial analyst at a large international bank as well as at one of the world’s largest corporations.   Mr. Kerr has also been a contributing writer to TheStreet.com and RagingBull.com.  Mr. Kerr is a CFA charterholder and obtained a B.B.A in Finance from Texas Tech University.  He serves on the board of CASA of Missoula and is also a member of the Montana Snowbowl Ski Patrol.

Chris Smith

Chris Smith

Board Member

Helena, Montana

Chris, originally from Pittsburg, PA, made his way west as soon as he could to begin a long career in public lands and wildlife management from Alaska to Montana.  Chris has over 34 years experience in planning, management, research, supervision and administration of resource conservation programs throughout Alaska and Montana.  He has extensive involvement with the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and inter-agency teams. Chris has specialized training and experience in wildlife policy and law, public involvement, conflict resolution, personnel management, and strategic planning.  Chris served as Deputy Director for the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks for 11years. Prior to working in Montana, Chris worked for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. In his 23 years working for Alaska, he rose from Fisheries Technician to Assistant Director of the Division of Wildlife Conservation. Chris holds a B.S. Degree in Wildlife Management from the University of Alaska and a M.S. Degree in Wildlife Biology from the University of British Columbia.

Charles Besancon

Charles Besancon

Board Member

Missoula, Montana

Charles Besancon is a recreation planning, policy and finance specialist.  He has held staff positions in these and other international organizations including as the Head of the Protected Areas Programme at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Center and Coordinator of the LifeWeb Initiative at the Secretariat for the Convention on Biological Diversity. He has lived on 3 continents and has worked and travelled in more than 65 countries mostly helping developing country governments with the increasingly technical and demanding requirements of managing and funding their protected areas systems.  Prior to this international work, he was a wilderness ranger for the US Forest Service and with the Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center developed Wilderness.net for the US Forest Service, Park Service, BLM and Fish and Wildlife Service.   He currently lives in Missoula Montana and works as a free-lance consultant. The focus of his current work is to provide training and facilitation services for visitor use management planning and the development of strategic plans and protected area management plans internationally but also closer to home in the USA and Montana.

Brock Schimbeno

Brock Schimbeno

Board Member

Bozeman, Montana

Before founding Blackmore Group, LLC, Schimbeno attended Montana State University-Bozeman and the University of Montana in Missoula, MT. Schimbeno formed Blackmore Group, LLC and began working full-time following his graduation in May 2015.

The experience Schimbeno gained while working for two startup companies has been invaluable and integral for his success in starting Blackmore Group, LLC. Schimbeno’s familiarity with the challenges of starting a new business has proved valuable as he conveys his knowledge and experience to the growth of the Foundation.

Schimbeno’s passion for helping his customers is match by his desire to protect and improve Montana’s State Parks. When he’s not busy running Blackmore Group, Brock and his family enjoy mountain biking, hiking, and exploring Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park.

Eric Siegfried

Eric Siegfried

Board Member

Missoula, Montana

Eric Siegfried is the Founder of onX, the first land data company of its kind designed to provide comprehensive maps to hunters, fishermen, and anyone else who recreates outside.