We can make a brighter and better future, together.
Friends of MTCARES
Initiative 187 and its earlier versions has been endorsed and aided by Montanans from many different backgrounds and from all across the state. We offer our deepest thanks to all those extraordinary people who believe change is possible and have taken action to make it happen.
Rev. John & Donna Soderberg
Past Directors | Bozeman
Donna Soderberg is a mother to three and grandmother to five. She was raised in Miles City. Retired, her employment included medical technologist with a mid-life career change to mental health therapist. From a lifetime of love for her family and her clients of all ages, she is committed to caring for future generations.
John Soderberg was a United Methodist pastor and both a hospital, and a business-industrial chaplain. Raised in Glendive, he served churches in Roundup, Grass Range and Winnett, in Fort Benton and Carter, Bozeman and Billings. He understands the importance of caring for creation from a ranching, farming, and urban perspective.
n her local school board. Her 5 grandsons are the lights of her life and a strong motivation for her working for a livable planet.
Past Director | Billings
An Oldenburg Franciscan Sister since 1963, Marya Grathwohl lived for over thirty years in African American, Crow and Northern Cheyenne communities. While serving on her congregation’s leadership team, she initiated the revitalization of her community’s farm in Indiana, integrating natural farming methods with vegetable gardens, chickens, and heritage breed cattle.
As founding director of Earth Hope, she was consultant for a women’s center in Northern Cheyenne country. There, Marya developed wind and solar energy, ground-source heating and cooling, a greenhouse, and native prairie restoration.
Earth Hope provides a popular class for use in jails and prisons in California, New York, and Missouri where participants study the 14 billion year story of the Universe. Through story, science, art, and guided imagery inmates discover their profound connection with all creation and other people. This helps them to develop appropriate self-esteem and to learn to make positive choices.
Marya also offers retreats, workshops, and lectures that enliven peoples’ heartfelt connection with the whole Earth community and nourish their commitment to care for our common home.
Signature Gatherer | Helena
John Hoffland has a long-abiding interest in the natural world as well as social and economic justice. He received a Masters degree in environmental studies from the University of Montana in 1991. While in Missoula, he worked as the coordinator of the Landbird Monitoring Project for UM and the US Forest Service. The project looked primarily at the effects of human management activities on avian populations over the northern Rockies.
Upon moving to Helena in 1999, John served as the produce manager of the Real Food Market. In addition to the joys of working with fresh fruits and veggies, he also gained an appreciation for the hard work of local organic producers and a greater understanding of the reliance of agriculture on the natural environment, including climate.
After eight years at the state as a Medicaid program officer, John is currently semi-retired (sort of), working half-time for the local Area Agency on Aging. He looks forward to continued support of the 80% by 2034 Initiative; and hopefully he’ll get in plenty of cross-country skiing this winter – let it snow!
Past Treasurer | Luther
Pam Ellis is a retired educator who taught at an International school in Surabaya on the US land of Java before retiring to the coast of Bali for four years. She is an active volunteer who served on the Billings School Board. Pam and her husband Robert now live and play in Billings and Red Lodge. Her picture includes the view from the living room window of her new Luther home. Pam’s service as treasurer was a boon to renewable energy!
PAST Director | GREAT FALLS
Amy Rapp completed her Masters of Environmental Policy Management with a concentration in Energy and Sustainability from the University of Denver in November 2017. She’s eager to engage in areas that tackle 21st century sustainability, wind, water, and energy management, climate change mitigation, grid security and more.
Amy is a Montana Ambassador, a member of the State of Montana Banking Board and is involved in civic activities that encourage voter participation and youth engagement. She also has a variety of legislative interests including a recent proposal to initiate an aluminum can deposit refund program in the state of Montana to encourage waste diversion and increase recycling.
Amy’s career has been primarily in the financial service sector. She started her career on Wall Street as a stockbroker and engaged in many facets of personal financial planning over the years. In 2004, she joined Western Corporate Federal Credit Union (WesCorp), a $35 billion corporate credit union (CU). Amy realized success as a CU industry national brand by teaching critical bottom line affecting solutions for small and mid sized CUs serving low to modest means persons. Liquidity management and other regulatory compliant balance sheet management programs were the key competencies. In 2012, WesCorp succumbed to billions of dollars of loss in mortgage-backed securities as many financial institutions did.
After WesCorp’s closure, Amy took her 20 plus years of financial services, business development and marketing experience and founded VirtualCorps.com®. It aggregated expertise across the CU space to offer balance sheet, compliance, board of director and other critical bottom line affecting solutions to CUs nationally. She also commenced working on her masters.
She has a wealth of experience in many areas of educational program development, public speaking, webinar producing and hosting, and specialized experience in international cooperative development to include work in Africa. Her workshops and webinars have helped hundreds of CU executives. Members of regulatory agencies such as the CA Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) and the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) have also participated and benefitted as well.
Join our team!
Together we can make a better future for our state, the people who live here, and the world. There are a dozen ways to help and something everyone can do.