Board of Directors

Phil Uihlein

Phil Uihlein

Board Chair

Phil was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and spent many summers in Montana’s Madison and Gallatin Valley’s, both working and with family.

 He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he also had the opportunity to play on the UW hockey team. After graduation, Phil worked at his family business from 1973 until retirement in 2010.

In the late 1970’s Phil served on the Board of Managers for the Schroeder YMCA and in the early 1990’s as a Trustee for the University School of Milwaukee respectively. 

Nearing the end of Phil’s business career, he purchased property in the Madison Valley and moved to Montana full time in 2010. He enjoys working with horses and taking long rides in the mountains. In 2019, Phil will mark six years as a volunteer in key roles with the organization. He is the current NAB Chair and has been a member of the NAB since 2015.

Tim Richmond

Tim Richmond

Vice Chair

Tim Richmond is Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer for AbbVie Inc. a global, research and development-based biopharmaceutical company committed to developing innovative advanced therapies for some of the world’s most complex and critical conditions. Previously, Tim held various human resources management positions at Abbott Laboratories and 3M Company. Tim is pleased to combine his love of fly fishing and deep respect for veterans by serving on the WQW board, which he joined in 2017. He is also a member of the board of the Travis Manion Foundation, whose mission is to empower veterans and families of fallen heroes to develop character in future generations. At AbbVie, Tim is the executive chair of the Veterans Employee Resource Group, formed to leverage AbbVie’s veterans to increase the company’s remarkable impact. He and his wife Heather live in north suburban Chicago with their three children.

Chris Oliver

Chris Oliver

Treasurer

Chris Oliver is a former Major in the Marine Corps and a graduate of the United States Naval Academy. He was designated as a Naval Aviator flying the CH-53e Super Stallion helicopter and served three tours in Iraq accumulating nearly 1000 combat hours. Chris returned to flight school as an instructor pilot before leaving active duty after twelve years of service. He joined a reserve unit and was later reactivated and deployed to Okinawa as part of the reconstitution of the UDP. He currently serves as the principal of a private holding company, where he actively invests and mentors as an Angel in start-up companies, as well as partners and invests in various other commercial real estate and business ventures. He resides in Austin, TX, and Big Sky, MT. Chris has volunteered as a Companion on both Fishing and Skiing Experiences and now serves on both the Warriors and Quiet Waters’ National Advisory Board and Board of Directors.

Aaron Demro

Aaron Demro

Secretary

Aaron is a Solutions Director at commonFont, a boutique professional services consultancy that provides Customer Experience (CX) technology solutions. Aaron is a veteran of active duty service from the U.S. Army, where he served as an Infantry Officer. In five years of active duty service, his assignments included positions in Airborne Infantry Units and the 75th Ranger Regiment. Aaron and his wife relocated to Montana after departing Active Duty Service in the fall of 2016. He enjoys all types of fishing, cross country skiing, and running. Aaron joined the board in late 2017 and is excited to give back to other veterans and contribute to the organization.

Tom Stiffler

Tom Stiffler

Immediate Past Chair

Tom is a United States Marine from the Viet Nam Era. After leaving the Marine Corps he met and married Pat, his wife of 52 years. They have two sons and two grandsons. After completing his undergraduate and graduate work, Tom was employed by two multi-national companies spending most of career as the head of the administrative group which included real estate, human resources, labor relations, purchasing and security. He has been a volunteer with Warriors & Quiet Waters for 8 years serving as a Volunteer Companion, Assistant Team Leader and Team Leader. He enjoys watching and assisting our current generation of warriors learn about fly-fishing and incorporating the Warriors and Quiet Waters experience into their lives.

Jim Collins, Col, USMC (Ret.)

Jim Collins, Col, USMC (Ret.)

Jim Collins, Colonel, USMC (retired) served for 34 years in a career spanning the ranks from Private to Colonel. Initially a reconnaissance team leader in Viet Nam he subsequently became a Naval Aviator and fighter pilot flying F-4 Phantoms and F/A-18 Hornets. He commanded a squadron during Desert Storm and a Marine Aircraft Group before retiring in 2002. His wife Cherie is a retired USN Commander and Intelligence Officer. Their son Matt is currently a USN Reserve Seabee. After retirement from the Corps, Jim consulted for Booz Allen Hamilton and was a Professor with the University of San Diego School of Business graduate program. Jim has been fly fishing since he was 8 and was privileged to have been invited to the Slough Creek FX in 2013. He’s remained engaged as a volunteer companion and a FX leader for the last two years.  In 2018 he was joined by his wife Cherie as a volunteer “Mom” and son Matt as a volunteer “Companion” on the same FX.

General James T. Conway

General James T. Conway

General James T. Conway retired from active duty in 2010 after serving our nation for 40 years. Since then, he has joined and consulted for numerous corporate and non-profit boards, including Textron Inc., Colt Defense and General Dynamics. He also co-chairs the Energy Security Leadership Council (Securing America’s Future Energy), a non-partisan energy policy think tank.

Prior to his retirement, General Conway served as the 34th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps for four years. As Commandant, he served as the senior uniformed Marine responsible for the organization, training, and equipping of over 250,000 active duty, reserve, and civilian Marines throughout the United States and overseas, as well as the management of the $30-$40 billion annual Marine Corps budget.

As a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Conway functioned as a military advisor to the Secretary of Defense, the National Security Council, and the President.

Among his numerous leadership positions, General Conway served as Commanding General of 1st Marine Division, and he was the commander of I Marine Expeditionary Force during two combat tours in Iraq. He initially led the invasion of Iraq in 2003 with 90,000 troops under his command, including Marines, soldiers, sailors, and British forces.

General Conway is married to the former Annette Drury of Ste Genevieve, MO. They have three children and seven grandchildren.

Eugen Graf, IV

Eugen Graf, IV

Eugene Graf is a native to Bozeman and comes from a long tradition of community involvement. He owns E.G. Construction, building homes and developing communities in Bozeman. Eugene Learned to fly fish from his father and uncle (both veterans) at a very early age. Montana is home and enjoys sharing the mountain, lakes, and streams with everyone, including his wife and two children. He has organized national fundraising efforts for various causes and supported various veteran causes. Before WQW, Eugene Graduated from Montana State University where he competed in Track and Field for the Bobcats, has served on several local government committees and is a previous board member of Eagle Mount. Eugene has been honored to be named Builder of the year for Southwest Montana 3 times as well as the Montana Builder of the year.

Jim McCray

Jim McCray

Jim McCray is the Chief Executive Officer of Highwood Capital, LLC, with extensive experience and knowledge in National Fundraising/Development. McCray has advised numerous U.S. Senators, Governors, presidential campaigns, national coalitions, nonprofits and corporations in the business and political arenas, including The PGA Tour, the National Eisenhower Memorial, and the Battle of the Bulge Memorial.

Hailing originally from a cattle ranch in Geyser, Montana, McCray attended Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana, where he obtained his Bachelors of Arts in Political Science with a minor in Communications, with Highest Honors. While at MSU, Jim served as MSU’s Student body President and the President of the Montana Associated Students – along with founding the MSU Leadership Institute – an institute dedicated to helping students develop leadership, management and communication skills to effectively enable them to succeed in their personal and professional endeavors. McCray attended Vanderbilt University School of Law, in Nashville, Tennessee, graduating with his Doctor of Jurisprudence in May, 2000. While at Vanderbilt, McCray served as Managing Editor for and was published in the VANDERBILT LAW REVIEW.

McCray recently served as the Chairman of St. Vincent Hospital’s Foundation Board, a Trustee of Vanderbilt University Law School’s National Advisory Board and presently serves on the Museum of the Rockies Board of Trustees.

Peter Nalen

Peter Nalen

Peter is a marketer, entrepreneur, and new business development expert. He founded and led Compass Healthcare Marketers for 13 years, after holding marketing positions with companies such as P&G, J&J and Burton Snowboards.

Currently, Peter manages Peak Advisory, providing startups, small businesses, and entrepreneurs critical positioning, marketing and new business development management expertise. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Montana State University, teaching classes in Entrepreneurship, Marketing, and Management, at Jake Jabs College of Business & Entrepreneurship and Literature in The Honors College. In addition, he is a venture coach and mentor at the MSU Blackstone Launchpad as well as other entrepreneur groups in the area. He is Chair of the David A. Nalen Foundation, performing member of the Bozeman Symphonic Choir, and performs musically as Slate Hudson.

He holds a BA in American Literature and Marine Biology from Middlebury College and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management in Marketing, Policy, and Management.

Gregory Putnam

Gregory Putnam

Gregory recently transitioned to the private sector after nine years of active duty service as a U.S. Navy SEAL.  His service to our nation includes multiple military qualifications and overseas deployments.  Greg is the Business Manager at Ascent Vision in Bozeman, a company specializing in precision technologies for the manned and unmanned aerospace industry.  Greg continues to be an avid fly fisherman and prior to his military service worked as a guide in Idaho and Montana.  He is excited to call Montana home and spend time outside and on the water with his wife and three children.  Greg joined the board in 2017 and looks forward to contributing to the continued success of the organization.

Ali Ramirez, PT, DPT

Ali Ramirez, PT, DPT

Ali is a physical therapist at Root Therapy and Wellness and a Bozeman native, enlisting in the Navy after High School. Prior to her current position, Ali served 20-years in a variety of assignments including the U.S. Navy as a Russian Intelligence Analyst and the U.S. State Department serving as a Diplomat at multiple Embassies around the globe. Ali is also a yoga and apparatus pilates instructor, triathlete, and ultra-marathoner and left her government career in 2011 to obtain a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. After serving half her former career overseas, Ali is excited to be home and giving back to her community. Ali holds a DPT from Dominican College and an MA and BA from Middlebury Institute of International Studies.

Sandy Stash

Sandy Stash

Sandra (Sandy) Stash has over 35 years of international executive and non-executive board experience. Her professional career spans top leadership positions in general management, ESG, major projects, commercial negotiations, engineering and operations, supply chain management, HSE and external affairs in both the energy and hard rock mining industries.

Sandy serves in an advisory capacity and as a director for several not-for-profits and privately-held, community firms. She is an Independent Advisor at EDF Energy Thermal Generation Limited Board, providing oversight of EDF ‘s thermal generation in the UK. She serves on the Board of First Montana Bank, a privately-held, community bank in the US, serving on the Audit Committee. Sandy is also a Director for the Colorado School of Mines.

A petroleum engineer by training, Sandy was one of the first women to work as a drilling engineer at locations across North America. During the 1990s and early 2000s, she held P&L responsibility for the closure and resolution of legacy liabilities for ARCO’s – and then BP’s – discontinued businesses across North America. In 2003, she became VP HSE for TNK-BP, the then second-largest oil and gas producer in Russia. In 2006, as VP for Regulatory Affairs, Compliance and Ethics for BP Alaska, Sandy provided oversight and direction to BP’s response to the largest oil spill in Alaska since the Exxon Valdez. In 2008 she joined Talisman Energy in Calgary as Group Vice President of HSSE and Operational Integrity. Sandy joined Tullow Oil in 2013 and was EVP – Safety, Operations and Engineering and External Affairs based in London and working across Africa until retiring April 1, 2020, from that role.

Dr. Kath Williams

Dr. Kath Williams

Dr. Kath Williams has a diverse background in sustainability and high-performance building standards—from sustainability master plans for development and infrastructure, new/renovation construction projects, to operations and maintenance plans and policies.

Since founding Kath Williams + Associates in Bozeman in 1999, she has worked on 137 sustainable building projects around the world, including three National Guard Training Centers in Montana. Twelve of her projects earned LEED-Platinum, the highest level of certification.

During her tenure as Assistant to the Vice President of Research at Montana State University (MSU), Kath came to work in green buildings, served as Vice Chair of the U.S. Green Building Council for six years, and was elected President of World Green Building Council for three terms. Kath was honored to be named as the first Fulbright Senior Specialist in Sustainability.

Kath is a graduate of Montana State University (Ed.D. in Adult Education), The Ohio State University (MA as a Kiplinger Public Affairs Reporting Fellow), and Ohio University (BS in Journalism).  She has completed post-graduate work at Stanford University and worked with the Stanford Program on Regions of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SPRIE) at the Hoover Institute.

Kath gave six years of service on the Board of Trustees for the Museum of the Rockies with two of those years as president. She is married to Dale Williams, owner of Williams Gallery, Inc., a Vietnam-era US Air Force veteran. They raised their two sons in Bozeman.

Jonmichael Weaver (Boardroom Bobcat)

Jonmichael Weaver (Boardroom Bobcat)

WQW’s Boardroom Bobcat for 2021/22 is Jonmichael Weaver. He is a mechanical engineer with a background in product development and technical training for specialized emergency response missions. He has worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory before taking a graduate research position at Montana State University to create lightweight and resilient armor packages. He joined WQW to blend his heart for veterans and service to the community that has blessed his family in Montana for the past five generations. Outside of research, you can find Jonmichael roasting coffee, baking bread, and out exploring the mountains.

Founders

Eric Hastings, Col, USMC (Ret.)

Eric Hastings, Col, USMC (Ret.)

Col Hastings is a Bozeman native who graduated from Bozeman Senior High School. Although he was offered a full scholarship for music to Missoula, he turned it down, knowing that the only place he truly wanted to go was Montana State College (now MSU). At the encouragement of his father, Hastings enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1960 at the age of 17. He wanted to be an aviator and knew that the Marine Corps was the connection he needed. Hastings graduated in 1964 with a degree in history, philosophy and English, also earning his officer’s commission and marrying his high school sweetheart in the same year. Subsequently, Hastings attended every level of military school imaginable and earned two masters degree along the way.

After attending the necessary military schools, Hastings moved to Hawaii where he learned to fly the F-8 Crusader, an airplane he “fell in love with.” He then learned to fly the A-4 Skyhawk, which he flew for the majority of his career, including the 168 combat missions he flew in Vietnam. After his tour in Vietnam, Hastings was sent to several places around the world, eventually reaching the rank of colonel. Remarkably, Hastings was the chief of staff for Marine forces during Operation Desert Storm, in 1990-91.

Volney Steele

Volney Steele

Volney W. Steele, M.D. (December 23, 1922 – December 23, 2015) was born in Decantur, Arkansas. Exposed to medicine at an early age by his father, Volney enrolled in the Navy V-1 program after high school and earned his degree in medicine in 1945. He then received an internship at the U.S. Naval Hospital in St. Albans, New York. As a navy Lieutenant, he served on a U.S. Navy destroyer in Turkey, Greece and the Adriatic region at the close of World War II.

Volney also was recalled during the Korean Conflict where he served at Great Lakes Naval Hospital near Chicago. Upon honorable discharge from the Navy in 1948, he completed residencies in both pathology and general surgery at University of Arkansas. After his second term with the Navy, he practiced general medicine in Meeker, Colorado. Volney then completed residencies in surgical pathology at Gorgas Hospital in the Panama Canal Zone, and at the Sloan Kettering Cancer Center at Memorial Hospital in New York City. In 1956, Volney became the assistant professor of pathology at the University of Arkansas Medical School and received board certification in surgical pathology.

In January 1959, he arrived in Bozeman with his wife and four small children. He never looked back. Volney put all his resources into the first medical pathology lab in Bozeman, staffed by himself, one lab tech and one secretary; the origins of what would become Physicians Laboratory Service at Bozeman Deaconess Hospital. Volney retired from medicine in 1986 after practicing for more than forty years. He went on to publish historical articles and books. Volney’s commitment to wounded servicemen and women led to his involvement in the formation of Warriors & Quiet Waters.

Founding Board Members

  • John Baden
  • Jim Borowski
  • Ed Brandt
  • Ted Campbell
  • Elyse End
  • Mark Fogelsong
  • Bob Frey
  • Tom Fulton
  • Eric Hastings
  • Eric “Rico” Jones
  • Bob Julian
  • Dave Kumlien
  • Bud Lily
  • Steve McGrath
  • Cliff Myers
  • Tom O’Connor
  • Ryan Olson
  • Dave Shepard
  • Volney Steele
  • Mike Stoner

National Advisory Board

Ryan Becker

Ryan Becker

Triple Divide Brokerage – Melvin Park
Missoula, Montana and Portland, Oregon

Ryan was born and raised in Portland, Oregon, and spent summers with his family on Flathead Lake in Montana. Since graduating from Montana State with a degree in Finance, he worked as the Vice President of Development for Missoula-based Caras Real Estate, which syndicated commercial assets in Western Montana. Ryan now owns a commercial brokerage that serves Montana and works for a family real estate office out of Portland. 

He is an avid flyer-fisher that spends his spare time chasing trout and steelhead at his family’s cabin on the Lower Deschutes. Helping post 9/11 combat veterans in their journey home while pairing his passion for flyfishing is why WQW stood out to him. Ryan is excited to help contribute and expand the outreach for Warriors and Quiet Waters. 

Greg Ellis

Greg Ellis

Principal & President, Precision Distribution Consulting, Inc.
York, Pennsylvania

PDC is an independent distribution consulting firm with offices in NC, PA, OH, AZ, CO.  Greg possesses 28 years of distribution and consulting experience.  He has had responsibility for the coordination, execution and management of network, manufacturing, and distribution center design projects.  This includes strategic planning, location and operations analysis, facility sizing, material handling design, best practice assessment, shop floor management and client training efforts.  He has successfully executed projects in 17 countries including the United States, Canada, Guatemala, Russia, Germany, Poland, Italy, France, Ukraine, Egypt, Romania, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Saudi Arabia and Jordan.    ​

Greg also co-authored a national warehouse initiative that details the design, operations, staffing, and productivity improvement for the United States network of 300+ warehouse facilities.  ​

Greg received his B.A. from Marietta College.  ​In addition to serving on the National Advisory Board of Warriors and Quiet Waters, he also serves on the board of the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA), International Society of Beverage Technologists (ISBT), and International Warehouse Logistics Association (IWLA) and is a contributing editor to Beverage World Magazine and Modern Material Handling Magazine.  He has published numerous articles and speaks frequently before trade organizations.

Aaron Flint

Aaron Flint

Montana Talks – Statewide Radio Talk Show
Billings, Montana

Aaron Flint is the host of Montana’s leading statewide radio talk show “Montana Talks”- airing on 1450 KMMS AM radio from 6-10am.

Aaron is currently a Major in the US Army Reserves. He first deployed overseas as an Infantry platoon leader in Ramadi, Iraq in 2005 and 2006. Later, he served on an embedded training team based in Combat Outpost Wilderness Afghanistan. Additional tours include deployments to the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa, combined with training exercises in the US and Korea.  

Aside from serving in Iraq and Afghanistan with the military, he also spent over two decades working in Montana politics and broadcasting. This included a stint as the State Director for Ryan Zinke’s Congressional offices in Montana, and as communications director for the gubernatorial campaign of now-Governor Greg Gianforte. His work in radio and tv broadcasting has been featured nationally by Fox Business, The Drudge Report, Huffington Post, Politico, and others.

Aaron is a life member of the VFW, a member of the American Legion, and an associate life member of the Big Sky Chapter of the Special Forces Association.  

Ann Marie Fox

Ann Marie Fox

VP Corporate Accounts, CBI South Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Ann has lived in South Florida for many years.  She joined CBI South Florida, the premier interior solutions provider in the Southeast in 2013 as Vice President of Corporate Accounts. In this role, she is responsible for leading market growth for CBI in the South Florida region and providing management support for the Miami and Fort Lauderdale locations. Ann began her career as an interior designer in Fort Lauderdale and has over 27 years of experience in the design and contract furniture industry.

When not working, Ann can be found volunteering. She has been a member of the Board of Directors for the Richard J. Fox Foundation for 27 years. The Fox Foundation is one of the largest free prostate cancer screening programs in the United States. Under Ann’s leadership, the Foundation has added patient advocacy and has also started raising funds to support pancreatic cancer. Leadership Broward honored Ann and the Richard J. Fox Foundation as one of Broward County’s outstanding leaders.  She also serves on the Riverwalk of Fort Lauderdale, whose mission is “to be the catalyst in building and nurturing Riverwalk as a vibrant community connected by the New River”. 

Ann Marie was introduced to the NAB by Julie and Bob Huebner.

Eric Hastings, Col, USMC (Ret.)

Eric Hastings, Col, USMC (Ret.)

Col Hastings is a Bozeman native who graduated from Bozeman Senior High School. Although he was offered a full scholarship for music to Missoula, he turned it down, knowing that the only place he truly wanted to go was Montana State College (now MSU). At the encouragement of his father, Hastings enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1960 at the age of 17. He wanted to be an aviator and knew that the Marine Corps was the connection he needed. Hastings graduated in 1964 with a degree in history, philosophy and English, also earning his officer’s commission and marrying his high school sweetheart in the same year. Subsequently, Hastings attended every level of military school imaginable and earned two masters degree along the way.

After attending the necessary military schools, Hastings moved to Hawaii where he learned to fly the F-8 Crusader, an airplane he “fell in love with.” He then learned to fly the A-4 Skyhawk, which he flew for the majority of his career, including the 168 combat missions he flew in Vietnam. After his tour in Vietnam, Hastings was sent to several places around the world, eventually reaching the rank of colonel. Remarkably, Hastings was the chief of staff for Marine forces during Operation Desert Storm, in 1990-91.

Bob & Julie Huebner

Bob & Julie Huebner

Retired
Okeechobee, Florida

Bob and Julie have a passion for service. Bob served in Vietnam from 1965-66 as a U.S. Army JAG Capitan with the 1st Air Cavalry Division. He has been giving back to Veterans since 1967 and has practiced law for 50 years, representing clients before state and local governments in Land Use and Governmental law. Bob was an attorney for Parkland, Florida, and the Fort Lauderdale Downtown Development Authority. He served as Assistant State Attorney, trying capital cases. As an NFL agent, he represented 1st round draft picks. Bob also served as the Chair of the Broward County Commission, The South Florida Regional Planning Council, The Broward Economic Council.

Julie has fulfilled roles including and not limited to the Founder and President of the Museum of Discovery & Science, was President of the Junior League of Fort Lauderdale, was appointed by the Florida Governor to the Judicial Nominating Committee, served as Vice President of Broward Arts Council and United Way, and served on the Board of Trustees for Rocky Mountain College and the National Advisory Board of Museum of the Rockies. 

Bob and Julie are passionate about how the NAB can leverage their networks to increase awareness and funds for WQW around the country. They now spend much of their time in Okeechobee, FL.

James McCain

James McCain

Board Member, Anheuser Busch Arizona & Hensley Beverage Co.
Phoenix, Arizona

James McCain served with the United States Marine Corps and is a veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan. He received his BA in History from Arizona State, His MA from Trinity College Dublin and is currently working on his doctorate back at Arizona State. He is a board member for Anheuser Busch Arizona and Hensley Beverage Co. Most of James’s time is spent working with Veteran charities battling the mental health epidemic that is plighting our veterans today.

Jim McCray

Jim McCray

Jim McCray is the Chief Executive Officer of Highwood Capital, LLC, with extensive experience and knowledge in National Fundraising/Development. McCray has advised numerous U.S. Senators, Governors, presidential campaigns, national coalitions, nonprofits and corporations in the business and political arenas, including The PGA Tour, the National Eisenhower Memorial, and the Battle of the Bulge Memorial.

Hailing originally from a cattle ranch in Geyser, Montana, McCray attended Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana, where he obtained his Bachelors of Arts in Political Science with a minor in Communications, with Highest Honors. While at MSU, Jim served as MSU’s Student body President and the President of the Montana Associated Students – along with founding the MSU Leadership Institute – an institute dedicated to helping students develop leadership, management and communication skills to effectively enable them to succeed in their personal and professional endeavors. McCray attended Vanderbilt University School of Law, in Nashville, Tennessee, graduating with his Doctor of Jurisprudence in May, 2000. While at Vanderbilt, McCray served as Managing Editor for and was published in the VANDERBILT LAW REVIEW.

McCray recently served as the Chairman of St. Vincent Hospital’s Foundation Board, a Trustee of Vanderbilt University Law School’s National Advisory Board and presently serves on the Museum of the Rockies Board of Trustees.

Matt McKenna

Matt McKenna

Founder, The Messina Group
Bozeman, Montana

A native of Montana, Matt spent nearly a decade advising President Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, the Clinton family, and the Clinton Foundation. Deeply rooted in campaign politics and an expert in crisis, acquisitions and executive communications, Matt has advised a wide range of companies, philanthropies, and NGOs. Matt lives with his two dogs, Pablo and Dahli and is an avid mountain biker and road cyclist.

Heather Nauert

Heather Nauert

BGR Group, Advisor
New York City, New York

Heather Nauert joined BGR Group in January 2020 as a member of its advisory board. She brings to the firm decades of expertise in communications, public relations and international affairs.

Heather recently served at the U.S. Department of State as spokesperson from 2017 to 2019 and as acting under secretary for public diplomacy and public affairs from 2018 to 2019. In that dual role, she articulated U.S. foreign policy and coordinated public messaging for the department, its leadership, and nearly 300 U.S. embassies and consulates worldwide. She traveled extensively with the Secretary of State while helping to plan, execute, and oversee messaging on a number of top department initiatives, including the maximum pressure sanctions campaign on North Korea, and developing communications strategies to address China’s increased economic and military antagonism. She also led efforts to combat state-sponsored disinformation from Russia, China, and Iran.

Heather serves as an advisory board member at the Center for New American Security and as senior fellow at Hudson Institute. Her focus is on U.S. foreign policy. In 2020, she joined the American College of Financial Services as an advisory board member, assisting its veterans education program.
She is member of the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships, and in 2019, President Trump appointed her to the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

Prior to her role at State, Heather spent nearly 20 years as an anchor and reporter at Fox News and ABC News, where she covered many of the world’s most consequential stories.

Nauert was born in Rockford, Illinois, and spent much of her childhood in Wisconsin. She has an M.S. in Journalism from Columbia University and received her B.A. from Mount Vernon College. She lives with her husband and two children in New York.

Steve Newberry

Steve Newberry

Former CEO and Chairman of the Board at Lam Research Corporation
Livingston, Montana

Steve Newberry is a U.S. Naval Academy graduate who lives in the Paradise Valley of Montana where he operates, with his wife Shelley, a Red Angus seedstock and a stocker/backgrounder working cattle ranches. He has been chairman of the board of directors for Lam Research since November 2012. He joined the Company in August 1997 as executive vice president and chief operating officer and was promoted to the position of president and chief operating officer in July 1998. In June 2005, he was named president and chief executive officer, and in December 2010, he was named vice chairman of the board of directors and chief executive officer. In addition to serving as a director of Lam Research, he is a director of Splunk, Inc. He also serves as a member of the Dean’s Advisory Group, the University of California at Davis Graduate School of Management. Prior to joining Lam Research, Steve was group vice president of global operations and planning at Applied Materials, Inc. He served five years in naval aviation (anti-submarine warfare) prior to joining Applied Materials. Steve has a BS degree in Ocean Engineering and the Harvard Graduate School of Business Program for Management Development. Steve was introduced to the NAB by Joe Esparza. He joined in 2017.

Chris Oliver

Chris Oliver

Treasurer

Chris Oliver is a former Major in the Marine Corps and a graduate of the United States Naval Academy. He was designated as a Naval Aviator flying the CH-53e Super Stallion helicopter and served three tours in Iraq accumulating nearly 1000 combat hours. Chris returned to flight school as an instructor pilot before leaving active duty after twelve years of service. He joined a reserve unit and was later reactivated and deployed to Okinawa as part of the reconstitution of the UDP. He currently serves as the principal of a private holding company, where he actively invests and mentors as an Angel in start-up companies, as well as partners and invests in various other commercial real estate and business ventures. He resides in Austin, TX, and Big Sky, MT. Chris has volunteered as a Companion on both Fishing and Skiing Experiences and now serves on both the Warriors and Quiet Waters’ National Advisory Board and Board of Directors.

Ed Rutledge

Ed Rutledge

Principal, Urban Investment Research Corporation
Chicago, Illinois

Mr. Rutledge joined UIRC in 2008, after several years of sourcing capital for UIRC as a mortgage broker with Draper and Kramer. Prior to his time at Draper and Kramer, Mr. Rutledge was a manager at Charter Consulting, where he led management consulting assignments at organizations such as CNA Insurance, BNP Paribas and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.  Mr. Rutledge also spent three years in Amsterdam with ABN AMRO Asset Management, where he served alongside ABN AMRO’s Country Managers on the Global Business Development Committee.  Mr. Rutledge is a graduate of Miami University (Ohio).

AshLee Strong

AshLee Strong

Founder, Granite Peak Communications
Billings, Montana and Washington D.C.

AshLee Strong is the founder of Granite Peak Communications. She is a seasoned communications and policy professional who has spent a decade advising top officials in the U.S. Senate and House, as well as high profile campaigns, including a presidential race.

Most recently, Strong served as a senior adviser and chief spokesperson for U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. She crafted messaging strategies for several legislative initiatives, including historic tax reform and the rebuilding of the military.

Prior to the Speaker’s office, Strong was a top aide to Senate leadership, overseeing communications for Chairman John Thune and the Republican Conference, the public relations arm for all Senate Republicans. She was also a press aide on the influential Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.

In addition to her Capitol Hill experience, Strong served as national spokesperson for Governor Scott Walker’s presidential campaign.

She got her start in public service in the executive branch at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Strong was born, raised, and educated in Montana. She is an avid outdoorsman and can be found in the mountains backpacking, fly fishing, skiing, and running.

Phil Uihlein

Phil Uihlein

U-Line Corporation, Retired
Bozeman, Montana and Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Phil was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He spent many summers in Montana’s Madison and Gallatin Valleys, both working and with family.

He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he also had the opportunity to play on the UW hockey team. After graduation, Phil worked at his family business from 1973 until retirement in 2010. 

In the late 1970’s Phil served on the Board of Managers for the Schroeder YMCA and in the early 1990’s as a Trustee for the University School of Milwaukee respectively.  He is currently a Trustee of the Broadview Opportunity Fund.

Nearing the end of Phil’s business career he purchased property in the Madison Valley and moved to Montana full time in 2010. He enjoys working with horses and taking long rides in the mountains. Phil enjoys volunteering on Fishing Experiences, having fulfilled the roles of companion, driver, assistant team leader, and team leader since 2014. He has been with the NAB since 2015 where he now serves as chair.

James Ulmer

James Ulmer

Davidson, Saskatchewan and Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Jim is originally from Imperial, Saskatchewan, Canada and now splits his time between Davidson, Saskatchewan and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He spent 25 years as a lawyer and farmer in Saskatchewan. To facilitate these endeavors, he flew his own aircraft to save time during his extensive travels. Jim moved to Florida in 1996 on a TN 90 as a technical expert. After 9/11, he became a US citizen and is currently a resident of Florida.

Jim has served as Officer and Director of Wells Land & Cattle Company and Arm Rivers Farms Company in Canada. He was Chairman of the Board of the Las Olas Company and President of T.E. Wells & Co. in the USA. He has served as Director of The Lillian S. Wells Foundation for the past 20 years. He also serves as President and Director of P. A. Wells & Co. and as a Director of the Rush Creek Land & Cattle Company.

Jim has been married to his wife Marilyn for 51 years. They have three children and four grandchildren. Jim has devoted his life in Canada and the United States trying to leave things better than he found them. He is humbled by the opportunity to give positive energy and time to WQW.

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Warriors and Quiet Waters

351 Evergreen Drive, Suite A Bozeman, MT 59715

406.585.9793
info@wqwf.org