Meet the people behind the work
Each of our board members is committed to finding solutions that balance the diverse and changing needs of the Gallatin Watershed.
Jeff Rupp served as the President and Chief Executive Officer for the Human Resource Development Council of District IX (HRDC) for 35 years. He remains in service to HRDC’s mission as a Senior Advisor to their Board of Directors and CEO. Under his leadership, the organization developed Montana’s first community land trusts in Bozeman and Livingston. His vision and commitment to public transit resulted in the Streamline bus service, which now provides over 300,000 fare-free rides annually to employees, students, seniors and visitors.
Mr. Rupp served as a Bozeman City Commissioner and on numerous local, state, and national boards in the areas of community development, housing, poverty, workforce development, and conservation, including Montana Board of Housing, Bozeman Historic Preservation Board, Gallatin Valley Land Trust, and Montana Conservation Corps as a founder.
He currently serves on the Capitol Opportunities, Inc. Board of Directors, advancing the quality of in home health services across the state, and the Community First Fund of Montana Board of Directors, working to bring Montanans the good things in life.
Jeff resides in Bozeman with his wife, Eileen Carpenter. They have 4 adult children.
Patrick Byorth joined the Montana Water Program at Trout Unlimited as a staff attorney in August 2009 and became Director of Montana Water in 2013. His work at Trout Unlimited focuses on restoration of instream flows and habitats to benefit native and wild fishes through community-based efforts.
Mr. Byorth spent nearly 17 years as a fisheries biologist with Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks working to restore Arctic Grayling, Yellowstone and Westslope Cutthroat trout in their native waters. As a fisheries biologist managing the renowned wild trout fisheries of the Madison and Gallatin river basins he watched over mountain lakes, reservoirs, and streams large and small and during a building boom became involved in permitting and land use planning issues.
Mr. Byorth shifted gears in 2006, turning his focus to water law, instream flow restoration, and water policy reform, earning a J.D. at UM School of Law in 2009. He earned a B.A. in biology and chemistry from Carroll College and an M.S. in fish and wildlife management from Montana State University. Pat served as President of the Montana Chapter of the American Fisheries Society and was recognized as the Chapter’s Fisheries Professional of the Year in 2006. He was the founding Chairman of Montana Aquatic Resources Services, Inc., an aquatic mitigation company innovating new strategies for restoring Montana’s streams, lakes and wetlands. He continues to serve on MARS’ executive committee. Pat served as Vice Chair of the Greater Gallatin Water Council and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Four Corners Foundation. In 2019, Pat was appointed by Governor Bullock to the Fish and Wildlife Commission, representing southwestern Montana.
Pat earned his deep respect for Montana’s wild treasures through a lifetime of fishing, hunting and anything else outdoors. He continues these pursuits with his wife, Susan, and his two sons, Teagan and Connor, who each share his passion for wildlife, watersheds and wild places.
Wendy Weaver is a licensed professional civil engineer with over 20 years in land development, water, wastewater infrastructure, and water resource design. She is a member of the Montana State University (MSU) Civil Engineering Advisory Committee and serves as a Professional Mentor for MSU Engineers Without Borders, working to bring clean water and sanitation to elementary schools in rural Kenya. She has worked as a consultant with the Northern Plains Resource Council and with the Stillwater Mine on their Good Neighbor Agreement, which was developed between the community and the mine to protect the area’s quality of life, agriculture, land, and water.
Wendy’s work and life reflect her strong beliefs in protecting valuable water resources and promoting landscape resiliency. Born and raised in Missoula, she is a true Montana girl at heart. A loving and involved mother of two, gardner, endurance trail runner, and avid page 6 chick, she can more often-than-not be found on or near water.
Paul Shennum began his distinguished career with Lockheed Aircraft in 1958 where he tested structural aircraft components. He moved on to the Boeing Company in 1960. His 37 years at Boeing were comprised of work related to the Air Force military such as the Minuteman III ICBM, AWACS, Projects of the Air Force Strategic Air Command, military aircraft, and developing the Airborne Laser Combat 747. During his career at Boeing, he rose to the position of Vice-president of the $3.5 billion Airborne Laser program.
While at Boeing, Dr. Shennum led a team of three Boeing senior managers for the Executive Service Corp in developing strategic plans for non-profit companies that serve homeless families and individuals in the Seattle area. As a result of this work, he was asked to be on the board of directors for First Avenue Service Center and the Compass Center. After implementation, he stepped aside and served as an advisor.
After moving to Bozeman, Dr. Shennum was invited to be a guest lecturer at Montana State University. Attendance at his seminars on corporate life after graduation was often in the hundreds. In 2002, he became one of the founding members of the Four Corners Foundation.
Dr. Shennum holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, Aeronautical Sequence from the University of Southern California and a PH.D., Aeronautics and Astronautics, from the University of Washington.
George Metcalfe is a social entrepreneur who has engaged in change and development endeavors for more than 40 years in some 50 countries and 15 developing nations and economies in Eastern Europe and Africa. He’s worked on similar projects in the United States but the bulk of his work has been accomplished overseas. Says Mr. Metcalfe, “ I am a Montanan by birth. My early years as a boy in Montana, in Butte where I was raised, gave me a background and drive to see and understand the world I did not yet know existed.”
Since retiring to Bozeman, Mr. Metcalfe has done extensive work with Engineers Without Borders and is a founding member of the Four Corners Foundation.
Kerri Strasheim has been employed with the Department of Natural Resources (DNRC) Bozeman office since 2005. Starting in the adjudication program. In February of 2008 she began training to move into the new appropriations program and in August of that year she was promoted to the position of manager. Prior to DNRC, she worked for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) investigating New Zealand Mud Snails and performing lab work with relation to fish health.
Ms. Strasheim received her BS in Earth Sciences from MSU-Bozeman with an emphasis in geohydrology and a microbiology option. She also completed her MS in Earth Sciences from MSU-Bozeman, studying septic system influence on water quality in surface water and ground water.
Kerri was born and raised on an irrigated farm in Terry, Montana, where she learned to appreciate water use and availability starting in childhood. Her hobbies include fishing, birding, CrossFit, volunteering (ARC and GAL/CASA), and volleyball.
“We must begin thinking like a river if we are to leave a legacy of beauty and life for future generations.”