Jason Smith - Founder, President and Principal Consultant
Throughout his career, Jason Smith has provided effective leadership as the chief executive officer for domestic human services organizations, executive vice president for a growing health system and its independent foundation, campaign manager and vice president for a public university’s largest-ever fundraising effort and as head of global corporate communications for the world’s largest international humanitarian organization. He’s also served in significant volunteer governance roles with leading organizations across multiple sectors.
Jason credits his professional success to a passion for serving those in need, building collaborative teams and fostering life-long relationships between donors, advocates and the causes that help communities thrive. On the more personal front, he attributes his “life success” to marrying up nearly thirty years ago, staying active with his 14 and 11 year old kids and taking full advantage of Bozeman, Montana’s amazing outdoor activities.
Emily Allison - Executive Counsel
Emily is a proven marketer and non-profit fundraising "generalist" who grew up in Bozeman, Montana. She graduated from Middlebury College in 2010 with a degree in Geography and Environmental Studies and shortly thereafter returned to Bozeman to coach cross country skiing for Bridger Ski Foundation. Emily then spent four consecutive summers leading backpacking trips for high school students in both the US and internationally.
In 2015, she jumped headfirst into the world of marketing and design when she was brought on as a Project Manager for a local design and marketing company. Emily first entered the development world in 2017 through her work with Bridgercare, the local nonprofit reproductive healthcare clinic in Bozeman. In addition to providing fundraising coaching services to Stillwater's clients, she is now Bridgercare's Development Director and absolutely loves her job! Emily is passionate about grassroots fundraising, and working with organizations and individuals to create communities where everyone has a chance to live the life they've always dreamed possible. She serves on the board of directors of the Forward Montana Foundation.
In her free time, Emily does all the classic Bozeman activities - downhill skiing, Nordic skiing, running, mountain biking, backpacking, breweries, and spending tons of time with her best friends and family!
Sam Barkley - Executive Counsel
Sam has spent the last 15 years at the intersection of strategic partnerships, marketing and philanthropy — working with Fortune 500 brands and iconic institutions, like NCAA universities and Yellowstone National Park. His passion lies in the belief that corporations can give much more than they take through building thoughtful ecosystems of strategic partnerships that feature all facets of a business — from CSR, climate and marketing to employee engagement and philanthropy.
Over the last 10 years he has led or been a part of teams that raised over $25 million dollars for forestry and conservation and designed corporate partnerships and cause marketing vehicles for nonprofits and universities that have raised nearly $7 million. His success is built on foundations of empathy, creativity and compassion with each partner, social challenge and person he engages. Filled with constant curiosity in our industry, Sam also writes a blog on the economics of philanthropy and corporate partnerships, called Outside Forces. He enjoys the Montana way of life, working from his home office in Missoula, MT with his wife and two daughters.
Faye Nelson - Executive Counsel
A seasoned non-profit executive, Faye has led national and local organizations in successful capital campaigns, new program development, strategic partnership implementation, and next-level fundraising. Throughout her 30 year career, she has effectively worked with staff, volunteers, boards, vendors and donors to execute the missions of a variety of organizations including those in the arts, higher education, conservation and social/human services.
The top strengths that Faye brings to organizational leadership are analytical thinking, keeping a cool head, and the determination to be purposeful. Working in the "third sector" allows Faye to connect her values with a contribution to society, and fulfill an on-going desire to learn and grow. Faye is a fourth-generation Montanan and is raising her three teenagers, along with her husband, across the street from the house in which she grew up. She loves being outdoors and playing tennis.
Emily Paris-Martin - Executive Counsel
Emily has been involved with local and national nonprofits since 2002. With a background in organizational development, governance, fundraising, marketing, and crisis communications, her aim at Stillwater Strategy Partners is to empower organizations to thrive and celebrate their impact.
For more than 20 years, Emily has been deeply rooted in Montana's performing arts scene as a musician and administrator. She held a variety of roles with the Bozeman Symphony culminating in the position of Executive Director. Among her successes at the Bozeman Symphony, Emily credits the organization's Music Director Search, charting a critical course during the COVID-19 pandemic, and doubling the organization's operating budget among her biggest accomplishments.
In addition to her work with Stillwater Strategy Partners, Emily provides communication coaching to business students at the Jake Jabs College of Business & Entrepreneurship at Montana State University.
Emily has degrees from Montana State University and the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, a certificate in Orchestra Management from the League of American Orchestras, Board Leadership and Development training from the MJ Murdock Charitable Trust, and is a recipient of Bozeman's "20 Under 40" award recognizing the best and brightest professionals in the Gallatin Valley. Emily spends her free time enjoying Montana's beautiful scenery and abundant recreational activities, traveling, and is grateful for her incredible support system, husband Charlie and two children, Iris and Ellis, for contributing to her success.
Joe Schumacher - Executive Counsel
After serving in the United States Army for ten years, including overseas tours in Korea and Iraq, Joe Schumacher returned to his hometown of Bozeman, Montana to utilize his VA education benefit. After graduating from Montana State University (MSU) with a degree in political science and international relations, Joe worked as the primary violence prevention educator for the VOICE Center.
For more than five years, Joe assisted other veterans in their transition from the military to the university as the director of Veteran Services at MSU. Since 2013, Joe has been involved with many non-profit organizations, including: Haven, Thrive, The Help Center, The Overwatch Project, and Warriors & Quiet Waters Foundation. He also serves on the board of directors for Hope & The Holidays. When not serving his community, Joe spends his time in the great Montana outdoors with his wife and 11-year-old daughter.
Karen Smith - Writer, Editor and Social Media Specialist
Karen has worked in the not-for profit sector for nearly three decades. With an extensive background in and love affair with classical ballet, she has one foot firmly in the arts and has worked with Montana Ballet Company for over ten years, currently as Programs Coordinator. As a long-time educator, Karen plays a vital role in supporting Stillwater's capacity building programs.
Her BA in English from Montana State University has served her well when teaching English in Japan, as Volunteer Coordinator for the Marin County Red Cross, and as a free-lance editor for the International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent (IFRC) across Europe and Asia Pacific. She brings her editorial eye to serve SSP's clients and oversees social media coordination to help shine a bright light on their amazing clients.
Michael Wainwright - Executive Counsel
With more than ten years of experience in the not-for-profit sector, Michael’s goal is to help great causes advance their mission by securing significant philanthropic support through strategic donor engagement. Michael’s experience includes major gift, capital, and endowment campaign management, direct fundraising for six- and seven-figure gifts, grant writing, corporate giving, and annual fund development.
Focusing much of his career on the arts and conservation, Michael currently serves as executive counsel with SSP and as a Senior Philanthropy Manager at American Prairie, an ambitious conservation effort seeking to establish a 3.5 million acre wildlife reserve on Montana’s Great Plains. Michael previously served as Development Director for Montana Shakespeare in the Parks and the Bozeman Symphony, and he has held numerous board and volunteer leadership roles with Bozeman-based nonprofits. His passion is connecting visionary philanthropists with bold nonprofits making tangible impact in their communities, the environment, and the world. Michael has lived in the Gallatin Valley since 2007, and outside of nonprofit work, he enjoys backpacking, cross-country skiing, writing and photography.
Lorca Hjortsberg - Client Experience Guru
Lorca Hjortsberg is a virtual assistant (VA) with 15+ years experience in administration and project management. She has worked alongside some of the top executives of the global toy industry, and over the years has been in charge of a range of responsibilities - from supporting in-house legal departments to organizing conferences, stateside and in Asia, to new product development.
Since then, Lorca has launched her VA business full time, where she leverages this experience, plus a love of organization, collaboration, and office skills to help entrepreneurs and small businesses like Stillwater Strategy Partners serve their clients and focus on their mission. She grew up in Montana and currently lives in Long Beach, California with her partner and their cat Molly.
Emerson and Allegra Smith - Support Crew
From the beginning, Stillwater Strategy Partners has been a family affair for the Smiths, driven by a shared desire to make the world around us just a little bit better every day. Emerson (15) provides IT, web, video production and social media support both for SSP and for its clients.
Allegra (11) brings her solid math skills to the team, making up for her dad's lack of ability in this lane. She also designed and manages SSP's hard copy filing system and helps to keep the home office bright, shiny, warm and welcoming.