Board/YAC

Board of Directors

Christopher Coburn – President

Christopher has been involved with EmpowerMT since he was 17, and is excited to continue his involvement as a board member. Currently, Christopher works for Planned Parenthood of Montana as an Educator and Navigator. In this role, Christopher is responsible, among other things, for facilitating the peer-led sex-ed group, Teen Council, teaching components of healthy sexuality to students across the valley, advocating for the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion, and assisting individuals in enrolling in health insurance. One thing he is really excited about is launching a new, LGBTQ-inclusive sexual health curriculum next fall. Christopher is also currently working towards his Masters of Public Health degree at the University of Montana.

Kathy Witkowsky – Vice President

Kathy Witkowsky is an award-winning journalist whose stories have aired on National Public Radio and appeared in numerous national and regional magazines. In addition, she has written and directed two half-hour historical documentaries that have been broadcast on PBS television stations across the country, as well as a short documentary that followed one of her former figure skating students who was wrestling with domestic abuse. Kathy is also a yoga instructor and a singer in Way Cool Music, an eclectic acoustic cover band that plays around town. Prior to joining the EmpowerMT board, she served as board president of YWCA Missoula. She earned her B.A. in English Literature from Cornell University, and her M.F.A in Creative Writing from the University of Montana. Her life mission is to inspire and empower, which is why she is a proud and passionate supporter of EmpowerMT, which does the same.

Mark Heyka

Mark is the chief meteorologist for KECI-TV and NBC Montana and has lived in Missoula for almost 14 years. He received a B.A. in broadcast journalism from Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas and studied meteorology at the Universities of Kansas and Nebraska, receiving a Certificate in Meteorology from Mississippi State University. In 2002, he was awarded the Seal of Approval of the American Meteorological Society in recognition of the quality of my television weather broadcasts.

Mark joined the EmpowerMT Board because equality is a very important issue to him.  He says about why he joined the EmpowerMT board,  “I am openly gay and have experienced discrimination due to my sexual orientation.  One of my favorite books and movies is “To Kill A Mockingbird” where equality and discrimination take center stage.”

Kristina Lucero

Kristina Lucero is an enrolled member of the Tsyecum band, First Nations people from British Columbia. She grew up in Washington but graduated high school in Polson, Montana where she fell in love with the community, culture, and landscape. Kristina earned her BA in Political Science with a minor in Native American Studies, and then her Juris Doctorate – both from the University of Montana. Kristina is currently working for the State as a Public Defender; she also sits on the Youth Justice Council, the Court Improvement Advisory board, and maintains involvement with court mental health programs. Needless to say, EmpowerMT’s mission and goals resonate strongly with Kristina’s passions in both her personal and professional life.

Kristina is a proud mother of two teenage boys who continue to inspire her to lead-by-example and achieve a healthy and happy lifestyle for her family.

Eden Atwood

Eden Atwood, LCSW is passionately committed to social justice, the well-being of children, jazz and the much maligned ukulele. Eden works for St. Patrick Hospital as a licensed clinical social worker. Eden is also a jazz singer and recording artist and maintains a small studio where she teaches voice, piano and ukulele. Eden lives in Missoula with her son, Ben, and a small coterie of four-legged beasts.

Sepp Jannotta

Sepp is a journalist holding fast to the belief that our collective stories are lifeblood to a strong, dynamic human community, as well as to the idea that a compassionate telling of those stories, whether with words or photography, is among the most important work of our time. As a writer, photographer and activist, he seeks to help those who would advocate for social and environmental justice. Sepp has lived in Missoula for most of the 13 years he’s been in Montana, and is currently sharing his love of the region with his wife, two daughters and the family border collie.

Youth Advisory Council

Youth Advisory Council (YAC)

EmpowerMT is committed to developing youth leaders and values creating authentic representation of our constituencies at all levels of the organization. In order to achieve these objectives EmpowerMT established their Youth Advisory Council.   EmpowerMT youth programs participants, volunteers, and staff select outstanding youth from all of EmpowerMT’s programs with diverse backgrounds and experiences to create the perfect team each year.  The Youth Advisory Council is comprised of students from age 10-21 to ensure a diverse range expertise. The next EmpowerMT Youth Advisory Council is forming right now. If you would like to serve on this council email our youth program staff at youth@empowermt.org.