Heidi’s life experiences as a sixth-generation non-Indigenous Montanan led her to pursue a life of creating positive change in individuals and institutions. Heidi is alumni of the University of Montana, where she was honored in 2010 with the Native American Studies Distinguished Alumni Award. Heidi has served as EmpowerMT’s Executive Director since 2013 and is a certified Diversity and Inclusion leader through Cornell University. A skilled facilitator, consultant, and educator Heidi has a 20-year history of building strategic partnerships regionally and nationally to foster innovation, elevate leadership, and inspire action in the areas of racial equity, diversity, access, inclusion, and coalition building. Heidi serves on the Board of Trustees for the PacificSource Foundation for Health Improvement and other social justice-focused coalitions, advisory boards, & committees.
Brooke has over 40 years of business leadership, skill-building, facilitation, and team-building experience. They earned their BSW, with honors, from the University of Montana, with an emphasis on communication, multicultural counseling, neuropsychology, and forgiveness and reconciliation. They are a Certified Mediator, Family Law Mediator, and Conflict Coach. They are also a SHRM Senior Certified Professional. Brooke finds great joy in meeting people where they are and finding ways to empower them to move themselves where they want to go. Brooke loves to hike, snowshoe, rockhound, play music and watch people and plants grow.
In addition to her role as Operations Director Brooke also provides external partners with:
Business Aumen and Human Resource Consultations especially around sensitive and difficult situations.
Workplace, Family Law, and Organization to Organization, Mediation and Conflict Solutions services.
Skill Buildings, Team Buildings, and Leadership Coaching and Support
Facilitation of retreats, strategic planning sessions and town halls
Rajiem Seabrook is the Director of Equity and Impact at EmpowerMT, a statewide nonprofit with a mission to create a just and inclusive society. Mr. Seabrook is an educational and institutional leader in shaping and promoting equity and diversity-based policies, partnerships, and strategic initiatives that foster inclusive businesses, schools, and communities across Montana. Rajiem is a long-standing member of the community and passionately engaged in athletics, academics, social justice, and political reform. Rajiem is one of several co-founders of the Montana Black Collective-Missoula, and serves on the MCPS IVALUE Leadership Team and the MLK Jr. Community Celebration Committee. Mr. Seabrook’s devotion as a father, coach, mentor, community leader, connector, and organizer fuels his commitment to creating a better world for future generations.
Jess joined the EmpowerMT team in April 2023. Prior to EmpowerMT, she served as the GUTS! Program Coordinator at YWCA Missoula, and has an extensive background working with youth stretching all the way back to her teen years coaching soccer. She is continually inspired by young people, as they are the closest to understanding the challenges of today’s world and bring forward the most creative and clever solutions. She feels privileged to be in spaces learning from them, and supporting them to create positive change. Jess holds an associate’s degree in Psychology, a bachelor’s in Parks, Tourism, and Recreation Management, and is currently pursuing a master’s in Social Work at the University of Montana. She also is a certified yoga instructor and loves sharing the historical and philosophical roots of the practice with others as a healing modality. The intersections of Jess’s lived experiences, cultural identity, and continuing studies is what fuels her life-long passion of creating connection and community.
Mike brings 10 years of experience in working to strengthen the Missoula community. He is a University of Montana graduate with a background in social work, counseling, youth development, education and technical writing. Much of Mike’s career has been dedicated to youth development work with a focus on adolescent mental health. Passion for serving and strengthening the Missoula community, developing youth leadership, and advocating for those who are underrepresented lead Mike to EmpowerMT. Mike has worked for several local non-profit organizations, The Department of Health and Human Services, and Missoula County Public Schools. Outside of his work in the community, Mike has a passion for high school sports, loves to travel with his wife Britney, attend concerts and recreate in the beautiful Montana wilderness. In addition to his role as Director of Transformational Growth, Mike continues to mentor and develop youth in Missoula by serving as an assistant high school football and track & field coach.
My name’s Samantha Veneski, and I received my Bachelor’s Degree in International Political Science and Sociology, as well as a minor in American Sign Language and French at Flagler College in Saint Augustine FL. Born in the Bronx and raised in the Hudson Valley, I’ve experienced an array of different cultures but none as community-oriented as Missoula. Growing up as a first-generation college student, college and the world of academia was not an easy transition. Throughout high school and college, I’ve devoted myself to my passion to help people and connect with people in an honest way that sometimes can be lost in translation. Whether it be music workshops in children’s homes, volunteering with Big Brothers, Big Sisters, helping others who were born bilingual and are also struggling with English, or simply volunteering with eldercare. After serving as EmpowerMT’s AmeriCorps VISTA from July 2020-July 2021 I was accepted to the Law School at the University of Montana. My goal in law school is to continue fighting for social justice and helping to give a voice and a fighting chance for those who don’t have it. While I attend law school I’m continuing to work at EmpowerMT as their Social Media Manager, using my creative talents and my previous VISTA work to keep EmpowerMT’s social media timely, equitable, and engaging.
We are looking for talented and passionate students to join our team! If you are interested please let us know!