Staff

John Smillie, Executive Director
John is a graduate of Stanford University. He was an organizer and research coordinator for the Northern Plains Resource Council from 1979 to 1984, and has been campaign director for WORC since 1984. During that time he has been a trainer for WORC's Principles of Community Organizing sessions, writer and editor of many WORC publications, and lead staff for several regional and national campaigns on agricultural and natural resource issues. John coordinates the work of WORC’s regional organizers on issue campaigns, and is lead staff for the Oil and Gas Campaign Team.

Kevin Williams, Director of Organizing and Campaigns
Kevin is a graduate of the University of Idaho with a Master of Science Degree in Forest Resources. Kevin served previously as WORC's Director of Organizing, responsible for coordinating a multi-faceted training program for members and staff, and delivering a wide range of capacity building assistance to WORC’s member groups. Kevin has worked in the WORC network as community organizer, staff director and field organizer since 1984.

Patrick Sweeney, Senior Advisor
Pat served as WORC Executive Director from 1982 to 2014. He is a third-generation Montanan and a graduate of the University of Montana in history. He has been a community organizer on natural resource and family farm agriculture issues in the Great Plains and Rocky Mountain Region since 1972. He has served on numerous state and federal boards and commissions dealing with energy, mining, reclamation and water. In 1993 he received a Shalan Foundation award “for exemplary commitment, dedication and vision in the area of economic and social justice.” In 2010 along with his wife, Teresa Erickson, he received the Len and Sandy Sargent Stewardship Award from the Cinnabar Foundation. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Bus Federation Civic Fund - national youth voter engagement programs, and Executive Committee for the Power Past Coal and Western Coalfield Alliance Campaigns. He is a founder of Montana Conservation Voters, Montana Rural Voters and Montana Native Vote with campaign and field experience. As senior advisor, Pat focuses on special projects, civic engagement and voter participation programs, and fundraising.

Sara Kendall, DC Office Director
Sara is a graduate of Middlebury College with a B.A. in Environmental Studies. She has represented WORC in Washington, DC since 1994, monitoring Washington policy decisions that affect WORC’s members, activating our organizations and leaders, and leading issue campaigns. Sara has written and edited many WORC publications, including Uncertain Fortune, Law and Order in the Oil and Gas Fields, and Model Oil and Gas Laws, Regulations and Ordinances.

Anna Lucas, Political Director
Anna Lucas joined WORC as a lobbyist in the Washington DC office in 2008, and now is working in Billings with the Montana League of Rural Voters and Western Native Voice on voter registration, education, and mobilization. She is a graduate from the University of Maryland and prior to joining WORC, she served in Kenya with the U.S. Peace Corps.

Kevin Dowling, Communications Director
Kevin has been with WORC since 1995. He has served as WORC’s Development Director and is currently the Communications Director. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland, with a B.A. in Political Science. His experience includes work as a field organizer for a Congressional campaign, as a staff assistant in a Congressional office, and as Director of Northern Plains Resource Council's Montana Rural Electric Cooperative Project. He serves as chairman of the board of directors for Community Seven, a community access television station, and vice president of the Good Earth Market, a co-op grocery store for health food.

Kerri Nelson Wolenetz, Development Director
Kerri joined the WORC staff in May 2002 as a college research intern on food safety and GM crop issues. She stayed on staff after graduation as WORC’s Development Director and helps coordinate joint fundraising for the WORC network. Kerri also does layout and design of WORC's publications, and provides staff support on communications, technology and other administrative issues. Kerri is a graduate of Rocky Mountain College with a B.A. in English and Writing.

Eric Halsvedlt, Regional Technology Coordinator
Eric joined the WORC staff in November 2013. He’s a fourth-generation Montanan with a B.A. in International Commerce & Spanish from Montana State University, and a B.S. in Information Systems from MSU-Billings. Eric has worked in the information technology field since 2000 when he went to work for Microsoft, and has used his technological knowledge in Montana’s non-profit community since 2004.

Margie MacDonald, Regional Organizer
Eastern Montana native Margie MacDonald facilitates campaigns on coal exports. She returned to the resource council community after a 20-year hiatus during which she served as Executive Director of the Montana Association of Churches and the Montana Office of Community Service. She worked for the Northern Plains Resource Council for nine years, culminating her tenure there as staff director. Margie holds a bachelors of science in Journalism from the University of Montana, where she was recognized in 2001 as a Distinguished Alumni.

Liz Moran, Regional Organizer
Liz joined WORC in Billings in January 2013 as a Regional Organizer coordinating our agriculture and local food campaigns. Liz formerly organized healthcare workers with Service Employees International Union and has led field work for a variety of grassroots and electoral campaigns. She is an Illinois native and graduate of the University of Illinois Springfield in political studies.

Scott Skokos, Regional Organizer
Scott worked as an organizer and lobbyist for Dakota Resource Council from 2010-2014. Scott's areas of focus at DRC were Oil and Gas and Clean Energy. He holds a Bachelor's degree from Michigan State University in Social Relations and Policy and holds a Master's Degree from University of Denver Sturm College of Law in Natural Resources Law and Policy. Scott handles WORC's oil and gas campaign.

Dan Cohn, Associate Regional Organizer
Dan joined the WORC staff in June 2014 as an intern. His responsibilities included working on a report on coal mine reclamation in the West but evolved over the following seasons. He is currently filling Margie’s shoes during her term at the Montana Legislature. He is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

Eileen Hanchett, Comptroller
Eileen joined the WORC staff in April 1986. She is a graduate of the Billings Vo-Tech Center. As Comptroller, she handles audits, finances, tax, accounts receivable/payable, and payroll.

Marvel Karch, Office Administrator
Marvel has been with WORC since September 1995. Marvel graduated from May Technical College in 1993 and has a wide array of business and computer training. Since joining WORC she has incorporated new database programs, helps prepare the yearly organizational budget, coordinates regional trainings and meetings, files quarterly lobby reports, bulk mailings and general office management.

Breland Draper, Lead Organizer, Idaho Organization of Resource Councils
Breland started with WORC in April 2013. He has worked for several non-profits, with an emphasis in food security and sustainable agriculture. He is a third-generation Idahoan with roots in cattle ranching. He graduated with a B.A. in Environmental Studies from the College of Idaho in 2008 and is working on his Masters in Community and Regional Planning from Boise State University.

Doug Paddock, Field Organizer, Idaho Organization of Resource Councils
A graduate of Boise State University, Doug holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration with an emphasis in Environmental and Natural Resources Policy and a B.A. in History. Doug joined the staff in 2014. He was raised in the Wood River Valley of central Idaho.

Western Organization of Resource Councils
220 South 27th Street
Billings, MT 59101
406.252.9672
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