WLP Board of Directors

Whitefish Legacy Partners’ all-volunteer board is the backbone of our community-minded vision.

Mike Jopek, Chair

I have been actively working to permanently conserve thousands of acres of forestlands and watersheds surrounding town since 2002. I am past chairperson of the Whitefish City County Planning Board, past chairperson of the Whitefish Housing Authority, and a past state lawmaker representing the Whitefish area in Helena. I co-own Purple Frog Gardens, a small family farm on the eastern edge of Blanchard Lake, which has produced food in the Whitefish-area for the past 30 years. Most of my days are spent working or recreating outside. My favorite places include the kid’s learning pavilion at Lion Mountain and the quiet seclusion that Smith Lake offers local families. Off the farm, I am also a columnist for the Flathead Beacon.

Reid Sabin, Vice Chair

Originally from from Gig Harbor, Washington, I attended the University of Montana where I received a degree in Recreation Management. My soon to be wife and I moved to Whitefish in 1995 and knew immediately that it was home. Skiing, biking, abundant open space and friendly people made Whitefish the obvious place to live and raise a family. I am a landscaping and excavation contractor and owner of Greenscapes LLC. My wife Kirsten and kids Elise and Chase are so thankful for access to open spaces and trails surrounding Whitefish.

Julie Baldridge, Treasurer

I have served on the WLP Board of Directors since 2015. As a fourth generation Montanan and outdoor enthusiast, I have long been passionate about access to public land and all of the outdoor recreational opportunities that makes Whitefish a wonderful place to live and raise a family. I have been volunteering and supporting non-profits in the Flathead Valley for many years and currently serve as a board member on the North Valley Hospital Foundation and the University of Montana Foundation. I am a proud alumni of the University of Montana and the co-owner, along with my husband Summerfield, of Kootenai Resource Corporation. We have lived in Whitefish for 30 years, raising three daughters here.  When I’m not working or volunteering, I can usually be found hiking on the Whitefish Trail with my two dogs.

Somer Treat, Secretary

When I was born, my parents named me Somer for the street in Whitefish where my Great Grandma lived. I grew up in West Glacier and spent my childhood exploring the Flathead Valley, climbing mountains in Glacier, and skiing on Big Mountain. I built my forever home in almost exactly the same place I grew up, and I am one of those people who just knows I am never going to live anywhere else. After attending the University of Montana and earning my BFA in photography and design, I returned to Glacier where I worked as the park photographer and spent most of my free time running and exploring our public lands. For nearly the last decade, I have been designing and building custom homes in Whitefish with my partner in Old Montana Building Company. I feel extremely lucky to be able to use my creative talents and work in the community I love so much. I am passionate about recreation and still spend most of my free time running trails!

Diane Conradi, Ex Officio

I am an attorney focusing on real estate, business, water, and environmental law, but my specialty and my passion is creating, protecting and enhancing front-country outdoor recreation opportunities on public and private land. As a co-founder of Whitefish Legacy Partners, my vision and persistence has helped protect thousands of acres of important wildlife habitat and working forests all the while ensuring permanent public access on the Whitefish Trail.

Leslie Hunt

I moved to Whitefish in 1993 after graduating from the University of Massachusetts with a Bachelors of Science in Natural Resources. I have worked in the coffee industry for 30 years and currently enjoy working for Montana Coffee Traders. I have been a devoted volunteer of the Whitefish Trail project since inception and served on the initial ‘Trail Runs Through It’ Planning Committee in 2006. I have been on the WLP Board of Directors since 2014 and served as Board Chair from 2015-2018. My husband Will and I have enjoyed raising our two daughters in Whitefish where access to the outdoors is so close. We enjoy skiing, snowboarding, hiking, mountain biking, and walking our dogs, especially on the Whitefish Trail!

Marissa Keenan

I grew up in NW Montana, and after leaving for school and travel, the pull of clean water, lakes, and rivers and the mountains lured me home. In 2010, I started Sweet Peaks Ice Cream in Whitefish with my partner and have been expanding our ice cream concept to other locations across the state and reinvesting in Whitefish through additional businesses and visions. When I am not working, I can be found hiking up Big Mountain in all seasons, running trails (Lion Mountain Trailhead!), getting in every lake and river that I can find, encouraging my three kids to get outdoors in all seasons and traveling. I am honored to be involved in Whitefish Legacy Partners and thankful for the opportunity to contribute.

Michael Meador

I was raised in the forests of Oregon and came to love the mountains at a young age. After experiencing Montana on a cross country bicycle trip, I moved to Whitefish in 1998, lured by the endless miles of mountain single-track and the cold, white winters. I can think of no place I’d rather be, and my wife, my children and I are happy to call Whitefish home. I have been employed in the bicycle industry for over 30 years, love all things bike, and am currently a co-owner of Glacier Cyclery & Nordic. After many years of pedaling, traipsing, and meandering the trails around NW Montana, which have given me so much, I am happy to give something back by serving on the WLP board.

Becky Smith-Powell

After completing a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Montana in Missoula, I did survey work for the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) and became a certified alpine ski instructor. I then migrated to the Flathead Valley and worked as a seasonal recreation specialist for Flathead National Forest. During the summer seasons, I maintained campgrounds and constructed trails. After a few years, I became Recreation Program Manager of Lone Pine State Park. During my time working for the State, I returned to college and completed my Master’s Degree in Recreation Management from the School of Forestry at the U of M. I was then hired by the Flathead National Forest, and throughout my 29 year career, I specialized in campground management, trails, special use permits, winter sports administration, wilderness management, wildland fire assignments, cattle allotments, mines and lands special uses. Currently retired, I spend my time enjoying forest trails, skiing, golfing, water activities, biking and volunteering for PEO, a women’s educational organization, and Friends of the Flathead Avalanche Center.