Montana Free Press is an independent, 501(c)(3) nonprofit source for Montana news, information, and analysis.
Our mission is to produce in-depth public-service journalism that creates positive change and helps move society toward justice and equity.
MTFP seeks to uncover the truth and bring to light essential news stories by studying arcane bureaucratic processes, seeking out dark corners of major institutions, digging deep into data and documents, and holding power accountable to the people.
We work independently and in collaboration with other news outlets to produce meaningful news stories that have an impact on the lives and livelihoods of local communities.
John S. Adams
Executive Director / Editor-in-Chief
Montana Free Press was founded by veteran award-winning investigative and political reporter John S. Adams. John was formerly the Capital Bureau Chief of the Great Falls Tribune and a correspondent for USA TODAY. John is known as a dogged investigator whose unbiased reporting has changed the shape of Montana politics. Contact John at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter.
Brad edited the Missoula Independent 2002-2007 and 2016-2018. He also did two stints as managing editor of the Texas Observer. His book “Opportunity, Montana: Big Copper, Bad Water, and the Burial of an American Landscape” was published by Beacon Press. Contact Brad at email@example.com. There’s no good reason to follow him on Twitter.
Eric Dietrich a journalist and data designer and the founder of the Long Streets economic reporting project. He has worked for the Great Falls Tribune, Bozeman Daily Chronicle, and Solutions Journalism Network. Contact Eric at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter.
MTFP Local Editor
Nick Ehli is a graduate of the University of Montana School of Journalism and has worked for Montana newspapers for more than 30 years, including a 14-year stint as editor of the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. He was the founding editor-in-chief of Montana Quarterly magazine and currently teaches in the Honors College at Montana State University. Contact Nick at email@example.com.
digital production editor
Stephanie Farmer serves as the Digital Production Editor for Montana Free Press. Previously, she had a brief stint in Washington, D.C. where she worked in the Office of Legislative and Public Affairs at the National Science Foundation. When she’s not at the office you can find her in the mountains with her husband and their dog. Contact Stephanie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Billings native Amanda Eggert is a graduate of the University of Montana School of Journalism who has written for Outside magazine and Outlaw Partners. At Outlaw Partners she led coverage for the biweekly newspaper Explore Big Sky. Contact Amanda at email@example.com.
Raised in Arizona, Arren is no stranger to the issues impacting Western states, having a keen interest in the politics of land, transportation and housing. Prior to moving to Montana, Arren was a statehouse reporter for the Arizona Capitol Times and covered agricultural and trade policy for Politico in Washington, D.C. In Montana, he has carved out a niche in shoe-leather heavy muckraking based on public documents and deep sourcing that keeps elected officials uncomfortable and the public better informed. Contact Arren at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alex Sakariassen has spent the past decade writing long-form narrative stories that spotlight the people, the politics, and the wilds of Montana. A North Dakota native, Sakariassen splits his free time between Missoula’s ski slopes and the quiet trout water of the Rocky Mountain Front. Contact Alex by email at email@example.com.
Silvers returns to her home state from producing Slate’s daily news podcast What Next. Before that she worked as a producer and reporter in the WNYC/Gothamist newsroom at New York Public Radio. Her work has been featured on NPR, The United States of Anxiety, The Takeaway, Nancy, and Montana Public Radio. Contact Mara at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter.
Director of Partnerships and Advancement
Kristin Cordingley is the Director of Partnerships and Advancement at Montana Free Press. Prior to joining MTFP, Kristin was the Program Director at Montana Conservation Voters and spent a decade in Washington, DC, working for Dropbox, Apple, and on the Hill for U.S. Senator Max Baucus and the Senate Finance Committee. Contact Kristin at email@example.com.
Membership and Events Manager
Overholt supports MTFP’s audience engagement work as the Membership and Events Manager. Originally from Colorado, her time in eastern Montana has included work in childhood literacy as an AmeriCorps volunteer, Tribal natural resources field work, environmental education, and, most recently, fundraising and events coordination for Northern Plains Resource Council. Claire is based in Billings where she can be found on a bike ride, at the library, or grabbing a beer with friends. Contact Claire at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sarah Penix is the Development Manager at Montana Free Press. Prior to joining MTFP, Sarah worked as a manager on the development team at the Poverello Center in Missoula and served as an Americorps VISTA at Montana Farm to School. She enjoys hiking, reading mystery novels and volunteering. Contact Sarah at email@example.com.
Director of Audience Engagement
Nate Schoenfelder is an accomplished marketing and communications specialist serving Montana Free Press as Director of Audience Engagement. Prior to joining MTFP, Nate served on the leadership team of software solutions company Pingman Tools as Marketing and Communications Manager. An Idaho native, Nate brings his decade of professional experience to Montana in support of growing MTFP’s readership, recognition, and reach. Contact Nate at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kristin Tessman is the Deputy Director at Montana Free Press. Before joining MTFP, Kristin was the Executive Director of AJAY MT and brings with her fundraising, program development and nonprofit management experience. Kristin was born and raised in the southeast and earned her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Georgia. In 2015 she moved to Montana with her husband and two daughters. Contact Kristin at email@example.com.
Justin Franz is a writer, photographer and editor based in the Flathead Valley. Originally from Maine, he is a graduate of the University of Montana’s School of Journalism and worked for the Flathead Beacon for nine years before becoming associate editor of Railfan & Railroad Magazine in 2020. His work has appeared in the Washington Post, Seattle Times and New York Times. Find him at justinfranz.com or follow him on Twitter.
Johnathan Hettinger is based in Livingston. Originally from Central Illinois and a graduate of the University of Illinois, he has worked at the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting, the Livingston Enterprise and the (Champaign-Urbana) News-Gazette. Contact Johnathan at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter.
Emily Stifler Wolfe
An independent writer based in Bozeman, Emily Stifler Wolfe has reported hundreds of stories for publications including Esquire, Outside, Powder, and National Geographic Adventure. She was the founding editor of Explore Big Sky newspaper and Mountain Outlaw magazine, and before that, a professional ski patroller at Moonlight Basin. She has two young children and a spotted donkey named Jack. Find her at emilystiflerwolfe.com.
No shouting. No name calling. Just award-winning local journalism for Montanans by Montanans.
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Montana Free Press Board
Chuck Johnson, Board President — Chuck spent more than 45 years as a reporter in Montana, covering the 1972 Montana Constitutional Convention for the Associated Press and then working as a statehouse reporter in Helena for the Great Falls Tribune, Lee Newspapers and the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Johnson also worked for years as an analyst for Montana Public Radio covering the Legislature and state politics.
Mark Huber, Board Treasurer — Mark grew up in Kalispell, graduated from Northwestern University and received a master’s degree with majors from John Hopkins University in International Economics, European Studies and American Foreign Policy. Mark’s career in banking began at Chase Manhattan where he moved from New York City to Hong Kong, spending 23 years with Chase and one year with Citibank before returning to Montana to serve as Market President for US Bank in Helena. Now in retirement, Mark splits his time between Helena and Portland where his wife, Christina, is a nurse practitioner. He has two grown children — a software engineer in Chicago and an American History teacher in New Jersey.
Skylar Browning, Secretary — Skylar is an award-winning writer and editor, published author, and communications director for one of the nation’s leading multifamily real estate firms. His work has been honored by the Montana Newspaper Association and the Society of Professional Journalists, and he received an NEA fellowship from the Arts Journalism Institute at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. “Montana Baseball History,” his first book, co-authored by Jeremy Watterson, was published in 2015.
Anne Avis, Board Member — Anne is an experienced board leader in independent nonprofit journalism. She co-chairs the boards of Internews, a global media development organization, and KQED, public media in the Bay Area. She also serves on the board of Tinworks Art in Bozeman. Since 1994, Anne and her husband, Greg, have split their time between the Bay Area and Clyde Park, MT.
Alexis Bonogofsky, Board Member — Alexis is a rancher, organizer and freelance writer and photographer who lives and works along the Yellowstone River in southeastern Montana on her family’s ranch. For eleven years she managed the Tribal Lands Partnership Program where she worked with Montana tribes and inter-tribal organizations on energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, bison restoration to tribal lands protection of sacred and historical sites and wildlife conservation. In 2014 Alexis was awarded a Cultural Freedom Fellowship from the Lannan Foundation.
John Brueggeman, Board Member — John is a successful businessman and entrepreneur with extensive experience in the public and private sectors. John is the Oregon-based executive vice president of the Motor Vehicle Software Corporation. Before that, he served for 10 years as a Republican in the Montana Legislature. He was first elected to the House at age 21 and went on to serve in the state Senate, where he chaired the Transportation Committee.
Drew Geiger, Board Member — Drew is a consultant specializing in human resource management and governmental affairs, focusing on local and state government. He has more than 20 years of experience working with private and public sector organizations. Drew is a former policy analyst for the National Conference of State Legislatures and served as communications director for the Montana Department of Commerce. Drew was also former lead staff to the Montana Legislature’s Economic Affairs Committee.
Susan Fox, Board Member — Susan grew up in Billings and recently retired from the Montana Legislative Services Division. She retired after 16 years as executive director. Prior to that she worked 14 years as a research analyst and spent the 1989 and 1991 sessions working for the Senate and House, respectively. She also worked for the Department of Institutions and Board of Crime Control from 1987-1991. A University of Montana graduate with a master’s degree in sociology, Fox lives in Helena and enjoys time with her family on the Stillwater River.
Tresa V. Smith, Board Member — Tresa comes from a Montana pioneer ranching family, and her career spans the political, not-for-profit, and business worlds. She received her PhD in government from Georgetown University and worked in the White House under the Johnson and Carter administrations. Tresa specialized in press, scheduling and advance, and fundraising on seven presidential campaigns, including Joe Biden’s first presidential bid, and worked in numerous gubernatorial and senatorial races, including Max Baucus’ first Senate campaign. In the not-for-profit world, Tresa was the director of development for The League of Conservation Voters, the international foundation Ashoka, and The Nature Conservancy of Montana. In business, she was among the initial U.S. importers of the Brazilian Mangalarga Marchador horse, the first to introduce the breed to Montana, and a co-founder and president of the U.S. Mangalarga Marchador Association. She lives on her family’s cattle ranch in Boulder, Montana.
Editorial Independence Policy
We subscribe to standards of editorial independence adopted by the Institute for Nonprofit News:
MTFP is supported by individuals and organizations who value in-depth, investigative news coverage and analysis. We are an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization that retains 100% authority over our editorial content to protect the journalistic and business interests of our organization. We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and sources of all revenue. Acceptance of financial support does not constitute implied or actual endorsement of donors or their products, services, or opinions.
MTFP accepts gifts, grants, and sponsorships from individuals and organizations for the general support of our activities, but our news judgments are made independently and not on the basis of donor support.
MTFP may consider donations to support the coverage of particular topics, but our organization maintains editorial control of the coverage. We will cede no right of review or influence of editorial content, nor of unauthorized distribution of editorial content.
Montana Free Press does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender expression, age, national origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, clients, volunteers, subcontractors, vendors, and clients.
Montana Free Press is an equal opportunity employer. We will not discriminate and will take affirmative action measures to ensure against discrimination in employment, recruitment, advertisements for employment, compensation, termination, upgrading, promotions, and other conditions of employment against any employee or job applicant on the bases of race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, creed, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
We are a proud member of several professional associations and industry groups:
Advertising Acceptability Policy
Montana Free Press reserves the right to accept or decline any advertisement or sponsorship it is offered.
Montana Free Press will decline to accept advertising that it knows or believes to be misleading, inaccurate, fraudulent, or illegal, or that fails to comply, in Montana Free Press’ sole determination, with its standards of decency, taste, or dignity.
Montana Free Press, like all quality publishers of original journalism, maintains a clear separation between news and advertising content. Advertising that attempts to blur this distinction in a manner that, in Montana Free Press’ judgment, confuses readers will be rejected.