Rebecca Harbage, President
Rebecca is an Environmental Planner with the Air Quality Bureau at the Montana Department of Environmental Quality. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Barnard College (2007) and a Master of Community and Regional Planning from the University of Oregon (2013). Rebecca moved to Helena from the east coast in 2008 for an AmeriCorps VISTA position and remains driven to give back to the community. In addition to HYP, she is a member of the Helena Zoning Commission, the Governor’s Commission on Community Service, and also manages a coed softball team in the summer. In her remaining free time, Rebecca enjoys game nights, microbrews, and getting outside – to hike, backpack, run, hunt, garden, or generally entertain her two crazy dogs.
Alyssa Sorenson, Vice President
Alyssa is a Wyoming native who recently moved to Helena to work for the state as a performance auditor. She graduated from the University of Wyoming with degrees in Anthropology and International Studies, and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Georgia. In the past, she has worked for the U.S. Governmental Accountability Office, for a consumer advocacy group, and as a recruitment and career services intern with the University of Georgia. She enjoys hiking, snowshoeing, skiing, reading novels, and volunteering in her free time. She hopes to become more involved in the Helena community and help other young professionals by serving on the Helena Young Professionals board.
Jenny Santy, Treasurer
Jenny Santy served as treasurer of the 2016 Helena Young Professionals board. Jenny grew up in northeast Nebraska in a town smaller than Helena High School. She moved to Helena in 2009 to be closer to family. While Jenny is currently between jobs, she worked as an accountant for the Montana Community Foundation for the last five years. When not crunching numbers, Jenny likes to get lots of walking in anywhere she can, sometimes accompanied by her husband, Jonny. She is also a fan of Sci-Fi/Fantasy and can't wait to see Fantastic Beasts. Her favorite part of living in Helena is the opportunity to hike Mount Helena.
Andrew Chanania, Secretary
Andrew grew up in Northern Virginia and attended the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, where he earned a Bachelor in Fine Arts. He pursued my art career and traveled for the next few years, and moved to Helena in November of 2009. Shortly after moving to Montana, he took a job with Montana Department of Commerce managing federal block grants that help communities meet the needs of under-served Montanans. This fall Andrew took a leap and restarted my pottery business and plan to continue engaging in Montana's community development activities as a consultant.
Maren Murphy, Public Relations
Maren Murphy has lived in Helena since 2011. She joined HYP in 2015 as an Event Chair and has enjoyed helping the organization grow. She currently works for Montana State Parks as the lead Parks & Recreation Planner helping to preserve Montana's outdoor recreation heritage. Maren previously lived in Oregon and worked for a number of public land agencies, including U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, and Portland Parks & Recreation. She holds a BA in Geography and Scandinavian Studies from the University of Washington, and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning from Portland State University. Maren also serves on the Board for the Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals and recently became an AICP certified planner. She enjoys hiking, camping, and exploring Helena with her husband, daughter, and red heeler.
Andy Shirtliff, Outreach Coordinator
A native son of Montana, Andy was born in Butte and raised in Kalispell. He went to school in Missoula, and received a bachelor’s degree in Political Science at the University of Montana. Andy has worked on various political campaigns from a county commissioner race while in high school, a very close state senate race, two successful gubernatorial races, and one presidential race. He has also worked and volunteered across the state with Montanans from all walks of life on issues that range from public access and voter rights to health care reform and public education. At the start of 2013, Andy was appointed as the Small Business Advocate for the Montana Governor’s Office of Economic Development by Governor Steve Bullock: advocating for Main Street Montana businesses, entrepreneurs, and startups. He is proficient in policy analysis and implementation, strategic planning, community outreach, team building, customer service, political campaigns and grassroots organizing, writing, and public speaking.
AshLy Tubbs, Events Co-Chair
AshLy Tubbs is a 5th generation Montanan from Billings but spent her summers as a child in the lakes of Helena and considers Helena home. She graduated from the University of Montana in 2013 with a degree in Social Work and minors in Gerontology and Psychology. She has spent the last few years working in public service with diverse populations of people including children, seniors, and those affected by abuse, addiction, and disabilities. AshLy currently works in the Governor's Office as an assistant to the Constituent Service team. She is passionate about social justice and protecting our most vulnerable people and resources. AshLy is interested in in the HYP board to expand her perspective, gaining valuable experience, and to share her skills with Helena Young Professionals. In her personal time, she enjoys practicing her ukulele, yoga, and taking her little boy outside.
Nick Hart, Events Co-Chair
Nick Hart has lived in Helena since 2015 after relocating from his hometown of Missoula. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, specializing in Spanish and Latin American political economics and culture. Prior to attending UM, Nick spent a semester studying Spanish in La Coruña and Madrid, Spain. During his time in college, Nick completed internships with Jon Tester’s U.S. Senate Office and Hilltop Public Solutions. Upon graduation, Nick worked on Governor Bullock’s reelection campaign as a finance assistant, helping cultivate and maintain relationships with elected officials and supporters throughout the state. Nick currently works as the Community Outreach Specialist for the Alzheimer’s Association Montana Chapter. Nick was welcomed to Helena by a network of driven, engaged young professionals with an array of unique experiences. As a member of the 2017 HYP Board, he looks forward to helping others access the same kind of support, development, and networking opportunities that Helena’s community offered him.
Katherine Anderson, Events
Katherine (Katie) Anderson is a native Montanan. Born and raised in Helena, she has always had Montana pride in her heart. After graduating Helena High in 2004, she moved to Missoula. She attended the University of Montana for a few years, then pursued a career in banking with a local credit union. After a whirlwind adventure of moving to the east coast and back with her now husband Brad, she is working in Health Administration for the VA Montana Health Care System. This job brings her much bliss, giving her the chance to give back to those who have served our country. Like most Montanans, Katie enjoys exploring and taking in all this stunning state has to offer. From absorbing the outdoors to laughing over microbrews with friends, she is grateful to have the chance to contribute to her community.
Thai Nguyen, Events
Raised in Helena, Thai moved around the country, living in Illinois and then California. Thai worked in the fast-paced industry of California real estate. Thai learns through interacting and networking with local professionals. Independent small business is where he hones his skills. Thai believes in developing a strong work ethic and leadership skills. The Helena Young Professionals' Board promotes opportunities to develop leadership and networking skills. Thai hopes that he will contribute to The Helena Young Professionals' Board.
BJ Biskupiak, Events
BJ Biskupiak is the Program Manager for the School Health Program at the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. After earning a bachelor’s degree in community health from Carroll College in Helena, Montana, BJ served two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in northern Peru. He worked as the Health Education Specialist for the Montana Asthma Control Program at the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services from 2013 to 2015. He is currently the Program Manager for the School Health Program within the Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Bureau at DPHHS. BJ is a member of Eat Right Montana/Action for Healthy Kids and the Montana Asthma Advisory Group. In addition to his work at DPHHS, he is a long time soccer referee for both high school and club soccer in the Helena area. BJ and his wife Emiley reside in Helena, Montana where they enjoy the outdoors and everything that the community of Helena has to offer. As a native to Helena, BJ has enjoyed seeing the community grow over the past three decades. He has seen many talented people come and go and wants to do what he can to make Helena an appealing landing spot with strong business and social networks.