Our Team

Morgan Stier Slemberger

Executive Director, W.E.L.L. WBC, Director, Women's Entrepreneurship and Leadership Lab at UM

Morgan Stier Slemberger is the director of women’s entrepreneurship and leadership at University of Montana (UM). She has spent her career advocating for women who are often underrepresented in business from Women’s Foundation of Montana board work to co-founding Women for the Web. After several years in health marketing, Morgan started several of her own small businesses then went on to work for UM’s Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars. There, she grew a women’s entrepreneurship program that now is a federally funded Women’s Business Center powered by the SBA for women across the entire state of Montana. In addition she founded (and now licensed the I.P. for) Last Best Conference, a statewide event focused on celebrating entrepreneurship. She has several accolades from working with nationally renowned YouTube companies to being featured on podcasts and “20 under 40” Montana publications. Morgan has avision for the future of women in Montana and to get there, she works with private and public funding organizations to power new initiatives and continues to innovate with business models that can benefit higher education.

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Ashley Metesh-McCoy

W.E.L.L. WBC Manager

Ashley Metesh-McCoy is a mom of two precocious girls, wife to an Active-Duty Army Officer, animal-lover, serial entrepreneur, and an amateur purveyor of culinary delights! She is originally from Western Montana with family spread from Philipsburg, to Butte, to Missoula, to Helena, but has been traveling the world for 30 years - first as an Army brat, then as an Army Officer, and most recently as an Army Spouse. She has a Bachelor of Art History from the University of Washington (Seattle) where she also commissioned as the top graduate of her Army ROTC class as a Military Intelligence Officer in the Washington Army National Guard. In 2006-2007 she was deployed to Afghanistan where she met the love of her life and current husband, LTC Michael “Kelly” McCoy. Since then, she resigned Army service as a Captain, earned an MBA from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and worked in the travel industry in various levels from Corporate Strategy at Carnival Corporation in Miami, Florida to her own businesses as an award-winning travel agency, Kinship Vacations, and most recently as a business coach / consultant for fellow travel agents with Kinship Travel Academy. She has a deep passion for helping women entrepreneurs succeed at all levels and is always looking for ways to contribute to the rising tide of women-owned businesses.

For assistance with the following, please schedule an appointment with Ashley:
  • online business management/operations
  • marketing/ branding
  • customer/user experience
  • digital marketing (social media, email, website, SEO, content creation, blogging, podcast, "vlogging")
  • new business formation
  • defense, travel, and online adult education industries
Contact Ashley

ashley.metesh-mccoy@mso.umt.edu
+1 (406) 417-3777; ext 101


Schedule a meeting with Ashley:

 

AshleyMeteshMcCoy

Carolyn Crowder

Marketing Manager - Accelerate Montana

Originally from Western Washington, Carolyn is a sophomore at UM majoring in English, Creative Writing and Political Science, International Relations. She is currently the Marketing Manager at Accelerate Montana where she oversees all digital marketing content for the organization from writing newsletters to running all social channels. When Carolyn is not working or studying, she enjoys relaxing with her cats, hammocking, writing fiction, and travelling.

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Marguerite Thordarson

Business Advisor, W.E.L.L. Women's Business Center

Marguerite was born and grew up in the diverse landscapes on Montana. She’s a mother of three intelligent, energetic, creative people who are all very differently talented and uniquely impassioned. When spending time together, they enjoy walks in nature, playing with dogs, Sunday baking, and big messy craft projects.        

Marguerite is a bit of a math nerd. After high school she taught herself bookkeeping and began working in small businesses, where she started to develop a passion for entrepreneurs and their big ideas. As her experience in financial management grew and she became more aware of what she didn’t know, she decided she needed to pursue an education in accounting. While studying at the University of Montana School of Business, she worked as a financial consultant at the Blackstone LaunchPad. This gave her numerous opportunities to assist startups and existing companies with business planning, financial modeling, pitch preparation, software implementation, and understanding accounting best practices. She is most gratified by working with visioners who want to create things that haven’t been seen before. 

For assistance in the following areas, please schedule an appointment with Marguerite:
  •  accounting
  • financial analysis
  • operations management
  • calculating costs, capacities, and efficiencies within manufacturing companies
  • business validation 
  • writing business plans
  • creating financial projections
  • strategic planning
  • budgeting big projects
  • human resources
  • employment tax compliance 
  • technical advice on software and bookkeeping procedures
Contact Marguerite

marguerite.thordarson@mso.umt.edu
(406) 668-0456

To book an appointment: calendly.com/marguerite-thordarson

MargueriteThordarson

Mariah Omeasoo

WELL WBC Program Assistant & Indigenous Community Outreach Coordinator

Mariah was born and grew up on the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana. She is an enrolled member of the Blackfeet Tribe in Montana and Ermineskin Cree Nation in Alberta, Canada. She has a Bachelor of Business Administration-Marketing from the University of Montana, where she also graduated a University Scholar from the Davidson Honors College.

During her time at the University of Montana, Mariah was involved in Kyiyo Native American Student Association. As a member, she promoted the traditions and customs of Indigenous people and supported cultural diversity on campus. As a student, she interned with Accelerate MT as a Project Support Intern.

In her free time, Mariah enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She loves to read, draw, bead, and make music.

Contact Mariah

mariah.omeasoo@mso.umt.edu

MariahOmeasoo

Laura Clague

WELL WBC Program Support Assistant

Originally from The Richest Hill on Earth (Butte, MT), Laura is a junior studying at UM and the Davidson Honors College looking to finish her bachelor’s degree in Marketing. Before her transfer to UM, she studied at Highlands College in Butte and received her Associates Degree. She now serves as a student employee and Program Assistant for the Women’s Business Center (WBC). Laura loves fashion, photography, cooking, and music. If you ever need a new song recommendation, she likely has one in mind.

She is passionate about increasing opportunities for women in business and hopes to one day start her own business. With a proud entrepreneurial spirit, she is excited to support the WBC and the women it serves.

Contact Laura

laura.clague@umconnect.umt.edu

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Our Board

Women's Entrepreneurial and Leadership Lab Women's Business Center at UM has an advisory board to guide the program forward. The board consists of entrepreneurs, community members, UM faculty, and UM staff.

  • Morgan Stier Slemberger
  • Ashley Metesh-McCoy
  • Tonya Plummer
  • Jolene Schalper

Tonya Plummer

TonyaPlummer

Tonya Plummer is Executive Director for Montana Native Growth Fund, a Native CDFI focused on building capacity and creating opportunities for sustainable tribal homeownership and strong tribal communities.  An enrolled member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate, Enemy Swim District and Fort Belknap Assiniboine and Little Shell descendent she brings the insight to develop the CDFI’s mission in culturally and contextually relevant ways. Tonya’s career experience in the mortgage banking industry gives her a specialized skill set to strengthen the CDFI’s capacity to fulfill the mission and grow to scale. She has worked on all sides of the mortgage process in origination, processing, closing, secondary markets, compliance and finally as a Conventional, FHA-DE and USDA underwriter.

Tonya has raised her four children in Montana where she was born. She loves hunting, kayaking and singing and believes in living deliberately and seeking the good while honoring her family and name “Oat E Wiya,” or “Thunder Woman.” She is passionate about inspiring a renewed and culturally empowered rise in tribal homeownership as a cornerstone of stimulating and stabilizing tribal economies and securing our sovereign futures

Jolene Schalper

JoleneSchalper

Jolene Schalper attained both her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing and her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies with an emphasis in Organizational Communications from the University of Montana in Missoula. While completing her degree, Schalper interned with a statewide accounting firm who then hired her full time upon graduation.

She was recruited to move back home by the University of Great Falls (now University of Providence). After three years at the University of Great Falls, Schalper was recruited as the Director of Organizational Communications for Rural Dynamics. There Schalper was first introduced to asset building, inclusion, and equity best practices. She was able to learn from engagements with the Kellogg Foundation, Northwest Area Foundation, Dartmouth Tuck School of Business, Systems Thinking Conference, and more.

This is where Schalper discovered her passion as a community change agent. Schalper was able to build her knowledge base gaining certification as an OWEESTA Building Native Communities Trainer and was able to work with 19 Tribal Nations across the Pacific Northwest. Through Rural Dynamics, Schalper was also able to become a certified train the trainer in Bridges Out of Poverty. She was an organizer in Montana’s CAP the Rate Initiative a ballot initiative which successfully capped interest rates for short term loans to 36%, down from 600%. During this time Schalper was also an integral part of the Montana Financial Education Coalition, a national JumpStart Affiliate, serving multiple terms as State Coalition President.

When the opportunity arose to step up from individual and family wealth and asset building to community and regional economic development, Schalper took it and has been with Great Falls Development Authority for nine years. She began engaging with IEDC her second year and quickly started down the Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) path. Schalper attained her CEcD and Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP) credentials. She has previously served on the IEDC Membership Committee and currently serves on the IEDC Accredited Economic Development Organization (AEDO) Committee. Schalper serves the State of Montana on the State Workforce Innovation Board (SWIB).

When not working with businesses and community leaders, Schalper is working on her own business. She and her husband (a German immigrant) own and operate a German Bar, Kellergeist, in Great Falls boasting the largest German bier selection (46) in the Pacific Northwest and the best craft cocktails. She loves living in her home state for the four seasons of outdoor recreation. Schalper enjoys of hiking, skiing, and kayaking. To relax she plays guitar and sings the blues in two bands.

Board Materials

This section is for current board members to access internal documents.

Board Portal

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Montana women dream, create, solve problems, and sustain communities through business. The WELL WBC empowers them with the tools for success, transcends geography, and culture to support them because when women succeed, Montana succeeds.

Tonya Plummer - WELL WBC Advisory Board Member, Executive Director, Montana Native Growth Fund (a WELL WBC Community Partner