Michelle M. Fox, C.E.O.
As CEO of Island Mountain Development Group, Michelle is responsible for running all facets of the economic development and new business creation on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation. Michelle has a proven executive management track record and over 10 years of experience in corporate strategy and development.
Prior to joining IMDG, Michelle worked for a large Northwest advertising agency responsible for design and implementation of all internet based sales and marketing strategies and in institutional development at the tribal college level. An enrolled member of the Fort Belknap Indian Community, she also holds a BA from Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire and a MBA from Western Governor’s University.
She resides on her family ranch in People’s Creek with her husband Stephen and their four children.
Dana Pyette, C.F.O.
With over 15 years of corporate experience, Pyette brings an extensive background in strategic and financial management. Among her initiatives, Pyette has been integral to the company’s focus of advancing its leadership in the lending industry through the development of innovative lending solutions. In addition, Pyette has been essential to successful new business development at IMDG to ensure further diversification of revenue sources. Pyette is committed to maximizing long-term shareholder value, ensuring a balanced collection of growth initiatives, and maintaining the high level of integrity and transparency for which Island Mountain strives to provide.
Pyette joined IMDG as Chief Operating Officer in July 2012 and quickly moved to the COO/CFO role and has successfully led IMDG to three years of Unqualified Audit Opinions.
Born and raised in North Central Montana, Dana received her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, with minors in accounting and marketing from MSU-Northern in 2001. She earned her Master of Business Administration from Marylhurst University in 2012. Pyette is extensively involved in the Hi-Line community, previously serving on several non-profit boards of directors, including the Montana Actors’ Theatre, Montana State University-Northern Alumni Association, and the Bullhook Community Health Center. She looks to enact positive learning, development, and change through dedication to service, leadership, and the progression of society.
Loren “Bum” Stiffarm, Planning and Development Officer
Loren ‘Bum’ Stiffarm currently serves as the Research and Development Officer. Bum has served as the chief administrative officer of the Fort Belknap Indian Community Council from 2005 through 2014. He has also worked with the Fort Belknap Indian Community Land Buy Back Program under the Cobell Settlement. He is the former president of the National Indian Education Association and Montana Indian Education Association. He attended Haskell Indian Junior College and Eastern Montana College. He is married to Barbara Stiffarm and has 2 sons, Pete and Eric and one daughter, Amy.
Terry Brockie, Chief of Staff
Terry Brockie, Director of Communications, is an enrolled member of the Gros Ventre Tribe. He holds a BS in Elementary Education from Montana State University Billings and an AA in Liberal Arts from Haskell Indian Nations University. Prior to coming to IMDG, he was first Native American in the history of Montana to be elected to the position of County Superintendent of Schools. Terry also taught his Gros Ventre language for many years in the local public school systems and at Aaniiih Nakoda College. He is married to Tawnya Bizardie and has two sons, Truth and Titan.
Felecia Werk, Director of Call Center Operations
Felecia Werk is an enrolled member of the Assiniboine Tribe. She holds a Master degree, Bachelor Degree, 2 Associate Degrees and is a licensed Registered Health Information Technologist along with a license in Professional Medical Coding. Prior to coming to IMDG she worked for the Indian Health Service for 14 years at both the Area level and Service Unit level in various positions. She is an Army Veteran and has served 8 years with the United States Army Reserve where she holds a rank of E-5 Sergeant. She is still enlisted and her enlistments end in March 2017. Her husband Tim and her children are her biggest fans! She loves her new career and enjoys being back home.
Denise Perez, Human Resources Director
Denise Perez began her employment at IMDG in early 2016 as a part-time Accounting Associate. In August, she was hired as the new Human Resource Director.
A qualified Human Resource Specialist prior to starting as the HR Director with IMDG. Denise spent 20 plus years in Human Resource and Accounting sectors within the construction field.
Denise’s passions are helping others find solutions that meet their specific needs and making a difference in their lives.
Denise resides in Hays with her fiancé, Frank and together they have one son, Jacob.
Paula Hawley, Compliance Manager
Paula began her employment with IMDG in early 2017 as our new Compliance Manager. Paula brings over 20 years of experience working with a multitude of programs in Tribal government. Her extensive experience began in the FBIC Education Dept. continuing in various programs revolving around Economic Development/Credit, Environmental Protection, Chemical Dependency, and most recently as the Office Manager/Legal Lay Advocate for the Tribal Child Support Program.
Paula is a graduate of Harlem High School and attended Fort Belknap College where she earned an Associate’s Degree in Pre- Professional Biological Sciences. Paula then continued her education at Washington State University studying Veterinarian Science.
Paula was raised in a family vested in farming and ranching near Hays, MT on the southern end of the reservation. She is the proud mother of one daughter. In her free time, Paula enjoys spending time with her daughter and donating her time to many rodeo-related events.
Paula is excited to be working with others who strive to create economic opportunities for the people of the Ah Ah Ni Nen and Nakota Nations.
James Flansburg, CTO, Spirit Box Technologies
James Flansburg is the Chief Operations Officer of Spirit Box Technologies. James is a member of the Little Shell Chippewa Tribe of Montana. He holds a Master of Science in Computer Information Management from Colorado Tech, BS in Computer Information Systems (CIS) from Montana State University-Northern, and an AS in CIS from Aaniiih Nakoda College. Prior to coming to IMDG worked at Aaniiih Nakoda College as CIS instructor and eLearning Specialist. James has three daughters and four grandchildren.