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Elected Officials

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County Auditor

 David Wall Head Shot Cropped

David Wall

Dave grew up in the heavy, warm air of Miami, Florida. He received his first Bachelor’s degree, in Criminology, from Florida State University. Dave remains a loyal to FSU, as it provided great memories, great sports, and it’s also where he met his wife, Susie.

After graduating, Dave and Susie moved to her home state of Oklahoma for three years filled with wonderful family, a surprising abundance of art and cultural opportunities, and a few too many tornadoes. They then moved to Colorado so they could live in the Rocky Mountains, which is where they began their lifelong love affair with hiking and the outdoors.

In 2007, Dave and Susie made a fool hardy, but brilliant decision. They left their jobs and embarked on a six month “mid-life temporary retirement” road trip across America. They camped and stayed in cheap motels in 26 states, and two Canadian provinces. After travelling up and down both coasts, exploring the desert southwest and the whole Rocky Mountain region, enjoying New England, the Mid-Atlantic States, and the southeast, they decided to land in the coolest town they had ever seen…Missoula, Montana.

Once settled in Missoula, Dave went back to school while working full time. He received his second degree, in Business Administration- Accounting, from Montana State University- Billings.

Dave started working for Missoula County in 2013, in the mail room. He moved to the Auditor’s Office in 2015, and was promoted to Chief Deputy Auditor shortly thereafter. In August 2017, the County Auditor, Barbara Berens, retired, and Dave was appointed to finish out her term. Since starting with the County, Dave has always been proud to work in public service. As the County Auditor, Dave is honored to represent the people of Missoula County.

You can often see Dave tramping along hiking trails in and around Missoula. If you do, please don’t hesitate to stop and say hello.

Clerk & Recorder/Treasurer

Tyler Gernant. Missoula County Clerk & Recorder

Tyler Gernant

Tyler Gernant is a fourth generation Montanan, and third generation Missoulian. The proud father of two young children, Tyler’s Montana roots are helping him pass along the values of hard work, responsibility and accountability.

Tyler’s first job was working at a Taco Bell when he was fifteen years old. He took that work ethic with him to college, attending Georgetown University. During college he worked in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. Upon graduation, Tyler worked on the presidential campaign for Senator John Edwards, forging relationships that continue to serve the people of Missoula County.

Prior to attending law school at the University of Montana, Tyler spent a short stint as a substitute teacher, teaching high school and middle school. During law school he focused his studies primarily on taxation and business law. He spent the next seven years representing small businesses and individuals with tax, business and real estate matters. He currently sits on the Board of Directors for Homeword, a Missoula based nonprofit organization focusing on affordable housing.

Tyler has a commitment to helping Missoulians navigate the complex world of property taxes and real estate transactions. As a firm believer in quality customer service, he has worked tirelessly to improve Missoula County’s Motor Vehicle Division, decreasing wait times and consistently receiving positive customer reviews. As a leader on legislative issues, Tyler has helped develop innovative solutions to the problems that have nagged Montana’s Clerks and Treasurers for decades.

Tyler and his wife Katie live with their two children in central Missoula. When they’re not chasing kids around the house, they enjoy fly-fishing and cheering on the Montana Grizzlies. With any luck, their kids will enjoy those things too.

Clerk of District Court

Missoula County Clerk of District Court, Shirley Faust

Shirley Faust

Shirley was born and raised on a dairy farm in central Pennsylvania, the youngest of six children.  She attended Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg Virginia where she majored in Social Work.  She lived in Texas for 13 years before moving to Missoula in 1995.

Shirley was appointed Chief Deputy Clerk of Court in June 2002 and three months later was appointed Clerk of Court.  She was elected to her first four year term as Clerk of Court in 2004 and re-elected in 2008 and 2012.  Shirley’s goal in working in county government has always been and continues to be to provide a level of service that exceeds the public’s expectations.  Her passion is customer service and she has worked hard to hire a staff of employees who enjoy working with the public and who share her vision for changing the public’s perception of government.  She is also very committed to providing access to justice for all citizens.

Shirley began working at Missoula County in 1995, first as a rotation clerk for the Clerk & Recorder/Treasurer offices, then as Clerk and Recorder Supervisor and also later as Motor Vehicle Supervisor.  Prior to Missoula County, she was a branch manager for Kelly Temporary Services in various cities in Texas and also worked as a manager for Albertsons.

Shirley is an active member of the Montana Association of Clerks of District Court where she serves on the Legislative Committee, Automation Committee and MACDC Executive Board.  She is also a member of the Western Montana Bar Association Pro Bono Committee. 

Shirley is married to Missoula native John Faust and has two grown children, Amanda and Rebecca and a son-in-law James.  She is active in the Missoula Community as a member of Missoula Kiwanis, Treasure State Chorale and First United Methodist Church.  Her favorite pastimes include playing golf, football, fishing, camping, and singing.

County Attorney 

 Kirsten_Pabst

Kirsten Pabst

Kirsten H. Pabst is the Missoula County Attorney, who serves as the chief elected prosecutor for Missoula County, Montana.  After graduating from the University of Montana School of Law, she served as a prosecutor for 17 years, specializing in major and complex crimes, and then managed a private law practice for 3 years.  She supervises 20 attorneys, serving multiple law enforcement agencies and county departments.  Ms. Pabst frequently speaks, lobbies, writes, and testifies on topics including domestic violence, sex crimes, child abuse and analytical advocacy for prosecutors. 

Ms. Pabst has been a frequent lecturer for organizations such as the National College of District Attorneys, the National Advocacy Center--America’s training center for prosecutors, the University of Montana School of Law, the Montana Law Enforcement Academy, the Montana County Attorneys Association, Women in Law Enforcement chapters as well as local schools and victim advocacy groups. 

Kirsten enjoys time with her family and, when time allows, enjoys horseback riding, making art, climbing mountains and training for the annual Missoula (half) Marathon.      

County Commissioner

Missoula County Commissioner Jean Curtiss

Jean Curtiss

Jean has lived in Missoula County her whole life. She and her husband have lived on the Westside since 1977, in a house her Grandmother purchased in 1935. She was raised in the Swan Valley, north of Seeley Lake, and graduated from Seeley-Swan High School. Jean attended the St. Patrick’s School of Nursing and the University of Montana.

Jean Curtiss was elected to her first term as Missoula County Commissioner in November, 2000, and was re-elected in 2006 and 2012.  Jean believes that government can and should be reasonable, sensible and responsible, and works to ensure that local government is accessible to the citizens of Missoula County.

Before being elected County Commissioner, most of Jean’s professional work was in the area of early childhood education and advocacy. Jean has a strong sense of social justice and is pleased to stand for those without a strong voice. She continues that advocacy as a County Commissioner and while serving on more than a dozen county boards.

Jean is a 2006 graduate of Leadership Montana and has held leadership positions in many organizations, including the Montana PTA and the National PTA. Jean served 4 years as the Montana PTA President and Executive Director.

Jean is married to Brad Curtiss and has three grown children, Shane, Pamela, and Kevin; a splendid daughter-in-law, Sarah, and three granddaughters, Addison, Lilly and Macie. In her spare time, she likes to read, quilt, garden and spend time with family, especially those granddaughters.

County Commissioner

Missoula County Commissioner Cola Rowley

Nicole "Cola" Rowley

Cola was born and raised in Sidney, Montana to a small business owner and a teacher. She received her Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from Dickinson State University in North Dakota. While there, she met her husband who was serving in the United States Marine Corps. From North Dakota, she went on to earn a PhD in Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Utah before heading back to Montana to work as a postdoctoral fellow at Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton.  Cola felt a desire to work in a position that had a more direct impact on the community and became the Health and Nutrition Manager for Ravalli Early Head Start, which fostered her interest in public health and community services. She then earned a position as an Environmental Health Specialist with the Missoula City-County Health Department while she was also an adjunct instructor at the Missoula College/Bitterroot College. Cola was elected to her first term as Missoula County Commissioner in November 2014.

Cola is happy to be home in Montana. She enjoys reading, hiking, cross-country skiing and playing volleyball and softball. Most of her free time, though, is spent cooking, cleaning, and raising her young daughters with her wonderful husband, Steve.

County Commissioner

 David Strohmaier Headshot

David Strohmaier

Dave Strohmaier and his wife, Gretchen, have called Missoula County home since 1997. Prior to being elected to the board of county commissioners, Dave worked for 18 years with the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service in a variety of roles (primarily as a wildland firefighter), and 13 years in the private sector as a historian with Historical Research Associates, Inc., where he specialized in environmental and Native American history. Since 2015, he has been a partner in a digital technology firm called Three21 Innovations, LLC, which focuses on digital solutions for the humanities. Dave holds an undergraduate degree from Seattle Pacific University in religion-philosophy and graduate degrees from Yale Divinity School (M.A.R., 1995, philosophy of religion) and the University of Montana (M.S., 1999, environmental studies).

Dave is a published author, having written two books on the subject of fire in the West: The Seasons of Fire (2001, University of Nevada Press) and Drift Smoke (2005, University of Nevada Press). With his background in fire management, he remains interested in fire ecology and the challenges of learning to live in landscapes that are adapted to fire.

From 2006 to 2013, Dave represented Ward 1 on the Missoula City Council where he chaired both the Public Safety and Health and the Parks and Conservation committees. He also served on the Missoula Public Art Committee, the Mayor’s Downtown Advisory Commission, and the Downtown Master Plan Implementation Committee. Some of the initiatives that he advocated for include human rights, energy conservation, passenger rail, and downtown revitalization.

Outside of serving in local government, Dave enjoys big game hunting, fishing, writing, and spending time in the backcountry with his wife, son, and daughter.

Justice
of the Peace I

Justice of the Peace Marie Andersen

Marie Andersen

The Office of Justice of the Peace is set up by the Constitutional and Statutory Authority for the purpose of administering justice to the citizens of Missoula County and the State of Montana. The Courts must enforce its judgments, orders and process; control the conduct of its employees; administer oaths, perform weddings, and comply with Constitutional Law and Statutory Authority.

This desk handles traffic citations, Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and/or Drugs 1st through 3rd offenses, Fish and Game violations, Animal Control tickets, Minors in Possession of Alcohol and Tobacco and also Department of Transportation violations and Habitual Traffic Offender.

Misdemeanor criminal cases and more serious traffic offenses to include Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and/or Drugs 4th or subsequent Offenses are handled by our criminal desk.

Also, Justice Court handles the initial arraignments on Felony cases. These cases will subsequently be transferred to District Court.

Our Civil Department handles Small Claims, and Civil suits.

Justice
of the Peace II

 Justice of the Peace 2 Landee Holloway

Landee Holloway

Judge Landee Holloway obtained a Bachelor’s of Arts in Criminology, with a minor in Psychology from Southern Oregon State College before making Missoula her home in 1992. In Missoula, Judge Holloway began her career at the Missoula Pre-Release Center, before working the State of Montana Department of Corrections (DOC). In her 21 years with the DOC she worked as a traditional probation and parole officer, intensive supervision officer, supervisor and reentry probation and parole officer.

While at the DOC Judge Holloway led the Office of Offender Reentry, a statewide group tasked with improving the Department’s Reentry Efforts in conjunction with the Governor’s Reentry Initiative. Judge Holloway also played a key role in developing Partner’s for Reintegration, a local grassroots coalition focused on education and advocacy to reduce barriers for those returning from incarceration.

Judge Holloway has been recognized as the Missoula Exchange Club’s Probation and Parole Officer of the Year and presented with the Montana Governor’s Award for Excellence in Performance. She served on the steering committee for the Missoula Jail Diversion Master Plan. The Missoula County Board of County Commissioners appointed her to fill the interim term as Missoula County Justice of the Peace in 2016.

As an engaged member of the Missoula community, Judge Holloway has volunteered with numerous organizations including the Literacy Volunteers of America, the Missoula Marathon and Camp Mak-A-Dream and the Special Olympics. She served as Board Chair for Western Montana Addiction Services and on the Board of Directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Missoula.

Judge Holloway lives in Missoula with her husband, Nick, and their son, Jackson. She enjoys cooking and spending time with her family and friends in the great outdoors.

Sheriff

Missoula County Sheriff, TJ McDermott

T.J. McDermott

T.J. McDermott began his law enforcement career with the Anaconda Police Department in 1995. In 1998, he joined the Missoula City Police Department. While assigned to the uniform patrol division, he was selected to be a member of ‘Target Enforcement Unit’, today known as the ‘Street Crimes Unit’, and worked proactively to identify and apprehend subjects with gang affiliation or membership who were involved in street crime activity. He also served as a Field Training Officer (FTO) with the police department’s Field Training and Evaluation Program (FTEP) for new recruits.

  In 2003, became a deputy with the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office. In 2006, he was selected as a detective and was assigned to both the Burglary Theft Division and Person Crimes Division, where he became a key member of the Montana Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.

  In 2011, T.J. McDermott was selected by the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO) as one of the nation’s ‘Top Cops’ for his work on a ‘Cold Case’ homicide. He traveled to Washington D.C. and met with President Obama along with other ‘Top Cops’ during the awards ceremony.

In 2011, he was promoted to the rank of Detective Sergeant, where he supervised other detectives and criminal investigations. He is a former member of the F.B.I. Montana Regional Violent Crimes Task Force (MRVCTF). T.J. McDermott has an Associate Degree (A.A.S.) in the Administration of Justice / Law Enforcement from Spokane Community College and a Bachelor’s Degree (B.A.) in Sociology / Criminology from the University of Montana.

 In January of 2015, T.J. McDermott began his term as our Missoula County Sheriff/Coroner. 

Superintendent of Schools

Erin Lipkind, Missoula County Superintendent of Schools

Erin Lipkind

Erin R. Lipkind is the Missoula County Superintendent of Schools, serving as the elected official responsible for general supervision of the public schools and home schools within the County. The Superintendent has direct supervision over the three Class III schools in the County, assisting the trustees with budgeting and finance; recruitment; placement and supervision of teachers; curriculum development; teacher in-service training, reporting requirements, and other school matters. The Class III schools are: Sunset, Swan Valley, and Woodman Elementary Schools. Additionally, the Superintendent assists DeSmet and Potomac schools in the aforementioned matters by request of the principal or trustees.

Dr. Lipkind possesses a doctoral degree in Curriculum and Instruction, and is licensed to teach K-8 Curriculum, library-media, reading, and serve as a K-12 principal.  After graduating from the University of Montana, she served as a school librarian for one year in Great Falls and seven and a half years at Lewis and Clark Elementary in Missoula, before being elected to her current position.

Erin enjoys spending time with her family working on her hobby farm, Shady Goats, where she raises goats and chickens, maintains a large garden and orchard, preserves food, and makes goat cheese. She also enjoys hiking and backpacking, and reads voraciously.