Public Service Academy Faculty



Senator Dick Barrett
Montana State Senate

Dick Barrett is a member of the Montana State Senate. He has served on the House and Senate Taxation Committees since 2009, when he was first elected to the Legislature. He retired in 2007 from the University of Montana after 37 years on the faculty in the Department of Economics, where he is now a professor emeritus.



Representative David Bedey
House District 86

David Bedey was born and raised in Hamilton. He studied civil engineering and economics at Montana State University before accepting a commission as an officer in the U.S. Army.

During a 30-year military career, Dave served in combat units—including deployment during the Persian Gulf War—and as a professor at the United States Military Academy at West Point. While on active duty, he was able to continue his formal education, earning two master’s degrees in national security studies and a doctorate in physics.

Upon retiring from the Army as a colonel, Dave returned home, where he currently works as the chief financial officer of a small engineering firm. Before being elected to the Montana House of Representatives in 2018, he served on the Hamilton School Board for nine years (chairing the board for seven of those years).

During the 2019 legislative session, Dave served on the House Appropriations Committee and on the Joint Appropriations Subcommittee for Education. Presently, he is chairing the Legislative Finance Committee’s education subcommittee, which is examining special education funding, community college funding, metrics for expressing the value of career and technical education, and funding of the state library.



Whitney Bermes
Communications Coordinator
Gallatin County

Whitney was born and raised in Missoula, and graduated from the University of Montana School of Journalism in 2009. She spent nearly a decade working as a reporter in various newsrooms, including covering sports at the News-Register in McMinnville, Oregon, local government at the Ravalli Republic in Hamilton and, most recently, crime and courts for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. In November 2018, Whitney transitioned to communications work as Gallatin County’s first-ever communications coordinator. In that role, she handles both internal and external communications, community outreach, media relations and more. 



Dale Bickell
Chief Administrative Officer
City of Missoula

Dale Bickell is Chief Administrative Officer of the City of Missoula, where he has served since May of 2014 directly under supervision of the mayor. Before joining the City, he worked as Chief Administrative Officer for Missoula County from 2008 to 2014 and as Missoula County’s Chief Financial Officer from 2000 to 2008. He worked previously in accounting in the private sector. Dale earned an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from the University of Montana, as well as a Master of Accountancy. He became a Certified Public Accountant in Montana in 1994.

Dale is known for his management skills and his expertise in improving efficiency and productivity in his direction of highly skilled management teams.


Rob Gannongannon,-rob.jpg
General Manager, Transit
King County, Washington

Rob Gannon serves as the General Manager of King County Metro Transit and is responsible for all facets of the organization. He also participates as a member of the cabinet of King County Executive Dow Constantine.

Rob started his management career working for Amazon, ultimately becoming director of customer service. He then worked as an administrator in higher education serving as budget director and chief of staff to a vice president. He attended the U.S. Naval Academy before receiving an undergraduate and a master’s degree from the University of Montana.

During his leadership, Metro has supported greater equity in the community by advancing the Low-Income Fare for Transit (ORCA LIFT) program and undertaken significant reforms in fare enforcement practices.  He is a founding member of the Washington chapter of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) and the principle sponsor of Metro’s award winning PACE initiative, a labor-management partnership to create comprehensive equity in the workplace.  Finally, he has led Metro to national recognition, being named the best large transit system in North America.


Joe Kolman
Legislative Environmental Analyst
Montana Legislative Services Division

Joe Kolman has worked with elected officials the last 15 years as a nonpartisan staffer with the Montana Legislature, including the last 8 years as director of the Environmental Policy Office. A native of Harlowton, Joe interviewed public officials for 15 years as a journalist in Montana, Nebraska, and Idaho. His first byline as a reporter was from a Harlowton City Council meeting in a story that quoted an elected official: his dad. 


George-Mathieus.jpgGeorge Mathieus
Deputy Director
Montana Department of Environmental Quality

George Mathieus was raised in a rural community west of Missoula.  He attended both MSU & U of M.  George has worked for State government for the past 27 years, starting his career as a hydrologist for State Lands.  Currently, he serves as the Deputy Director of the Montana Department of Environmental Quality.  One of his goals is to continue building relationships with new and old partners while seeking common sense solutions to environmental regulation.  In his spare time, George enjoys hanging out with his wife, mountain biking, woodworking, welding, hunting, fishing, and working on old cars.


Heather-OLoughlin.jpgHeather O'Loughlin
Montana Budget & Policy Center

Heather O'Loughlin is the co-director for the Montana Budget & Policy Center (MBPC), a non-partisan, non-profit organization providing in-depth research and analysis on budget, tax, and economic issues, focusing on policies’ impacts on the lives of low- and moderate-income families.  As co-director, Heather leads MBPC’s research and policy analysis. Prior to coming on board with MBPC, Heather served as the legislative director and counsel for Senator Max Baucus, managing the Senator’s legislative team. Previously, she served as legislative assistant to Senator Baucus, handling a broad policy portfolio including education, judiciary, banking and economic issues. Heather received her juris doctorate from the University of Montana School of Law and bachelor’s degrees in business-finance and economics from the University of Montana.



Commissioner Josh Slotnick
Missoula County

Josh Slotnick began serving as a Missoula County Commissioner in January 2019. He was a lecturer in the Environmental Studies program from 1997 to December of 2018. He co-founded the organization Garden City Harvest, and the PEAS farm and academic program at the UM. 



Tracy Stone-Manning
Associate Vice President of Public Lands
National Wildlife Federation

Tracy Stone-Manning is the Associate Vice President of Public Lands at the National Wildlife Federation, managing a program dispersed across the country from her home in Missoula. Prior to joining NWF, she was Governor Bullock’s chief of staff, through two legislative sessions and his re-election. She started her time in the Bullock administration as the director of the Montana Department of Environmental Quality. She served as a natural resource aide and senior advisor to Senator Jon Tester in his first term.

Before her time in public service, she was the executive director of the Clark Fork Coalition, where she conceived and led the successful campaign to remove the Milltown Dam at the confluence of the Blackfoot and Clark Fork rivers. She holds a Masters of Science in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana. 



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