Greetings from Montana! Montana’s annual spring conference was held in beautiful Missoula April 13-14. The conference was a huge success, with an excellent agenda and a superb slate of guest speakers. Many regional and national leaders were in attendance including Cristi Millard from Salt Lake Community College, who gave an inspiring motivational presentation. Brett Lief from NCHELP provided a very informative and humorous update on legislative issues, and NASSFAA representative Megan McClain was also in attendance to update the membership on NASFAA advocacy efforts and regulatory guidance. Unfortunately, the conference kicked off one day prior to the potential government shutdown, so the Federal training on Program Integrity regulations was cancelled. However, the Department was able to reschedule the training which was held on the Carroll College campus in Helena on May 12-13. Perhaps the brightest moment of the conference was the return of Terri Gruba. Most of you are aware that Terri has been dealing with some health issues, and it was wonderful seeing her back in action. MASFAA also elected a new board of directors:
President Elect- Cindy Small, Montana State University-Northern
President, Valerie Lambert-University of Montana Helena College of Technology
Past President, Loren Lancaster-Miles Community College
Vice President/Secretary-Kristy Gilreath, Carroll College
Treasurer-Lexy Fischer Montana State University-Northern
Member at Large- Gloria Payne University of Montana-Western
Member at Large- Connie Bowman-University of Montana
Associate Member-Greg Mason
The MASFAA Special Service Award was presented to the Student Assistance Foundation for their continued support of MASFAA and the students of Montana. Valerie Lambert was awarded Montana’s Financial Aid Professional of the Year. Janet Riis was recognized as RMASFAA President, Terri Gruba was recognized for her 2010 RMASFAA Hall of Fame award, and Sue wineries was recognized for receiving the 2010 Ron Smout Award for Teaching and Mentoring. Years of service awards were also presented.
10 Years: Carie Kelly, Student Financial Services (formerly MGSLP)
20 years: Terri Gruba-University of Montana, Connie Bowman-University of Montana, Cindy Small-Montana State University-Northern
25 Years: Sue Weinreis-Montana State University-Billings, Mike Richardson-Montana Tech University
35 Years: Andre Altans-Montana State University-Bozeman
MASFAA is gearing up for the 2011 RMASFAA Conference “Oktoberfest-Something is Brewing in Montana”. We hope to see you all in Missoula on October 15th!