Our Members

What’s Your Plan?

Cascade County Attorney designee: Ashley Wikinson

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Ashley Wilkinson grew up in Great Falls, Montana and graduated from Charles M. Russell High School in 2004.  She attended Montana State University and graduated in 2008 with Honors earning a Bachelor of Science degree in business and a minor in entrepreneurship. In 2009, she enrolled at Valparaiso University School of Law in Indiana. During her second year of law school she was awarded a legal writing teaching assistant position. She graduated in May of 2012 with a Juris Doctor degree and is currently licensed to practice law in Montana.  She is Deputy County Attorney for Cascade County and prosecutes criminal cases.

Cascade County Sheriff designee: Deputy Travis Grove- Treasurer

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My name is Travis Grove and I was born in Great Falls, Montana and graduated from Great Falls High School. I have been a Deputy Sheriff with the Cascade County Sheriff’s Office since March of 2005. I am the 24/7 coordinator and maintain the DUI equipment located at the Sheriff’s Office.  I have been a member of the DUI Task Force since 2009 and currently serve as the treasurer for the task force.

City of Great Falls Chief of Police designee: Captain Jeff Newton

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Captain Jeff Newton has over 22 years of combined law enforcement experience. Beginning in 1993, he worked for the Kalispell Police Department and in 1997 he went to work for the King County Sheriff’s Office in Seattle. Since joining the GFPD in 1999, Captain Newton has held many positions, such as: Field Training Officer, Firearms Instructor, Police Motorcycle Instructor, Narcotics & Gangs Investigator, Downtown Officer, Special Projects Officer, Grant Writer, Public Information Officer, Community Policing Sergeant, Patrol Sergeant, Patrol Lieutenant, Captain of Patrol and now Captain of Support Services. Captain Newton holds a Bachelors Degree in Sociology from Montana State University and a Masters Degree in Organizational Management from the University of Great Falls. Captain Newton graduated from the 255th session of the FBI National Academy, and is also a graduate of the FBI Intermountain Command College. He has served on the Cascade County DUI Task Force, as well as on the board of directors for both the Boys and Girls Club and Alliance for Youth.

Great Falls City Attorney designee: Cassidy Blomgren

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I am Cassidy Blomgren, Deputy Prosecutor for the Great Falls City Attorney’s Office. I have been a member of the DUI Task Force for several years. I graduated from the University of Montana School of Law in 2008 and am admitted to practice law in both California and Montana. I was honored to be recognized by the DUI Task Force in 2015 for my efforts in prosecuting DUI cases in Great Falls.

State of Montana Highway Patrol District II Chief designee: Trooper David Baggs

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My name is Trooper David Baggs. I was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. I have lived in Utah, Colorado, Michigan, California and Montana. After high school, I attended Weber State University. I started by career with the Montana Highway Patrol in 2005. After graduation and completing field training, I was stationed in Chinook, Montana. I transferred to Great Falls in 2006 and lived in Cascade County since that time. I am a firearms instructor, quest instructor at the Montana Highway Patrol Advanced Academy and Field Training Officer (FTO). I have been a member of the Cascade County DUI Task Force since 2013.  In 2015, I was awarded for my efforts in combating drunk and/or impaired driving as a trooper by the task force in the annual law enforcement recognition ceremony.

Great Falls Victim-Witness Services designee: Savannah Hilton

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State of MT Adult Probation & Parole Regional Admin designee: Wayne Bye

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Wayne has worked in Corrections in Montana for over 18 years.  He started his career with Cascade County Juvenile Detention in 1997 then transferred to Pre-Release and worked as a Counselor and Screening Coordinator.  In 2008 he joined Montana Department of Corrections as a Contract Monitor working for Montana State Prison Contract Placement Bureau.  He monitored operations at the Cascade County Regional Prison and assisted with quality assurance at other secure facilities.  In 2012 he became a Probation and Parole Supervisor in the Great Falls office.  He has a wealth of knowledge and corrections experience having worked in Juvenile Detention, Community Corrections, Secure Care, and Adult Probation and Parole. Wayne has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Great Falls and a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati.  He is a trainer for the University of Cincinnati Women’s Risk and Needs Assessment, a Probation and Parole Survival Tactics Instructor, and coordinates the Use of Force Training for Region III Probation and Parole.  He has been part of the Cascade County DUI Task Force since 2013.

Montana Tavern Association Home Safe Program designee: Vince Kyle

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Gateway Recovery Center designee: Barbara Bessette- President

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My name is Barbara Bessette. I am from Belt, Montana and went to high school at Belt Valley High School. I studied Health Promotion at MSU Billings. I currently live in Great Falls and work as the Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist at Gateway Community Services. I have over 10 years of experience work in prevention. I have worked at Gateway for a total of almost 4 years. I serve 6 counties in Montana including Cascade, Glacier, Liberty, Pondera, Teton and Toole.  I enjoy riding my horse, barrel racing, roping and running. I was with the DUI Task from 2008-2010. I returned to the task force in 2013 and currently serve as the task force president.  Please contact me if you have any questions or suggestions. Remember to always have a plan in place when you are drinking. We want everyone to be safe.

Benefis Health Systems, Inc. Chemical Dependency Unit designee: Ted Szudera

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I have been an active counselor for quite a number of years. I have a B.A. from a small school in Columbus Ohio, then studied and received a Masters of Divinity Degree from St. Johns University. I participated in a program of study through Chemical Dependency Unit (CDU) with Deaconess Hospital and received LAC accreditation in 1985. I use this knowledge and background to facilitate my ministry as a Catholic Priest. I have a positive long term association with the Benifis Health Care System, working for the Behavioral Health Unit. In regard to being appointed board member of the Cascade County DUI Task Force, an important aspect of my background is receiving training an accreditation as an active Prime For Life Facilitator. I am honored to be a part of a group of caring individuals who wish to affect increased safety on our highways and byways, a group called the Cascade County DUI Task Force.

Great Falls Pre-Release Services, Inc. designee: Lisa Meyers

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Lisa has been a member of the Cascade County DUI Task Force since 2011 and is currently fulfilling the role of Secretary. She has and continues to serve on various subcommittees and is an administrator for the DUI Task Force Facebook page and website. In addition to her work on the DUI Task Force, Lisa has been an assistant coach for girls’ basketball for the Heisey Youth Program and for the Salvation Army youth flag football program. She has also been a member of Neighborhood Council #7 since 2014 and is currently the Chairperson for Council #7 and its delegate to the Council of Councils. Lisa has also been a volunteer at the Great Falls Police Department since March 2015. She has accumulated over 750 hrs of service volunteering in the evidence department, working abandoned vehicles, warrant entry, volunteer patrol, detective division support, and various special projects and events. She graduated from the Great Falls Police Department’s Citizen Academy in 2015. She also earned CJIN certification from the Montana Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation in 2015.

Cascade County Commissioner: Jim Larson

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My name is Jim Larson. I am 67 years old and currently a Cascade County Commissioner. I am from Belt, Montana and am also a farmer/rancher out in Belt. I graduated from Belt Valley High School. I also served in the Navy. I like to hunt and I enjoy sports that involve anything with more than 2 people and a ball. I have a wife, Darae, 2 married sons, 3 grandchildren and one grandchild on the way. I have been a member of the task force since January of 2015.

Great Falls Public Schools designee: Danielle Funseth

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Airmen Against Drunk Driving designee: SSgt Heffington/SrA. J. Gregory

SSgt Heffington grew up in Visalia, Ca. He graduated Central Valley Christian High School in 2006 and worked at Geek Squad until July, 2011. He then Enlisted Nov 15, 2011 in the United States Air Force and graduated Technical Training in August 2012. He then graduated Advanced Weather Exploitation and Integration Course in September, 2014. He then obtained his Associates of Applied Science in Meteorology in December of 2014. He then graduated Advanced Radar Interpretation course in May of 2015. He then graduated Airman Leadership School in February of 2016 and is graduating in Spring of 2017 with a Baccalaureate’s degree  in Mathematics and Natural Science from Thomas Edison State University. He is currently a Non-Commissioned Officer at Malmstrom AFB’s Weather Shop.

My name is Jon Gregory. I am 22 years old and a senior airman in the United States Airforce. I am currently stationed at Malmstorm AFB in Great Falls. I am a person of contact for the Airman Against Drunk Driving on the base. We provide a free “taxi” service for active duty military members assigned to MAFB if they are too intoxicated to get home safely. This helps to decrease DUIs both on and off the base. I grew up new Saginaw, Michigan, have a pregnant wife, a 2 year old son, 2 dogs and a cat.

Citizen Members: Corin Fisch, Mark Hewitt, Jim Whitaker- Treasurer

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My name is Corin Fisch and I have been supporting the DUI Task Force for the past 2 years. Began my internship to be a Licensed Addictions Counselor (LAC) in 2004 and became licensed in 2007 and worked treating clients that were chemically dependent in an Intensive Outpatient setting and at the same time began a Master’s program to become a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) I then I then began my internship for LCPC working at the Shelby prison followed with working an addiction inpatient treatment center, and then as a CSCT provider in the elementary school system for the remainder of my internship. I became licensed as an LCPC, LAC and in 2010 I along with another counselor opened a private practice. I believe part of my work and obligation to our community is in prevention which why I am thankful for what the DUI Task Force stands for, and the reason for my support of the DUI. Task Force.

Mark Hewitt contributed 26 years in the Air Force, Retired in 2008, lived in Great Falls since 2004.Currently I’m the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment (ADAPT) program Coordinator on Malmstrom AFB. I’m Responsible for management and development of installation-level Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment (ADAPT) programs for 18,000 active duty military, civilian, retirees and their family members.  Consultant and point-of-contact for commanders, first Sergeants’ and supervisors on substance abuse related issues.  Plan and present training sessions on substance abuse prevention to include briefings for key personnel, new-comers, First Term Airman Center, Professional Development Center, Commander Calls and other prevention support as needed. I believe I can bring a unique perspective to the Task Force integrating Malmstrom with the community and look forward to working with the DUI Task Force.

My name is Jim Whitaker and I was born and raised in Belt, Montana. I served in the Army. For 25 years I worked at Northern School Supply. I have also been a Cub Master and Boy Scout Leader. I have also served in the Montana House of Representatives. I have been a member of the DUI Task Force for 10 years and serve as the treasurer for the task force.

Task Force Coordinator: Jerry Kelley

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My name is Jerry Kelley and I am the Coordinator for the Cascade County DUI Task Force. I would like to tell a little about myself so you can better know who is helping represent the County concerning impaired driving issues. I am a Washington State native who lived most of my formative years in the north central part of the state. I proudly served in the United States Air Force for 26 years working in the aircraft maintenance career field stateside, and in both Europe and the Far-East. For the past 16 years now, I have been employed at the Great Falls Pre-Release Center. It is a great place to work and we do many good things for the residents who live here and the community as a whole. I have worked as a resident advisor for four years, was then promoted to the community service/jail alternative office. I am now the coordinator of the community service and jail alternative programs as well as other ancillary services the Center provides for the courts and the Probation and Parole Bureau. With this promotion I became the County DUI Coordinator. Please help us and our community out by always having a plan to get home safely. It is the responsible thing to do. What’s Your Plan?