About Friends of Park County

Created to work on just one issue – the challenge of growth in Park County, Montana.

There are many issues in Park County, Montana and many organizations addressing them. Decades of experience elsewhere has demonstrated the need for having an organization dedicated solely to the issue of managing growth.

Growth is a complex, politically sensitive topic, which requires specialized knowledge, persistence over time and the ability to advocate, educate and communicate effectively to a wide range of audiences.

That is why Friends of Park County was created.

We carry out our mission through a solid program of research, education, advocacy, and outreach that will enable our elected leaders and residents to move forward confidently, despite the almost inevitable controversy generated by land use planning and regulation.

Board of Directors

Frank Schroeder

Board Chair

Frank got his first taste of Park County and Paradise Valley when, in 1954 as a young man, he and his family and another family from Central Illinois came west for a “Montana adventure” at the then noted Ox Yoke Ranch (now Mountain Sky) near Emigrant, sited next to Big Creek.

He bought his Mill Creek property in 1970 and then settled in Park County full time in 2010. Frank’s partner, Anne Donahoe, joined him in 2016.

Frank was a member of the Park County Planning and Development Board from 2007 to 2020.  He also served as a board member, and later an advisory board member of Park County Environmental Council (PCEC).  After 45 years in corporate America, Frank founded Campus2Career, a premier one on one career counseling service in 2009. He is a CASA volunteer and a support group facilitator of the Montana Alzheimer’s Association.

Frank serves as the Chair of Friends of Park County.

Jean Keffeler

Jean Keffeler is a horse rancher and a retired business executive. She has held executive positions in government and business and healthcare.  She has served on numerous corporate and not for profit boards, and such public boards and commissions as the Regents of the University of Minnesota, and several Minnesota Gubernatorial Commissions.  She was a member of the Park County Planning and Development Board, 2019-2020.

Jean was introduced to Montana in 1985 when she bicycled from Juarez to Calgary.  She has cycled throughout the United States, crossing the country border to border or coast to coast, eleven times.

Park County has been home to Jean and her husband, David Stanley, since 1998 when they bought their ranch property on Swingley Road.  Both of them are committed to preserving and furthering the special history of the land and people of Park County.  David serves as a CASA volunteer and a director of Livingston HealthCare.  He co-chaired the ten million dollar capital campaign resulting in the construction of the new Livingston Hospital and Clinic.

Ken Cochrane

Ken Cochrane brings extensive legal and nonprofit experience to the Friends of Park County board. An avid fly fisherman looking for the perfect place to settle for retirement,  he bought property in Park County in 2008.

Ken has been involved in community and environmental issues throughout his residence in Park County. Land use, housing, jobs and improving internet services for education and economic development have commanded Ken’s civic attention. In addition to his work as a co-founder and director of Friends of Park County, Ken is a currently a director of the Park County Community Foundation where he also chairs the Grant Committee.

Ken practiced law in California for 48 years, many of them at McCormick Barstow LLP as an AV rated Family Law Specialist and an elected Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Food Science from the University of California, Davis and graduated from the Hastings College of Law at the University of California.

Ken lives with his partner, Jane Conover – a California cattle rancher, on Mill Creek in Paradise Valley.

Heidi Barrett

Heidi Barrett has over 30 years of non-profit experience, in Park County, beginning as the sole employee of a small grass-roots organization, the Beartooth Alliance, in Silver Gate, Montana in the early 90’s. This group successfully halted an industrial gold mine on the border of Yellowstone National Park in 1996. She then worked for the Greater Yellowstone Coalition for 17.5 years in the development department. She directed the Park County Senior Center for nearly two years before joining ASPEN as its Executive Director in 2016.

Heidi grew up on a farm in Nebraska and visited Silver Gate, Montana in 1983.  She fell in love with the area and began working summers there in 1984 and met her husband Jim, they married in 1991 making their home in Silver Gate until 1998 when they moved to Livingston.

Heidi has served as a board member for Park County Environmental Council, Livingston Center for Art and Culture, Angel Line Transportation Services, and currently serves as founding Chair of the Park County Public Transit Advisory Board which operates Windrider, a free fixed route bus service in Livingston.  She and Jim are proud of serving as tour coordinators for Shakespeare in the Parks for Silver Gate collectively for over 32 years.

Heidi’s passion has always been about protecting the natural amenities of Park County and creating healthy communities. She enjoys people from all walks of life and is energized when making a positive difference for those around her.  Heidi has BFA from the University of Nebraska, and an endorsement for K-12 in Art Education.  She lives with her husband, Jim, in Livingston.

Thomas Blurock

Thomas Blurock is a Livingston resident and an architect with 50 years of experience in design and planning. He and his wife Kathleen live in a historic building in downtown Livingston which he recently rehabilitated as residential and retail space.  Before moving to town, he had a fishing cabin for thirty years in Tom Miner Basin. An active member of the community, he serves on the City of Livingston Historic Preservation Commission and The Guiding Principal Strategic Planning Committee.

His award-winning firm for 35 years specialized in the design and planning of educational facilities in urban areas. He has been involved in the development of healthy communities for his entire working life. Early in his career, he was involved in a number of downtown revitalization projects in California and along the East Coast. He is a fellow of the American Institute of Architects.

Staff

Friends of Park County contracts with Future West and Robert Liberty for staffing support.

Robert Liberty

Strategic Advisor

Robert has almost forty years of experience with the design, implementation, evaluation and politics of land use and transportation plans, at the local, regional and state levels. His advice has been sought from places as different as Bozeman, Montana and Beijing, China.

Robert’s experience in both the public and private world gives him a unique ability to bring people together, speak their language and bridge divides to get tangible results.

Key Past Leadership:

  • Founder & Director of the Urban Sustainability Accelerator and Institute for Sustainable Solutions at Portland State University
  • Smart Growth Consultant and Public Speaker – US and International
  • 2-term Councilor at Metro Regional Government
  • Senior Counsel to Congressman Earl Blumenauer in the Third District of Oregon
  • Executive Director, 1000 Friends of Oregon

Robert is passionate about helping communities translate lofty planning goals and visions into the policies and practices that bring to reality compact, vibrant, sustainable and equitable cities and neighborhoods and the conservation of working farm, ranch and forest lands.

Robert has a JD from Harvard Law School, an MA from Oxford University, a BA from the University of Oregon Honors College and was a Loeb Fellow at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard.