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Since 2018, the Montana Mindfulness Project has cultivated a strong vision, mission and passionate team. We are a community-wide resource, and the only secular mindfulness organization teaching in schools and youth organizations in the state of Montana.

Our Vision:
Serving youth and young adults to grow a kinder world.
Our Mission:
We foster confidence, well-being and resilience by providing mindfulness tools in our communities and schools. 
Our Core Values: Respect, Responsibility, Inquiry and Connection 
Our Vision: Serving youth and young adults to grow a kinder world.
Our Mission: We foster confidence, well-being and resilience by providing mindfulness tools in our communities and schools. 

Meet Our Team

President | Co-Founder

Margaret Kachadurian

margaret@mtmindfulness.org

Margaret is a licensed clinical social worker with a background in psychology, health and spirituality. She specializes in teaching meditation and mindfulness, offering the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction 8-week course and customizing training for caregivers, social service and healthcare providers, businesses, community groups and the public since 2010. Margaret's vision of vibrant, resilient people and communities is rooted in her own continual learning and mindfulness practice.

Today's evidence-based scientific research is proving how ancient practices of meditation and living mindfully strengthen resilience and joy in living the good life. The MBSR course she teaches, which has been taught internationally for almost fifty years, has been the leader in public education in secular mindfulness because of its fidelity and rigor in gold-standard research. Neuroscientific findings have shown that mindfulness is a skill that can be learned, allowing us to face obstacles such as uncertainty and fear with courage as we learn how to trust our own basic goodness to live authentic beneficial lives. "May it be so" is Margaret's pledge and commitment to contribute to MMP's educational mission. Margaret is a co-founder of MMP since its incorporation in 2019.

Lead Teacher | Co-Founder

Sara Friedman

sara@mtmindfulness.org

Sara has been an educator her entire professional life. She received a BA from University of Wisconsin, Madison and an M.A. in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from Bank Street College of Education in New York City. Her experiential teaching experience includes working as an instructor for the Glacier Institute in Columbia Falls, Montana, Project U.S.E. in Redbank, New Jersey, and the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School in Newry, Maine. Sara’s classroom teaching experience includes schools in both the private and public sector: The Hole Montessori in Jackson, Wyoming, City and Country School, The Packer Collegiate Institute, Trevor Day School, and P.S. 41, all in New York. Since moving to Bozeman in 2016, Sara has received her Montana Educator License and has been working as a paraprofessional educator at Morning Star Elementary School, supporting literacy instruction and teaching Mindfulness to students grades 1 – 5. Sara loves the opportunity to offer Mindfulness training to students throughout the Bozeman School District. In addition, Sara is the mother of three children. Sara’s experience as a parent continues to offer the truest, most profound teachings, informing her work and vision as an educator.
Program Manager

Emily Hook

emily@mtmindfulness.org

Empathy, adaptability and adventure are Emily’s driving values. In helping found Bozeman’s BZN International Film Festival, Emily developed her commitment to fostering cultures of cooperation, diligence and imagination. Emily is currently leading web development projects for non-profits and startups, driven both by her knack for design & digital strategy and her passion to celebrate others’ stories. Emily has been a student of mindfulness since high school, where she learned that a strong connection to wilderness, and prioritizing solitude and reflection, are key components to living a life of gratitude and meaning.

Whether on skis, soccer cleats or bare feet, Emily loves to explore her natural environment — though digging into music & movies, doing crossword puzzles and playing board games will always bring her great joy.

Project Manager

Ashley Schwader

ashley@mtmindfulness.org

Ashley holds a Masters Degree in Organizational Leadership with a Specialization in Change Management and Innovation from Colorado State University. She also has a Bachelor's Degree in Health and Exercise Science with a Specialization in Health Promotion from Colorado State University and is a first generation college graduate. Ashley currently lives in Gallatin Gateway Montana with her husband and two kids. She started Two Suns Consulting as a dedication to her two sons as a way to continue to serve others and also have the flexibility to invest in the positive development of her own children as a mother. She is a self-proclaimed adventurist who enjoys hiking, travel, reading, wine, running, yoga, and anything that brings a smile to her children's faces.
Teacher | Board Member-At-Large

Tajali Tolan

tajali@mtmindfulness.org

Tajali Theresa Tolan, MS is a Certified P Mindfulness Educator, Peace Educator, Marriage and Family Therapist, Family Life Educator, and Registered Yoga Teacher. She is the founder of both the Children’s Global Peace Project and The Consciousness Project–an Empowerment Life Coaching business. She has worked in the field for 30 years and is passionate about teaching social-emotional and mindfulness skills. Tajali’s work specializes in creative expression, communication, healthy parent-child relationships and peace work.
Teacher | Board Member-At-Large

Danielle Nicholas

danielle@mtmindfulness.org

Danielle Nicholas is a mindfulness and meditation practitioner with over 20 years’ experience. She has an undergraduate degree in Religious Studies with a focus on Eastern religions from Brown University. Additionally, she has a Master’s in Education with a focus on biology teaching for grades 5-12 and. This interdisciplinary background enables her to work with students from a deep understanding of both the science and practice of mindfulness. Her instruction inherently seeks to create an environment for critical thought and reflection.

Danielle is non-tenure track faculty at Montana State University and has a proven record of student engagement. Danielle is a certified Koru Mindfulness teacher and teaches MMPs young adult offerings. She has called Bozeman home since 2000 and is committed to creating a community of belonging. She has been on the board of the Montana Mindfulness Project since 2020.

Teacher

Joe Gaston

joe@mtmindfulness.org

Ex-military, ex-academic, and ex-grumpy old man, with years of experience in the Army and Navy, a long stint in the institution of academics - specifically philosophy and religious studies, maintenance worker, stay-at-home dad, and consumer of car restoration media, and currently training to be a Soto Zen
priest.

with years of experience in the Army and Navy, a long stint in the institution of academics - specifically philosophy and religious studies, maintenance worker, stay-at-home dad, and consumer of car restoration media, and currently training to be a Soto Zen priest.

Teacher | Board Member-At-Large

Patricia Fowlie MD

pat@mtmindfulness.org

Patricia has over 30 years of experience in Psychiatry, and prior to that, additional years in other healthcare-related fields. Through this extensive education, training, experience, continuing education and self-study in physical, emotional, and spiritual well being and distress, she has been able to work with a variety of people in a collaborative way to improve the areas of their lives that they are most eager to improve.

After starting her formal practice of mindfulness in 2012, she gradually experienced the profound beneficial effects in her life. She was then able to help her patients in an additional way by teaching and practicing mindfulness with them. She has continued to practice and study the fascinating neurological, biological, and psychological effects of a mindfulness practice. She is glad to be working with MMP to help a broader range of people.

Teacher

Amy Carse

amy@mtmindfulness.org

Amy Carse was raised in Vermont on a farm between two covered bridges. After getting a Bachelor’s degree at UVM in Anthropology and Environmental Studies in the early 90’s she went to find bigger mountains and fewer bugs in Montana and found Bozeman to be home. Her mindfulness meditation practice began in 1992 while attending a 10-day silent meditation retreat with a Buddhist monk in Thailand. Her fascination with how humans adapt to their environment and a love for wild places, people and travel led her to become a professional Mountain Guide in the US and Nepal for the first two decades of her adult life, where climbing was her mindfulness practice. She still enjoys adventuring and discovering new things, but current expeditions are more often to explore the workings of her own mind. She is passionate about individual and community well-being and continues to better herself so she can show up as her best for those around her. Amy believes that we are more the same than different and that given the right tools, we can interact with ourselves and each other in a positive manner. She loves to teach children and adults and is a Certified Mindfulness teacher through Mindful Schools. She looks forward to sharing these Mindfulness practices with elementary students this year and as a result she hopes to add a bit of positivity, kindness and compassion to our community, society, and world. Her other interests are wildcrafting, beekeeping, singing, and spending time in wild places with her family and friends. Favorite quote: To love ourselves and support each other in the process of becoming real is perhaps the greatest single act of daring greatly.” Brene Brown
Teacher

Jessie Bozman

jessie@mtmindfulness.org

Jessie is a licensed clinical social worker who has a private practice in Bozeman and Ennis Montana. Jessie graduated from Walla Walla University in 2010 with an MSW. She is strongly devoted to cultivating human connection by focusing on personal strengths. For the past twelve years, Jessie has focused her work with children, adolescents, adults and families from all cultures and backgrounds. She uses a variety of evidence based interventions to help link the mind/body connection such as mindfulness, compassion work and grounding techniques to help folks heal from past trauma. Her goal is to assist her community by encouraging personal growth in others through nurturing strengths, authenticity and resilience. Jessie enjoys her own meditation practices, exercising in her garage gym, hanging with her family, reading with curiosity and being out in nature with her furry companion.
Vice-President

James Loeffelholz

A transplant from the midwest, James has called Bozeman home for 22 years. He is a physician with Bozeman Health practicing Internal Medicine and Hyperbaric Medicine, but has served in predominantly administrative roles for the last 15 years. After a decade on the health system’s executive leadership, he currently works to change healthcare reimbursement to be based on the health of the population, and how well patients are cared for instead of how much care they receive.

Having practiced mindfulness through Zen Buddhism for over thirty years, James is personally familiar with the benefits of mindfulness practice. MMP’s work of promoting mindfulness furthers the effort toward improved public health by giving youth tools to remain copacetic in a turbulent world. James joined the MMP Board in 2020 and serves as Vice President.

Treasurer

Sarah Fitzgerald

Sarah Fitzgerald is a Partner at NorthFork Financial, an independent financial planning and investment advisory firm, specializing in socially responsible investing. Prior to joining NorthFork, Sarah spent over 10 years working in impact finance, providing small business loans to entrepreneurs, structuring large real estate deals, utilizing New Markets Tax Credits, and designing and deploying a custom impact fund, focused on food security, low income housing, indigenous communities and BIPOC entrepreneurs. Sarah is originally from Helena and is grateful for her Montana roots. Beginning in college, she spent summers working in Glacier National Park and went on to spend nearly a decade working seasonally in remote, wild places in Montana, Utah, Arizona and Alaska. Sarah holds undergraduate degrees in Environmental Studies and Sustainable Development and a Masters in Business Administration. Sarah is also a Certified Teacher for the Search Inside Yourself Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence (now SIY Global) program.
Board Member | MSU Ambassador

Amiya Williams

Amiya is obtaining her Bachelor of Science in Business Management with a Minor in International Business, and an emphasis on Community Health at Montana State University. She currently is the Montana District Governor of Circle K International, Jake Jabs College of Business & Entrepreneurship Ambassador, and a 4-H member. Her own life experiences have shown her the value in resiliency, and her passion has always lied in helping others, as well as helping them find resilience in their own situations. After working with numerous non-profits and community organizations, her love to serve others only deepened. As a Montana native, she grew up in the outdoors and enjoying all the things Montana has to offer. Amiya is a social butterfly who loves spending time with friends & family; whether that be exploring, watching a funny show, or baking them some goodies.
Grant Specialist

Abby Bernard

Abby is endlessly curious about the power of language and how the work of words can bring about meaningful change. She first combined this curiosity with her love for nonprofit work in 2018 when she became a founding member of Crescent Montana—a Bozeman-based nonprofit working to combat period poverty in Montana. At Crescent, she started to learn about the importance of finding fitting funding opportunities to achieving one’s goals. Now, she applies these lessons and more to her desire to make the world a better place, one grant application at a time.
Abby’s background rests in American Studies, Hispanic Studies, and Native American Studies, which gives her the invaluable tools to explore problems with an interdisciplinary and complex lens. Seeking connection, understanding, and change through collaboration and creativity are her jam. She thrives in environments that allow for curiosity and the chance to help and give back to others whenever possible (including volunteering at Haven, working at the World Language Initiative’s BELLA summer camp, and continuing to pour her heart into Crescent Montana).

Abby grew up in the Black Hills of South Dakota with a family that taught her to love to play outside—skiing, hiking, camping, picnicking, general romping in the snow, you name it. She also enjoys reading and spending time with friends and family. Much to the chagrin of her bank account, she loves to travel whenever and wherever possible. She’s trying, but mostly failing, to improve her yoga and journaling habits.

Bring clarity, kindness, and resilience to the youth you care about.