Meet Our Staff
President & CEO
Chuck Wendt, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Montana State University Billings Foundation, was chosen to lead the overall efforts of the Foundation to advance the goals of Montana State University Billings through the solicitation, investment, and stewardship of financial support. He sits on the MSU Billings Chancellor’s Cabinet, the University’s top administrative team. Prior to his over 20-year career in fundraising, he spent 20 years in corporate life and served as director of marketing for a Fortune 500 corporation. Wendt brings with him a track record of fundraising success in all areas and expertise in team-building and organizational development. His considerable experience in fundraising for science and higher education led him to apply for and accept the position at the Foundation in 2014.
Wendt is eager to become a part of the Billings community. Previously, Wendt was the founder and president of a hospital foundation in South Carolina. His past board service includes various foundations and chambers of commerce in South Carolina and Arizona.
Wendt earned his undergraduate degree in business administration and an M.B.A., both from the University of Denver.
Chief Financial Officer
Jon Egeland, Chief Financial Officer (CFO), joined the Montana State University Billings Foundation team in September 1991. As CFO, he reports directly to the President & CEO and works with the Foundation’s treasurer and across the organization to lead and manage all financial aspects of the Foundation, including budgetary functions, financial reporting, investment performance analysis and the related oversight of Foundation investment managers. Egeland is also experienced in planned giving and works with Foundation donors with their gift/estate planning. As CFO, Egeland serves as staff liaison for the Fiscal Affairs and Real Estate Committees. A native of Northeastern Montana, Egeland is a 1989 graduate of MSU Billings (then Eastern Montana College) with a BS in accounting. Prior to joining the Foundation, Egeland served three seasons as a CPA with local public accounting firms.
Director of Major Gifts
Jane Urbaska, Director of Major Gifts, joined the Montana State University Billings Foundation in October 2013. Engaging individuals, corporations and foundations with the University’s top initiatives to develop a broad base of support is Jane’s primary responsibility. Jane works closely with University and Foundation leadership to advance the mission and vision of MSU Billings.
A native of Billings, Montana, Jane received her master’s and bachelor’s degrees from the University of Montana—Missoula. Her professional career has been spent equally in higher education advancement, business, and public relations and brings leadership expertise from the Universities of Virginia, Wisconsin, Idaho, and Utah. Jane is thrilled to live in Billings and enjoys the beautiful outdoors and wonderful community spirit.
Development Officer for Wine & Food Festival
Jeanne Moller, Development Officer for Wine & Food Festival, has been with the Montana State University Billings Foundation since November 1994. Her primary responsibility is directing the annual MSU Billings Foundation Wine and Food Festival. She graduated from MSU Billings (then Eastern Montana College) with a BS in business administration/marketing in 1984. Prior to coming to the MSU Billings Foundation, Moller worked for 10 years at the Billings Chamber of Commerce as the Director of Business Development/Director of Leadership Billings.
Development Officer for Academic Priorities
Ashley Picard, Development Officer for Academic Priorities, will work closely with the Foundation’s leadership as well as academic and administrative leaders across the University to secure funds for top-priority fundraising opportunities. Picard received a BA in Political Science from Georgia College and State University and a Masters in Public Administration from Brigham Young University. She has over 10 years of experience in nonprofit development, community outreach, fundraising and sales. Most recently, Picard worked with the Girl Scouts of Utah. She is excited to be a part of the Billings community.
Lani Gershmel Martin
Lani Gershmel Martin, Development Associate, joined the Montana State University Billings Foundation in August 2012. Lani serves as the primary internet-based communications representative for the Foundation, assists the Foundation's major gifts team, and plans and implements the alumni phonathon. She earned an AAS degree from Dawson Community College in Agri-Business in 1988 and a BS in Psychology from Walden University in 2011.
Susan Rhodes, Scholarship Administrator, has been with the Montana State University Billings Foundation since September 1982. She administers the scholarship program for MSU Billings which encompasses soliciting renewal of annual scholarship awards, coordinating the annual selection of scholarship recipients with the various on-campus and off-campus selection committees, coordinating the distribution of the scholarship awards each semester with the Financial Aid Office and the Business Office, and notifying the scholarship recipients of their award. Susan maintains contact with the scholarship benefactors on a regular basis regarding the scholarship recipients and the status of their scholarship fund. She also organizes the annual Chancellor’s Scholarship Reception and processes donor’s gifts/ pledges that are restricted to scholarships. Susan received an AA degree in business from MSU Billings (then Eastern Montana College) in 1973.
Research & Records Coordinator
Phyllis Kerr, Research and Records Coordinator, has been with the Montana State University Billings Foundation in a variety of capacities since 1979. She is responsible for donor research; maintaining the Foundation’s extensive alumni, friends and donors database; producing data reports to support all fundraising activities of the Foundation; as well as gift entry and writing articles. She has a BA in English from the University of Western Ontario and a paralegal certificate from MSU Billings.
Director of Annual Giving & Publications
Shannon Behounek, Director of Annual Giving & Publications, rejoined the Montana State University Billings Foundation in July 2012. Behounek coordinates the Annual Drive for Excellence that raises dollars to support the immediate needs of the University. With the invaluable assistance of nearly 100 volunteers each year, she plans and implements the community drive, campus drive, direct mail campaign, and phonathon. She earned a BA in mathematics with an emphasis in operations research in 1991 from the University of Montana. Behounek is active in the community and in her church.
Director of First Impressions & Donor Relations
Judy Hughes, Director of First Impressions & Donor Relations, has been with the Montana State University Billings Foundation since January 2001. Hughes provides administrative support for the Foundation’s Wine & Food Festival and coordinates all aspects of donor relations. Prior to joining the Foundation, she was the accounts receivable manager for Food Services of America. Hughes is an MSU Bozeman graduate and majored in elementary education and psychology.
Part-time Communications & Development Associate
Casey Rasmussen, Part-time Communications & Development Associate, has been with the Montana State University Billings Foundation since February 2014. Rasmussen is currently finishing her Master of Science in Public Relations with an emphasis in Media and Society at MSU Billings while assisting the Foundation with fundraising efforts for the renovation and expansion of Yellowstone Hall. Her primary responsibility will be working with graduates of the last decade. Casey has a BS in Business Administration with an emphasis in Small Business Management from University of Montana – Western.