Board Members

2016 Board Member Listing

President:  Cindy Smith
Vice President:  James Gustafson
Secretary:  Andrea Lower
Treasurer:  Tom Peluso

Previous Executive Boards

Executive Member Bios


Cindy Smith


Mrs. Smith has more than fourteen years of management experience working with not-for-profit healthcare systems. She has extensive knowledge of nursing, public health, emergency preparedness, business planning, operations management and management control systems, contract administration, health economics, and financial reporting and analysis.  Mrs. Smith s experience includes three years of service as the Bullhook Community Health Center’s Executive Director in Havre, MT, seven years with Hill County Health Department as the Executive Director, and four years as the Charge Nurse in the Transitional Care Unit for Northern Montana Hospital.

Mrs. Smith earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Healthcare Administration in August of 2009, graduated from the UCLA/Johnson & Johnson Healthcare Executive Program in July of 2009, and earned her Associate’s Degree in Nursing in May of 1996. Mrs. Smith is also a licensed Registered Nurse in Montana and earned her Associate Degree from Montana State University Northern.

In addition to Mrs. Smith’s extensive experience, she is also an active system partner with the following organizations:

  • National Association of Community Health Centers
  • Montana Primary Care Association
  • Community Health Association of Mountain Plain States
  • Hill County Early Childhood Investment Team
  • North Central Montana Transit Authority
  • Hill County Local Advisory Committee

Vice President

James Gustafson


Andrea Lower


Andrea Lower has worked for 18 years in the criminal justice system in Gallatin County. First working for the Sheriffs Office at the Detention Center and currently as the Pretrial Services supervisor. She also serves as an advocate member of the LAC. Andrea has her Bachelors of Science in Sociology from Montana State University. Andrea is a Certified Pretrial Services Professional and POST Certified as a Pretrial Officer for the State of Montana. Andrea is a life long resident of Montana. She lives in Bozeman with her husband Rick and three children Cole, Garrett and Bailey.


Tom Peluso


Since my early retirement, I have dedicated my time to advocating for persons living with mental illness who because of their illness are unable to advocate for themselves.  For me, advocacy is a ministry of life and a passion.  Here is a highlight of my activities in rough chronological order:

  • Served on a Bozeman deaconess Hospital task force to identify mental health resources and nees in the community and devise a plan for services;
  • Chairman of NAMI-Bozeman (12 yrs);
  • Member of the Mental Health Oversight Advisory Committee MHOAC (9yrs);
  • Chairman of the MHOAC Committee which conceptualized and initiated Service Area Authorities (2 yrs);
  • Organized and conducted Community meetings to introduce and plan for the creation of Service Area Authorities (1.5 yrs);
  • Served as a member of the constituting board of directors of the Central Service Area Authority (approx 2 yrs);
  • Vice Chair of the Central Service Area (2 yrs);
  • Chair of the Central Service Area Authority (2yrs);
  • Charter member of the Gallatin County Mental Health Local Advisory Council (10 yrs);
  • Collaborated with DPHHS and AMDD in support of funding for community services, crisis services, 72 Hour Presumptive Eligibility, increased funding for MHSP, and more (4 legislative sessions);
  • AMDD Task Force for BHIF and Crisis Facility Rule Making;
  • Construciton Team Member for a 5 acre Mental Health Campus in Bozeman, including an 11 bed crisis stabilization facility, a four unit independent living unit for persons living with mental illness, an Out-Patient Facility, and the Consumer-Run “Open Arms” Drop-In Center (12 yrs in concept development, fund-raising, and planning, about 2 yrs in design and construction);
  • Participated in and subsidized, through NAMI-Bozeman, the CIT Program in Gallatin County.  The prgram conducted three 40 hr classes and graduated 84 Officers since April 2009.  All graduates are certified through MTPOST (Mt Police Officers Standards and Testing) through the MT Law Enforcement Academy (3 yrs).

Board Member Bios 

Listed Alphabetically

Michelle Cuddy

Crystal Evans

Michelle Hill

Michelle Hill is the Director of Rural Services  for the Center for Mental Health and manages offices in Blaine, Hill, Glacier, Pondera, Teton, and Toole Counties. She joined the Center in 2003 as an In-Home Behavior Specialist.  While completing her master’s degree in counseling she gained experience as an in-training practitioner in In-Home Therapeutic Services, Family Based Services, School Based Services, and Outpatient Therapy. Before becoming the Director of Rural Services in April of 2014, Michelle had experience supervising In-Home Therapeutic Service, Children’s Case Management, Children’s Therapeutic Aids, and Comprehensive School and Community Treatment (CSCT).

Michelle received her undergraduate degree in Psychology with a minor in English Literature from Montana State University, Bozeman (2001) and her Master of Science in Counseling Degree from the University of Great Falls, in Great Falls, MT (2004).  She is currently working to earn her Doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision from Walden University.

Michelle joined the CSAA because of her dedication to the population she serves and to work as a team towards addressing issues that effect mentally ill individuals in north central Montana.

Michelle grew up in the bustling city of Billings, MT.  She currently lives in Great Falls with her husband and furry four-legged children and enjoys traveling, reading, and camping.

Tina Mord

Molly Protheroe

Ray Roberts

Michael Stevenson

Local Advisory Council (LAC) Reps

Shirley Kaufman

Shirley Kaufman

Shirley Kaufman – Gallatin County

Born; Bozeman MT 1950. Education: Montana State University 1972 BS & BA Degree Education-1973-2012 Chicago (Adverting/marketing). 2012 retired to Montana. I volunteered for the position to advocate for mental health in Montana bringing my knowledge and experience from Illinois having a family member diagnosed with mental illness 15 years ago. I have worked with various psych facilities / group homes/ etc. as a volunteer foster parent for 2 girls with Allendale Home for Children ( I also can bring that experience to the table.

Ex-Officio Member

Anita Roessmann

I have been a staff attorney at Disability Rights Montana since 1998.  DRM is a private, non-profit protection, advocacy and civil rights organization for people with disabilities.  We are the official protection and advocacy system for the State of Montana, as required by federal law.  I got involved with the SAA movement kind of accidentally 10 years ago, after the failure of mental health managed care.  I kind of stumbled into my first meeting, but I could tell that something exciting was happening.  A decade later, I am still excited by the growth of the consumer movement in Montana, and DRM remains committed to supporting consumers exert their leadership effectively through the SAA’s, LAC’s and as individuals who are working towards transformation of the mental health system and our communities.

AMDD Collaborators

Mindi Askelson

Kenny Bell

Melissa Higgins

Carrie Lutkehus

Children’s Bureau Liaison

Kandis Franklin

CSAA Fiduciary Agent

Peter, Western Montana Mental Health Center

CSAA Disclaimer:
The CSAA is pleased to provide a website with information about mental illness. However, please remember that the internet is a dynamic resource and the CSAA cannot guarantee that all of the outside links provided will work or that the content will not have changed over time. As a result, the CSAA cannot guarantee the accuracy or availability regarding these resources. It is important that you do your own research to seek out further information and to consult with your professional provider for your unique circumstances. If you, a family member or friend is suffering from mental illness and/or in crisis please seek appropriate professional help.