Susan Denson-Guy

  • Executive Director

Susan has more than 20 years’ experience working with education and outreach programs at museums, art centers, schools and state education agencies. She has experience in administration; physical plant management; marketing; membership services; exhibit installation, maintenance and programming; working with nonprofit boards; event planning; fund raising; program evaluation; and writing successful grants. Community association and involvement in the arts and culture; student and child voice; and civic awareness have always been important in her life and work.

Renee Stephens

  • Director of Operations

Renee earned her BA in political science with an emphasis in public administration from the University of Montana. Her education and 17 years of large project management experience make her uniquely qualified to oversee the operations of this 100-year-old, 65,000 square-foot community landmark.

Alissa Kost

  • Education Curator

Alissa has six years’ experience planning and implementing enrichment programs for students of all ages. She earned her BA in fine arts with an emphasis in painting from Northwest Missouri State University. For the past year, Alissa has been revising the Emerson’s art education offerings to best meet the needs of our community.

Mike Weix

  • Theater Manager

Mike, who started with the Emerson in 2001, earned his BA in ceramics and sculpture from Montana State University and a BFA in inter-media from the University of California-San Diego. He has worked with the renowned performance artist Allan Kaprow. Mike oversees all Crawford Theater events and provides technical assistance for events in the Ballroom and Weaver Room. Mike also plans the music program for Lunch on the Lawn, now in its 17th year on the Emerson west lawn. His band, the Longhorns, is a local favorite.

Tamara Knappenberger

  • Events & Membership Manager

Passion for art and culture, life-long learning and community has led Tamara to the Emerson. She brings 20+ years of non-profit experience with many organizations including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Wyoming 4-H/Extension, and Museum of the Rockies. Tamara has a BA in Geography- GIS from the University of Wyoming and a BFA in Graphic Design from Montana State University. She is a fiber artist and has been an Artist in Residence at Longfellow Elementary School for the past 7 years.

Erik Hansen

  • Maintenance Technician

Erik has 21 years of experience in construction and renovation, which is a tremendous asset for this historic building. He earned his BA in fine arts with an emphasis in sculpture from Montana State University.


Wynn Jessup

  • President

After an extensive career in the investment industry in leadership positions, including most recently as chairman and president of Chartwell Investment Partners and Rigel Capital, Wynn now serves on a number of boards as a director or president. He has been with the Emerson board since 2012.

Mike Drewiske

  • Vice President

Mike, retired after 38 years in Federal Civilian service with the US Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, specialized in commercial guaranteed loans, grants, agriculture and consumer loans, and economic development. Mike is currently employed by First Security Bank as Assistant Vice President with an emphasis in commercial and consumer loans. Mike was elected to the Emerson board in 2015.

Brook Merrow

  • Secretary

Brook, who initially pursued a career in public relations and advertising, is a former middle and high school English teacher. Currently a writing instructor at Gallatin College, Brook was named to the Emerson board in 2012.

Jim Runyan

  • Treasurer

A certified public accountant and owner of Runyan and Associates, Jim was an aeronautical engineer and later an internal auditor with The Boeing Company. He established his business in Bozeman in 1995 and was elected to the Emerson board in 2014.

Vicki Saab

  • Director

Vicki is a research ecologist at the USDA Rocky Mountain Research Station on the Montana State University campus. She has been an affiliate faculty member in the ecology department at Montana State University since 2002. She was elected to the Emerson board in 2017.

Dave Cole

  • Director

Dave is a partner and CFP® at Palisade Financial. He lives in Bozeman with his wife, Stephanie, and two daughters. Growing up in the Gallatin Valley, he has always had a love for the area and the opportunities it provides. In addition to joining the Emerson board in 2019, Dave serves on the board of Alive Again Life Recovery Mission organizing its annual Run for Recovery 5K/10K. In his free time, he enjoys trail running, skiing, coaching his daughters’ soccer teams, and all things outdoors.

Suzy Rea

  • Director

With a project management career spanning two decades, Suzy has led teams in the production of media for theatrical films, special venue installations and museums worldwide. Some of her work can be seen at NASA’s Space Center Houston, the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum and the Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Upon moving to Bozeman, Suzy applied her expertise in the classroom as an adjunct instructor for Montana State University’s School of Film and Photography and continues to develop film projects.

Alan DeWit

  • Director

Alan has over 10 years of banking experience in the Gallatin valley and is currently the Assistant Vice President of Commercial Lending for Rocky Mountain Credit Union.  He has also worked for a couple of technology companies, both in Bozeman as well as Denver, CO.  Alan was elected to the Emerson board in 2019.

Lucas Swart

  • Director

Lucas Swart grew up in Bozeman before moving to Washington for college and to pursue a degree in Geology at Whitman College. After college, Lucas moved to Seattle where he worked for 10 years in geotechnical and environmental consulting. He recently moved back to Bozeman from the Seattle area. Lucas is currently working in construction management. While not working his interests include photography, climbing, skiing, and mountain biking as well as other outdoor activities.