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.

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.


Dave Cole

  • Vice President

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

  • Secretary

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.

Alissa Banks

  • Director

A fifth-generation Montanan, Alissa returned to her hometown to follow her passion after attending art school in Arizona. She worked for a well-known gallery in Bozeman before opening A. Banks Gallery in June of 2013. A dedicated advocate of arts in the community, Alissa became a board member in 2013.

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.

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.