Role of Advisory Committee

The Advisory Committee consists of area professionals whose careers have been dedicated in one way or another to helping abused kids. Each person on the committee views the problem from a different perspective and provides insight and professional knowledge. Advisory Committee members volunteer their time to offer guidance and input regarding current challenges and where funds can be best directed to provide the most impact.

Megan Burton

Megan Burton is founder and owner of New Roots, PLLC a counseling center operating out of Dutton, Fairfield, and Great Falls. She received her M.A. degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Liberty University and went on to get licensed as a professional counselor in the state of Montana. Megan takes a holistic and integrative approach to counseling, desiring to meet you where you're at and help you grow into a person who is healthy and whole both emotionally and spiritually. Having spent the last eight years working with children women and families Megan specializes in play therapy, CBT, solution focused therapy, and family therapy.

Megan specifically has a heart to help children, knowing that healthy children will ensure a healthy future for our community, our nation, and our world. Megan recognizes that children are often victims of their circumstances but they do not have to remain victims. They can be rescued from bad situations, recover from trauma, learn healthy coping mechanisms, break family cycles of dysfunction, and grow up to be healthy high functioning adults who have the potential to affect positive change in their spheres of influence.

April Palmer

April Palmer has been helping and saving children in North Central Montana for over 20 years. She began her career in 2000 as a Juvenile Correctional Officer at the Youth Transition Center in Cascade County after earning her Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice. April is currently the Child Welfare Manager at the DPHHS - Child and Family Services Division - Region 2. She has been with the DPHHS specializing in child protection since August of 2004. When you consider the typical burn out rate for child welfare officers, it is clear that April has an absolute passion and determination for helping kids who need it. April chose to be part of our Advisory Committee because she knows that one of the largest barriers for effectively helping these children and their families is financial, and this foundation focuses specifically on providing major funding to help already existing organizations and non-profits to do even more good. April is married and a proud mom to her daughters.

Shelly Woods Johnson

Shelly Woods Johnson was born and raised in Great Falls, Montana and graduated from CM Russell High School. She attended the University of Montana and earned a bachelor's degree in education and later obtained a master's degree in guidance and counseling. She began her career in education as an elementary teacher at Choteau Elementary teaching third grade for ten years. She then served in the part-time position of elementary counselor for nineteen years while raising her children. The final phase of her career involved service as the K-12 counselor. She retired from Choteau Public Schools in 2021 after thirty-eight years.

Shelly served on the Fairfield Public School board of trustees for twenty-one years. Shelly was a also member of the Teton County Library board for several years. She is an active member of the United Church of Christ in Fairfield, volunteers with Peace Hospice and the Fairfield Food Bank.

Shelly is the mother of two grown sons and has been married to her husband, Mike, for forty years.

Rob Beall

Rob Beall is married with two young children. He is retired from the Great Falls Police Department, where he spent his last few years supervising the response to a significant number of critical incidents involving children and has seen first-hand the tragic toll violence can take on victims and the community. He was fortunate to lead a dedicated group of detectives who relentlessly ensure children and victims have a voice, an opportunity at justice, and a safe environment for their education. In his over 20 year career, he served in Patrol, Support Services, and the Investigative Services Bureau. His special assignments included: team leader/medic on the department's tactical team, detective, field training officer, vehicle operations instructor, and several other positions. Since completing his first career, he now works for Great Falls Fire Rescue, where he is a Firefighter/EMT. While an entirely new challenge, it continues to put him on the front lines of community response and engagement.

Nolan Eggen

Nolan Eggen is a Captain with the City of Great Falls Fire Department assigned to Engine 2. He has been with the department for 18 years and leads daily operations, emergency response of an engine company and is a fire investigator. Never knowing when a crisis will strike, he is often one of the first to respond to emergency situations including incidences of child abuse. Nolan is honored and excited to be part of 1000 in Action because he has made a commitment to making his community better by helping those who can't help themselves. He thinks children should only be concerned with 2 things, learning and having fun, and this organization works to ensure that. He is a married father of two boys who has a small ranch west of Great Falls. When he's not working Nolan enjoys packing mules in the back country and chasing his boys around the state playing youth hockey.

Kelsey Ratliff

Kelsey Ratliff is registered nurse at Benefis Health System, earning her bachelor's degree from Montana State University Bozeman. Kelsey was born and raised in the small town of Conrad MT, surrounded by a large extended family, genuine friends, and lovely community members and mentors. Initially attending college to pursue pre-med, she later discovered nursing aligned with her long term career and family goals. A summer internship in the NICU (neonatal ICU) solidified her passion for taking care of babies. She feels privileged and grateful to be doing her dream job. The compassion driven, yet critical-care focus of the NICU has ultimately provided Kelsey with the opportunity to bear witness to little miracles everyday. The NICU specialty has also shed light on the impact of child abuse and neglect antenatally, postnatally, and beyond. Kelsey fiercely and lovingly protects and nurtures the most vulnerable of our population, and wants to ensure there are ways to cultivate that same level of safety and protection for babies/children when they are discharged home.

Married for almost four years, Kelsey and her husband Jordan live near the beautiful Rocky Mountain Front in Fairfield. Together they welcomed a beautiful little girl two years ago. Elle is their little ray of sunshine. Aside from loving on her daughter, Kelsey's passions and past-times include traveling, spending time at a family cabin on Lake 5, shopping, hiking, and home decor/design. Kelsey is grateful to align her passion for babies and children and their welfare with the work of 1000 in Action.

Cara Guderian

Cara Guderian graduated from the University of Providence with a Criminal Justice Degree and later with a Masters in Organizational Leadership. She has worked with the Great Falls Police Department since 2016 and is currently assigned as a Detective with the Special Victims Unit. In her role, Cara investigates hands-on offenses involving physical and sexual child abuse and works hard to provide justice for victims. She is excited to join the 1000 in Action Advisory Committee, and looks forward to helping to prevent child abuse and protecting those most vulnerable.

Cara also is active with Special Olympics Montana, the Law Enforcement Torch Run, is a member of the GFPD Honor Guard, and a negotiator for the department's High Risk Unit. In her free time, Cara enjoys being outdoors hiking, camping, and traveling with family and friends.