About The Arc Western Montana

We work to provide adults with Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities support and services that allow them to live a large and fulfilling life

Our Mission

The Arc Western Montana provides people with developmental disabilities and their families with the skills, tools, and supports that foster self-determination and inclusion, so they thrive as integrated members in their communities.

We envision a world in which people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are leading lives of influence, purpose, and mutually beneficial relationships within the communities where they live, learn, work, and socialize.

Our
Vision

Our History

The Arc Western Montana Staff & Client cleaning the trail

The Arc Western Montana, as the Missoula Developmental Service Corporation (MDSC), was developed as a response to the Montana State Legislature’s desire to provide community-based services for people with developmental disabilities and intensive needs.

Through hard work and a tremendous amount of dedication, professionals worked together to submit a proposal to bring this service to the Missoula Community.

When our doors first opened, 30 of the original 52 individuals served came from Montana Development Center and/or Eastmont Human Services Center. We started solely to serve a population of individuals with significant medical, self-help, and behavioral challenges.

We accepted this challenge and today we take pride in sharing the success stories of those who have achieved a high quality of life in the community.

MDSC began providing services to adults with developmental disabilities and intensive needs in October of 1990. In late 2022, the MDSC became the first Montana chapter of The Arc, a national organization that provides a powerful voice to address issues such as education, employment, housing, and safety that are critical to the disability community.

Our services include:

  • Day Service: Programs Designed to Enhance the Independence and Maximize The Potential Of Our Clients.
  • Residential Services: Group Home Services For Independent Living.
  • 24-hour Nursing Services: 24-hour Nursing Support For Adults with Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities.
  • Behavioral Support Services: Positive Behavioral Support to Learn New Skills, Improve Relationships, & Promote Independence..

Through the dedication of internal and external support, we have quickly developed our services and continue to serve our clients daily.

Meet Our Team

The Arc Western Montana Executive Team

Aaron Atkinson, CEO of The Arc Western Montana

Aaron Atkinson

Chief Executive Officer

Aaron received a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Maryland and his undergraduate degree from Prescott College in Human Development. He has over 29 years of experience supporting people with disabilities and began his career as a direct support professional. Aaron is a Licensed Master Social Worker, Certified Residential Child Care Program Administrator, and former CARF International Surveyor. He is a graduate of the Nonprofit Executive Leadership Program, The National Leadership Consortium, and the Leadership Baltimore County program. Aaron enjoys going on adventures with his wife and children and a few of his interests include fitness, outdoor activities, and cooking.

Fran Hardee, COO of The Arc Western Montana

Frances Hardee

Chief Operating Officer

Fran graduated from Eastern Montana College with a B.S. in Business Administration (emphasis in Accounting) and completed several courses in the M.B.A. program at Arizona State University. As Director of Operations, Fran oversees the financial, payroll, and IT functions within MDSC. Fran has over 34 years of accounting and management experience in a variety of private and not-for-profit entities in Arizona and Montana. Fran strives to develop and maintain a strong financial position for The Arc Western Montana while maintaining the quality and integrity of services for clients and staff. In her non-working hours, Fran enjoys reading, gardening, and Netflix binge-watching.

Amy Conover​, CPO of The Arc Western Montana

Amy Conover

Chief Program Officer

Amy received her B.A. in Peace and Justice and Conflict Studies at Goshen College in Indiana. Time as a victim offender mediator and coordinating a program designed to support juvenile offenders helped her hone her skills in restorative justice and helping people find their voice. Amy also coordinated a wraparound program that expanded her understanding on how to collaborate and problem solve as a team. After acquiring her Master’s in Education at Indiana University and several years teaching, she moved to Montana with her family and became our Staff Development Specialist. Her vision for services is to help clients have their best life possible and doing it in collaboration and support of everyone that touches their life. Amy enjoys everything that Montana has to offer: hiking, biking, floating, and exploring!

Denise James​, CHRO of The Arc Western Montana

Denise Janes

Chief HR Officer

Denise received her M.B.A. with a double cognate in Human Resource Management and Strategic Management from Liberty University as well as a graduate certificate in Marketing. Denise also holds two professional certifications: SHRM Senior Certified Professional and HRCI Senior Professional in Human Resources. Denise comes from a professional background in the auto industry, banking as well as about six years in complex healthcare systems with a progressive human resource background as an HR Generalist, HR Business Partner and a Talent Acquisition Manager. Denise is originally from Missoula and has lived here for a cumulative of 17 years between traveling the world. Denise supports the organization and personnel in pursuing its mission to serve the community to its highest capability. When Denise is not at work she enjoys spending time with her four children and boxer-mix exploring the beautiful variety of hikes and lakes available around the Missoula area.

The Arc Western Team Of Directors

Daniel Keenan​, Director of Community Living of The Arc Western Montana
Daniel Keenan
Director of Community Living
Kasey Morey​, Director of Day Services of The Arc Western Montana
Kasey Morey
Director of Day and Employment Services
Elizabeth Crowe, Director of Nursing for The Arc Western Montana
Elizabeth Crowe, RN
Director of Nursing
Kristy Kusche, Quality Enhancement Coordinator for The Arc Western Montana
Kristi Kusche
Quality Enhancement Coordinator

Meet Our Board of Directors

Shawna Hanson, Chair of The Arc Western Montana
Shawna Hanson, Chair
The Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities
Paul Odegaard, Treasurer and Secretary of The Arc Western Montana
Paul Odegaard, Treasurer and Secretary
Parent
Jeff Smith, Director of The Arc Western Montana
Jeff Smith, Director
WGM Group
Chris Roberts, Director of The Arc Western Montana
Chris Roberts, Director
ALPS Corporation
Shontae Jones, Director of The Arc Western Montana
Shontae Jones, Director
Richcroft
Kathleen Walters, Director of The Arc Western Montana
Kathleen Walters, Director
Montana Realty Network
Brendan Brown, Director of The Arc Western Montana
Brendan Brown, Director
Hellgate Elementary
Clara Moisey, Director of The Arc Western Montana
Clara Moisey, Director
City of Missoula
Robert Cole, Director of The Arc Western Montana
Robert Cole, Director
Advocate

Welcome!

The Missoula Development Service Corporation is now The Arc Western Montana.

We are proud to share that Missoula Developmental Service Corporation (MDSC) is now The Arc Western Montana. This is not a change in name only; it is reflective of our new vision, revised mission, and updated values.

As The Arc Western Montana, we will build on the foundation MDSC established and provide forward-thinking, innovative, and exceptional services.

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