Hermina Harold, Executive Director
Hermina got her community land trust education from working at the North-Missoula Community Development Corporation (NMCDC), Montana’s longest-running community land trust organization, for ten years. During her time at NMCDC, she co-managed the development of NMCDC’s CLT commercial food hub building, establishing Burns Street Center’s neighborhood food programs. She also worked with home owners in the 47-unit CLT housing program.
Hermina advocates for the prioritization of the CLT tool in community housing policies and collaborates with local civic organizations, non-profits, city and county planning offices, and governing bodies. Hermina has forged partnerships that leverage the limited resources available for community development projects in order to increase access to land and homes for low- and moderate-income Montanans. This networking and collective action has increased the number of permanently affordable homes in Montana, modeling strategies to magnify the state’s limited subsidy dollars.
Hermina grew up in the Flathead Valley and attended the University of Montana, where she graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Social Work in 2009. She is passionate about securing land for affordable housing and farmland in order to build more vibrant and equitable Montana communities. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lori Freeman, General Counsel
Lori provides legal services for Trust Montana and assistance to other community land trusts in Montana. She drafts and updates closing documents including ground lease contracts, real property deeds, and donation agreements. She drafted variants of proposed state legislation and she has submitted an article for publication in Montana Lawyer, which is awaiting publication. One of Lori’s primary responsibilities is the education of key stakeholders involved in CLT transactions. She has taught one continuing legal education course, prepared many educational presentations and developed several quick reference guides. Lori also manages a pro bono program working to assist CLT home buyers to find volunteer attorneys to ensure they have a clear and complete understanding of their ground lease agreement. Her work is funded by a generous grant from the Montana Justice Foundation.
Lori graduated from the University of Montana with degrees in Economics and Russian and received her law degree from the University of Montana School of Law in 1990, with high honors. She practiced law for eight years with the law firm of Dorsey & Whitney LLP in Billings, Montana, focusing her practice in the areas of Bankruptcy, Banking, Loan Workout Agreements, and Insurance Defense. She then took time off to stay home with her children, while earning a Masters of Education degree from the University of Montana. From 2011 to 2020, Lori worked at the Alexander Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana as the Director of Admissions and Career Development. She established a program to promote wellness for students. She also taught classes in legal writing and presented workshops on resume and cover letter writing, networking, interviewing skills, financial planning, and more.
Bill Henry, Stewardship and Projects Coordinator
Bill provides support to current and prospective Trust Montana homeowners, stewards Trust Montana-owned properties around the state to ensure they remain permanently affordable, and coordinates the moving pieces of new projects in collaboration with the Trust Montana board and Director. Bill comes to Trust Montana after graduating with an M.S. in Community and Environmental Planning from the University of Montana. During graduate school, he interned for Trust Montana and focused his research on affordable housing policy and funding mechanisms. In the summer of 2018, he worked with the Montana Food Bank Network for the Hunger in Montana Survey. He has experience working in Montana for local government, as an employment professional, and as a general contractor. Before moving to Montana, Bill attended Wheaton College in Massachusetts, where he graduated with a B.A. in American History.
Austin Wallis, Outreach and Advocacy Coordinator
As the Outreach and Advocacy Coordinator Austin works to promote the CLT tool across Montana. She works to develop the organization’s marketing and education materials, manages social media platforms, helps to edit legal documents, and develops relationships with community leaders and non-profit organizations. She also advocates for state and local policies that increase affordable housing and farmland in Montana communities. Austin comes to Trust Montana after graduating from the Alexander Blewett III School of Law in May of 2020. She worked as a staff attorney for Nevada Legal Services in Reno, NV where she focused on unemployment, landlord/tenant and public benefit cases. Austin’s interest in the community land trust model began when she interned for Trust Montana during law school. She is thrilled about spreading the word about the CLT tool across Montana so that more communities can secure much-needed affordable housing and farmland.