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AWARE Ink Newsletter

Our Small HR Team Is Spread Across Montana

At AWARE, we believe it takes a team. Because of the nature of the work we do, it is often the people on our front lines working directly with clients who get featured in our stories. In this month’s AWARE Ink, we are thrilled to highlight some of the folks behind the scenes who keep operations running smoothly for those out in the field. 

A team that is critical to our mission is our human resources team. It’s a small, mighty team that currently supports 814 staff throughout Montana. AWARE’s HR team is made up of 9 people, some who work out of the Shared Resources Center in Anaconda and a few who live and work in other parts of our great state.  


We’re grateful for all these people who are so dedicated to the work we do in our mission of helping people live independent lives.  


“They are always a helpful asset and great with helping each other out with job details,” AWARE Human Resources Director Trish Thompson said. 


The human resources team includes long-time staff members who maintain state licensing compliance for residential services as well as employee files, training and background checks (Barb Wilson and Sherry Williamson) and ensures that everyone gets paid each pay period, confirming that hours, benefits and deductions are computed correctly (Jolynne Huotte and Alison Nolan).  


Additionally, AWARE has community liaisons for Missoula, Billings, Butte and Anaconda who are responsible for collaborating with service directors to recruit and hire people to join our dedicated team of caregivers. This team is particularly important as we continue to navigate the challenges of the workforce crisis at a time when demands for our services are at an all-time high.  


We are excited to introduce you to the team who is out in the community working hard to continue growing AWARE’s team. Each of the liaisons provided us with a little about their job positions and what they do to encourage people to consider a career with AWARE. Read more below:  


AWARE Community Liaisons 


Kelly Gardner is a community liaison for Missoula and Billings. She’s been with AWARE for two years now.  


Kelly says that she chose to come on board with AWARE after graduating college. “I was searching for the perfect company to join,” she said. “It was always a dream of mine to work for an organization that made a positive difference in peoples’ lives.” 


Since joining the team, Kelly says that she’s seen countless lives improve for the better with the assistance AWARE provides through its services. “That is the greatest reward I could ever ask for in a career,” she said. 


Kelly recognizes the great bond that she has with the AWARE human resources team and appreciates how the team makes her work enjoyable every day. “I don’t take it for granted,” she said. 




Stephen Berry is the community liaison for Anaconda and also serves as the staffing and scheduling coordinator at AWARE. He’s also been with the company for two years.  


Stephen recognizes AWARE as a great organization that provides many opportunities to learn and grow within. “I enjoy our willingness and ability to lend a helping hand to individuals regardless of the circumstances,” he said.  


There are many positive AWARE success stories. “They help remind me that my work can help bring a positive impact to the lives of others.” 




Breanna Hall came to work at AWARE four months ago and works as the community liaison for Butte. Her title is human resource business partner.  


“I chose to work for AWARE because the company lives by its values,” she said. “AWARE’s staff really gives their all to our clients and believes in the work they do.” 


Bree’s choice to come to work at AWARE is based upon her values to help today’s workforce be the best they can be. “AWARE fit that ideal for me.” 




Alex Combs-Lucero has been with AWARE for 11 years, now working as the community liaison in Great Falls.  


Alex worked direct care for most of her career. “I will cherish the memories I have with my clients forever,” she said. 


Alex stayed with AWARE because she loves how the clients come first. “AWARE’s mission is to help people live independent lives, and there is so much importance in that statement,” she said. 


She also loves that AWARE works as a team and treats all employees as an important asset. “AWARE recognizes that every position and employee are important,” she said.  


Alex is a great example of the forward progression available through the careers at AWARE. “AWARE gives employees an opportunity to move up with their careers internally or start/continue school to further their careers as well because it opens up more career opportunities.” 


As you can see from this short article, AWARE’s HR team is both crucial to supporting our mission to help people live independent lives and is made up of a fantastic group of people. Thank you to all of you for your commitment to AWARE! 


For more information about the jobs available at AWARE, head over to our career site at 

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