Chris Bacon – President
Chris Bacon began skateboarding at age ten and has been entangled in its web ever since. He moved to Missoula in 1991 where he fell in love with the city’s sense of culture, expression and natural beauty. Chris has been working at the local skateboard/snowboard shop Board of Missoula since 1993 and now owns and operates this successful business. Through this he has helped build, support and maintain skateparks and skateboarders across Montana via sponsorship, instruction, community involvement and design. A founding member and President of the MSA, he has been involved in every aspect of fundraising, designing and building skateparks. In his spare time, Chris enjoys playing in two local bands which have toured the US and Eastern Europe. He is also a proud father to two amazing boys and future skateboarders.
Ross Peterson – Vice President
Ross Peterson is a Missoula native whose roots run through 4 generations of family living in Western Montana. Ross discovered skateboarding at 11 years old and his passion for the sport remains after 30+ years. He spent his late teens and early 20’s as a professional snowboarder and was lucky enough to ride and compete at resorts and backcountry locations across the continental US, Alaska, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and Eastern Europe. He eventually graduated from the University of Montana with an Art/Media Arts degree and now puts his skills to work as a web developer here in the Missoula valley. He is a founding member of the Montana Skatepark Association and also volunteers on the Missoula-based West Central Montana Avalanche Center board. Ross enjoys hanging out with his wife, family, working on remodeling projects, and traveling to warm places with his surfboard whenever possible.
Julie Norris – Treasurer
Julie Norris has lived in Missoula, Montana since 1982. She graduated from Stephens College with degrees in Interdisciplinary Ecology, Computer Science and Equestrian Science. During her early days in Montana, she worked extensively with horses and in the equine field. Starting in 1985 she opened, owned and operated a successful fly-fishing business, as well as a bookkeeping business (both still operating today). In 1998 she started a graphic design/web development business with her husband that has grown into a highly successful venture. By 2000 she had over 15 years of business management, bookkeeping and financial expertise. Since 2006 she has been an active board member of the Montana Skatepark Association. She skateboarded in her youth, is a skateboard enthusiast and strongly believes in what this sport has to offer at-risk youth and their communities. She enjoys traveling, learning new languages, birding, hiking, telemark skiing and time with family and friends.
Andy Kemmis – Secretary
Andy Kemmis is a lifelong resident of Missoula, Montana, has been a skateboarder since 1985, and is one of the founding members of the Montana Skatepark Association. He plays a role in every aspect of achieving the MSA’s goals – from park conception to fundraising to enjoying the finished product. Andy is a graduate of the University of Montana’s School of Journalism and holds a degree in journalism and photojournalism. Since his college days, Andy has tried to spend as much time as possible on his skateboard and snowboard as well as standing behind his camera. When not standing sideways on a board or looking through a viewfinder, Andy enjoys laughing with his wife and daughter, goofing off in the garage, getting dirty working in the yard, and casually riding his bike around the streets of Missoula. He also loves eating burritos. Having been the marketing coordinator at Rocky Mountain School of Photography for many years, Andy has successfully started his own business and currently is a full-time freelance photographer.
Kim Petersen – Director
Kim Petersen began skateboarding 20 years ago in Missoula, Montana. She is a graduate of the University of Montana where she earned her degree in Elementary Education. Upon graduation, she pursued an adventurous career as an outdoor educator in California. Kim worked with schools on Catalina Island where she taught marine biology. Back on the mainland, Kim spent every free moment skateboarding and became a competitor in World Cup Skateboarding’s Women’s Division. She competed in Vert and Bowl contests with a legendary group of women, carving the way for future generations of girls. In 2005, Kim returned to Missoula, eager to help with the final fundraising efforts for Mobash Skatepark. Since 2012, Kim has been involved with the Montana Skatepark Association as a board member. She currently teaches 2nd grade at Missoula’s Sussex School. During the summer months, Kim chases young rippers around the skatepark and explores the open road in search of Montana’s latest skateparks.
Brian Kopper – Director
Brian Kopper moved to Missoula, Montana in 1995. During his collegiate years he spent a year in Spain at the Universidad de Oviedo, two years studying American Finger-style guitar at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, attended classes at the University or Wisconsin – Milwaukee and ultimately graduated with a double major in Spanish and Latin American Studies from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire. Brian spent seven years working and touring as a professional musician and released two independent CDs featuring his original compositions as a singer, songwriter guitarist. He taught Spanish for several years at a Missoula language academy before developing an interest in graphic/web design. Collaborating with his wife they started a graphic/web design business that has grown into a successful company over the past decade. Since 2006, Brian has been involved with the Montana Skatepark Association as a board member. Brian skateboarded in his youth and is a strong supporter of skateparks, especially the positive impact they can have on a community. He also enjoys traveling, telemark skiing, golfing, hiking, and time with family and friends.
Jeff Ament – Advisor
Jeff Ament is the son of a barber/farmer/Mayor of Big Sandy, Montana, a lifelong skater (he built his first skateboard ramp in Big Sandy in 1976) and founding bassist for Pearl Jam. He spent two years at the University of Montana, where he studied art, skated the local banks, and played basketball. Jeff eventually left school with his hardcore band, Deranged Diction, for Seattle, and soon formed proto-grunge band Green River, Mother Love Bone, then Pearl Jam. Through twenty-five years, ten studio albums, and countless tours, Pearl Jam has stayed involved with many social and political projects. Jeff has been helping fund skatepark projects in his native Montana and beyond for a decade and a half, along with many arts and activity-based programs through Pearl Jam’s Vitalogy Foundation and his own foundation, Montana Pool Service. It is his dream to have a skateboard park in every town and city in Montana.