Meet Our Board


Hilary Eisen (President)

Hilary first visited Hyalite Canyon while working on a Gallatin National Forest trail crew the summer following her freshman year of college but winter is her favorite season in the canyon. An avid ice climber, Hilary moved to Bozeman in part because of the world-class ice climbing in Hyalite and has since discovered that it's also a wonderful place to ski. Hilary works as the policy director for Winter Wildlands Alliance. She holds a M.S. degree in Wildlife Biology from the University of Montana and a B.A. in Biology and Environmental Studies from Middlebury College.


Julie Nelson (Vice President)

A native of the Mid-West, Julie moved to Southwest Montana after college and has been a resident for almost 15 years. Julie studied Natural Resources Management at Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin prior to moving to Bozeman. After moving to Montana Julie worked for several years as a grant writer and program director for the Federation of Fly Fishers. She later moved into the business world serving as the VP of Business Development for Printing for Less in Livingston, MT. She now works remotely as the Director of Business Development for a company in Virginia.


Joe Schmitt (Treasurer)

A native of Helena, MT, Joe moved to Bozeman in 2001 to attend MSU. After graduating with a degree in Business Management, Joe went to work in the insurance industry and helps non-profits and small businesses with their insurance and risk management needs. As a backcountry skier, peak bagger, and trail runner Joe appreciates having a place as special as Hyalite that is so accessible from town. Hyalite Canyon is where he honed his ski mountaineering skills and where he has his “season pass”.


Suzette Castillo (Secretary)

Suzette moved to the Gallatin Valley in 2014 with her husband and 3 young boys. They have never felt more at home than here. You can find their family playing or volunteering in the outdoors, anywhere from Huffing for Stuffing, Bridger Ridge Run, BIF, or Hyalite Clean up Days. Suzette is a homeschool mom which affords her and her boys plenty of time outside.


Peter Bennett

Peter first went hiking and mountain climbing up Hyalite in the 1970s. He was involved with the Concerned Citizens for Cottonwood which protected land in South Cottonwood Canyon. He has been employed as a computer technician, but now is focusing on jewelry making and playing the fiddle. Peter still hikes and climbs mountains in southwest Montana on a regular basis.


Ben Wickham

Ben grew up in Idaho, and first moved to Big Sky in 2002 to ski. Over the years, he has worked at a backcountry ski lodge in the Sierra Nevada, guided in Yosemite, and taught at an outdoor school in Idaho. After working for a public lands’ advocacy nonprofit in the Eastern Sierra, he moved back to Bozeman, bought a house, is guiding in Yellowstone, and loves skiing and walking his dog in Hyalite. Ben holds an undergraduate degree in History and a graduate degree in Natural Resources from the University of Idaho.

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Mira Brody

A Bay Area native, Mira found herself missing the grandeur that nearby Yosemite offered growing up, but quickly found Hyalite to be an exemplary stand-in. Her favorite season is summer, when she can run high into the mountains and lounge in her kayak on the reservoir. A close second is during the seasonal road closure when the canyon is at its quietest. Mira studied English at California State University, Chico and moved to Bozeman in 2015 to find peace among the mountains. When she’s not working as a professional writer or volunteering time to her favorite local organizations, you can find Mira up in the Bridgers in her running shoes or skis with her cattle dog, Sierra.