Press Release: Northern Plains Resource Council passes leadership torch

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 17, 2019

Teresa Erickson (left) and Olivia Stockman (right) outside of Northern Plains’ Billings office.


BILLINGS, Mont. – Olivia Stockman has officially assumed the role of Staff Director for the Northern Plains Resource Council, a grassroots conservation and family agriculture group founded in 1972. Teresa Erickson preceded Stockman in the role and has retired from the position after thirty-three years of leadership. The Staff Director is the “Chief of Staff” position at Northern Plains and is responsible for overseeing Northern Plains’ entire program, directing all other staff, coordinating the organization’s leadership model of member-controlled grassroots democracy, and seeing to Northern Plains’ financial and organizational health.

“I can’t imagine what work I ever could have done that would have made me more proud or more honored than to lead the staff and work side-by-side with the leaders of this unique organization. I’m filled with optimism about Northern Plains,” said Erickson. “I am excited to see the organization continue to grow and flourish with such a talented leader taking over. Olivia and I have worked together for over a decade, and I know firsthand she has the skills, experience, and tenacity to lead Northern Plains into an even brighter future.”

Before taking over as Staff Director, Stockman had previously served as Northern Plains’ Director of Organizing and Campaigns. She joined the organization in 2008, directing a team of community organizers that has doubled since then. Prior to joining Northern Plains, Stockman brought extensive nonprofit experience having worked for the New Mexico League of Conservation Voters, Service Employees International Union, Montana League of Rural Voters, and the Western Organization of Resource Councils.

“It’s no secret that I have some big shoes to fill given Teresa’s long, successful tenure here at Northern Plains,” said Stockman about her new role. “However, I am incredibly excited and grateful to lead an organization that has been so well managed. Northern Plains is truly firing on all cylinders right now.”

“We have an amazing membership across the state that grows each year, our board of directors brings talent and commitment unrivaled in the nonprofit space, and our staff is as hard-working and accomplished as you will find anywhere,” continued Stockman. “In addition to the great people who make up Northern Plains, we are also financially healthy with a growing endowment. In short, it’s a dream to assume leadership for a nonprofit organization so stable and poised for continued prosperity.”

Erickson has officially retired as Staff Director but will continue to work part time for the organization managing the organization’s History Project, which aims to document and preserve Northern Plains’ legacy of protecting Montana’s environment and agricultural communities for almost fifty years.

“Olivia and I have fought side-by-side in the trenches for years now, working with our members to protect the things we value most in Montana – clean air, clean water, and the vitality of family farms, ranches, and rural spaces,” concluded Erickson.  “There is no one better suited than Olivia to continue this mission.”