For Christmas I Want The Executive Director Of The United Way To Realize It’s Time To Retire Before I Expose What A Despicable Person She Is

by Travis Mateer

I was going to take today off, since it’s Christmas Eve and all, but someone who doesn’t give a shit about Christmas, or committing slander, or destroying community credibility, isn’t taking the day off from SHAMING Missoula over the failed crisis mill levy, so here we are. From the link (emphasis mine):

But in order to meet the demand, nonprofit directors like Susan Hay Patrick, CEO of United Way of Missoula County, said it’s important for Missoula residents to think about their neighbors.

She was dismayed by the failure of the crisis services levy after campaigning heavily for its passage, and as a result, she has turned to motivating Missoulians to give time and money to nonprofits like United Way.

She said those who did not vote for the levy should be especially considerate of nonprofit work.

“I would say it is incumbent upon those folks to support nonprofits,” said Hay Patrick. “You can’t have it both ways.”

Oh Susan, it really is time to retire. Why? Because you’re not just a political loser running a shame campaign, you are a slanderous, out-of-control, grief-diva willing to destroy personal relationships in order to protect an abusive organization you have been given SPECIFIC information about.

Now, on to a constructive suggestion for the United Way Board President and Mayoral hopeful, Mike Nugent. If you, Mike, are wondering how one goes about pressuring someone like Susan Hay Patrick into doing the right thing and resigning, I recommend a chat with Eran Pehan, since she did a fantastic job riding the coerced departure of Ellie Boldman (Hill at the time) 11 years ago. My how time flies.

From the link:

Hill’s growing prominence within the Montana Democratic Party also played into the decision. In October, Time magazine included her in its “40 Under 40 Political Rising Stars” roundup. She was one of just two people from the Northern Rockies mentioned.

Hill’s new campaign position will involve a lot of travel. She will meet with legislative and national-level Democratic candidates to help with their campaigns and attempt to retake political offices. She said her goal is to help the Democrats retake majority leadership of the state Legislature.

“She has a true passion for the political process,” said Missoula United Way Director Susan Patrick, who partnered frequently with Hill on community projects. “But trying to do both – serve in the Legislature and run the Pov – it would just require superhuman efforts. Each of those is a superhuman job.”

Considering I worked at the Poverello Center during AND after Ellie Hill/Smith/Boldman, I can say the behind-the-scenes shit-show was VERY different than the PR spin provided by Patrick in the newspaper. This is one of those intangible services Patrick provides her collaborators, but the quality of that service is dependent on community credibility, and I don’t think Patrick has much of that left.

I can see Mike Nugent taking on the SHP role of doing public damage control for the media by thinking up a good cover story, like Susan needing time to travel to South Africa, or taking up an equestrian hobby, or volunteering for an anti-trafficking organization.

Will this bullshit Missoulian article be the last one in the shame campaign? I sure hope so, because what Susan Hay Patrick knows, when she knew it, and what she did with the information is a VERY ugly story, and I’m spending enough time on more important ugly stories to spend any more time thinking about this one.

It’s time, Susan, and I know I’m not the only one saying that.

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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5 Responses to For Christmas I Want The Executive Director Of The United Way To Realize It’s Time To Retire Before I Expose What A Despicable Person She Is

  1. Mary Lynn says:

    Keep up the great work, Travis. Merry Christmas!

  2. JC says:

    Methinks SHP is more concerned about her personal well being, with her $86.8k salary (in 2020) being at risk. UWM has over the last 5 years shuffled 35-42% of its expenses to executive compensation, salaries and wages. This is a real perversion of a service oriented nonprofit’s mission. It takes on the appearance of a vehicle to maintain highly paid individuals, instead of focusing on providing essential services. $456k of $1.3 million in expenses went to staffing UWM. But I guess that’s become the new norm in the Zoo.

    Much can be gleaned from this quick overview. Much more in the 990s at the link.

    • JC says:

      When you look at the 2020 990 in detail, and add up grants they gave ($143k) and “special projects” expenses ($429k) you get $573k that United Way Missoula actually distributed (from the functional expenses reporting).

      Yes, UWM is able to distribute only 44% of its expenses to maintaining its mission. The rest is 35% to compensation, and 21% maintaining an office and all that goes with that.

      And it has a million dollars invested in the stock market. Would be interesting to know who it is investing in. Multi national corporations? Health corporations? Utilities? All those businesses contributing to the social disparities UWM is supposedly trying to rectify? Who knows…

      • JC says:


        United Way Missoula gives 44 cents per dollar expended back to the community in need.

        Think about that the next time SHP passes the hat, or picks your pocket.

        • Greg Strandberg says:

          I loved these comments. I felt many in town would as well. So I rewrote them a bit and put it into a Letter to the Editor to the Missoulian. They never replied, so I submitted it again a couple days ago, this time with the link to your financial documents.

          Here’s the reply I got back today:

          “Greg, the editor was just in contact with a nonprofit expert who has reviewed United Way’s stewardship rating they are well within appropriate levels.

          So we are going to have to decline your letter.”

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