Board Members


Abby Thomas-President

Abby has lived in Virginia City since 2002, and was born and raised in Sheridan, MT.  After college at Iowa State University in Ames, IA, she sprinted back to Montana and replanted her roots in Madison County.  She was the Executive Director of the Virginia City Chamber from 2006-2011 and has worked as a title officer at First American Title Company since 2002.  She has served on the EHAHC board in the past and is excited to be returning as President.


Judy King-secretary

Judy was born and raised in Minnesota and relocated to Denver, Colorado for her first position at a nationally known insurance company.  She later transferred to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in western Colorado, then to the U.S. Forest Service.  The USFS  transferred her to Montana, where she served as the budget director for the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest's 18 million dollar budget.  She retired in 2001 after 32 years of federal service.  Her love of history and the unique quality of Virginia City, Montana, led her to become part of the Elling House Arts and Humanities Center in 2009.

Amy in MT.jpg

Amy Grice-treasurer

Amy practiced as an equine veterinarian for 25 years, and served as the managing partner of her equine referral practice in upstate New York until 2015, when she opened a business consulting firm, and moved her residence to Virginia City.

Amy is the daughter of the late Mary and George Grice, who retired to Virginia City in 2001. She grew up in Connecticut, received her BA in Biology from Wellesley College in Massachusetts and then completed her veterinary education at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine. She earned her MBA with a concentration in Ethical Leadership from Marist College School of Management in 2014.

Dr. Grice has strong family ties to Virginia City and the Elling House. Henry and Mary (Cooley) Elling were uncle and aunt of her great Aunt Mary Anna Elling, who was raised in the Elling House in Virginia City for a number of years in the 1880’s. In turn, Mary Anna Elling raised Dr. Grice’s grandmother, Anne Case Drummond, sharing with her many stories of her time in Montana. 

After many years of being a summer visitor, Amy is thrilled to finally be a full-time resident. In her free time, she enjoys exploring Montana’s back country on her horse. 


Claire Leonard-board member

Claire Leonard moved to Virginia City in 2012 after spending 13 years in rural New Mexico.  Most of her adult years were spent working as a pediatric geneticist at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, the University of Utah and the University of New Mexico.  Now retired, she enjoys doing activities that support a vibrant lifestyle in a rural community.  She has served on the Board of Directors of several organizations from the American Society of Human Genetics to the Border Area Mental Health Center in Silver City, New Mexico.  

In retirement, Claire has been active in advocacy for individuals challenged by mental illness and is a member of the Madison County Mental Health Local Advisory Council.   Claire's interest in the EHAHC programs began when she attended the Splendid Feast in 2008.  When she moved to Virginia City, she began helping at EHAHC events and is committed to supporting and expanding programs and the unique venue that Elling House provides.


cathy toot-board member

Cathy Toot is a full time fine art artist and gallery owner.   Raised in Oregon, it was her husband’s job that relocated them to Ennis over 25 years ago.  She is an oil painter of living history reenactors, horses, cows and more.   She is also a humanitarian artist, painting portraits of children waiting for adoption.  In addition to serving on the EHAHC board, she also dedicates her time to Woman Artists of the West, Smarts, Oil Painters of America, Junior Rodeo and much more.   Cathy attends art shows all over the Northwest and Arizona.  She also offers painting classes and has hosted such classes at the EHAHC!


emily osborn-board member

Emily was born and raised in North Central Montana on her family's wheat farm. She moved to Virginia City in 2015 and made it her home. Emily is a Licensed Massage Therapist and owns her private practice, Summit Massage Therapy, serving the community of Virginia City and Southwest Montana. She is excited for the opportunity to serve on the board of the Elling House Arts & Humanities Center.