Board Members

 
 
 
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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.

 
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emily osborn-vice president

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. 

 
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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. 

 
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Claire Leonard-secretary

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.

 
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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!

 
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catherine dixon-board member

Catherine Dixon is a retired scenic artist living in Virginia City. Her love affair with the area began in the 1980’s when she spent the summer as Scene Designer for the Virginia City Opera House.
Originally from Western North Carolina Catherine attended the University of Montana graduate school of scene design with an emphasis in scenic painting. She left graduate school to begin a career as a scenic artist painting for regional theaters, movies and television.There was also
Time spent working at a school for scenic artists as studio manager as well as artist. She returned Montana during those hectic years to paint for Bigfork Summer Playhouse, Montana Repertory Theater, Missoula Children’s Theater.
Catherine looks forward to being on the Board of the EHA & HC and volunteering with this creative and committed group.

 
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Lee RObison-Board Member

Lee Robison is retired after 30 years as a writer/editor for the Indian Health Service, a Federal agency that manages federal funding for and direct health services to American Indians. He was born in Montana, and raised on the family ranch northwest of McAllister. Shortly after graduating from Ennis High School, he left the Madison Valley for College. That trip lasted nearly 50 years. In 2013, Lee and his wife, Kathy moved back to McAllister and built a home on a part of the Robison Ranch.

 

Lee is a writer, with poetry published in several journals. He is managing a blog on which he posts a new poem, essay, or short story almost daily. As well as serving on the Elling House Arts and Humanities Center board, Lee is a member of the Madison Valley History Association governing board, and a member of an Action Team for American Jobs for American Youth.  

 
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Chris harris-Board Member

Chris Harris is a 1991 graduate of Weber State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in History and English. He is currently the owner of Virginia City Sash Company which specializes in the restoration of historical buildings and furnishings, as well as making furniture from reclaimed lumber and materials.