The purpose of the SCRC organizations is to create, operate, and support a community-focused recreational facility and programming to enrich mind, body, spirit, and community for the benefit of Anaconda (Montana) and surrounding areas. The future Smelter City Recreation Complex is a multi-use facility to include various indoor and outdoor spaces to serve as a community center, aquatic center, and recreation center, wherein fitness, wellness, sports, social, and lifelong learning activities take place.
We believe whole-heartedly in the power of community service and community connection, and that health and well-being are worth investing in for the community as a whole. With nine months of winter, an aging demographic, a scarcity of activities for youth, and at times disconnected adults, a vibrant place to stay active, healthy, fit, and social throughout the year is indispensable. Yet such a place currently does not exist in Anaconda. Creating a better future requires our effort. Over time, individuals who use the facility are expected to develop many personal reasons to love SCRC (e.g., maybe it is a specific class or teacher, a walking routine, Saturday laps in the pool, watching one’s child learn new things, team camaraderie, or as the place to access partner organizations). From our point of view, these many sparks of activity are not unrelated; rather, they are all part of the overall answer within a one-stop, hub with many programs, services, and benefits for everyone. Shared interests here will undoubtedly lead to new friendships, new ideas, and new futures.
Ed is the founding President of SCRC. He has served the community of Anaconda for almost 30 years as a dedicated educator and high school track coach. Additional professional leadership roles have included four years’ service as the president of Anaconda Teachers’ Union and 12 as its grievance chairman. Ed holds a B.A. in Elementary Education and a M.A. in Mental Health Counseling from Montana State University and a second M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Montana.
In his firm belief in Anaconda as a southwestern Montana treasure, Ed finds significance not only in the area’s breathtaking natural surroundings but also in the community of people who live here. SCRC is a project that combines his passions for education, sport, building and design, and service. Ed has committed himself to leading SCRC, a major undertaking which involves hearing and honoring individual contributions, working collectively, and creating effective solutions for the community. Ed has lived in Anaconda since 1966; he has three daughters and two grandchildren. When he’s not in the office or classroom, Ed can be found working in carpentry, remodeling, tile, and stained glass.
Donna upholds a personal mission: To enhance the well-being of people and communities through education and equitable access to physical fitness resources. A deep love for her hometown inspires her service as a founding board member of SCRC. Having observed the transformative power of even limited community recreation, early experiences sparked a passion of a lifetime. Donna pursued this interest academically, studying physical education, recreation, and gerontology at the University of Oregon to earn B.S. and M.S. degrees and a graduate certificate in these fields.
This central thread has always guided Donna in her professional leadership roles ranging from Senior Center Director at various centers in Oregon and Washington; educator at the secondary and post-secondary levels; and private consultant, among other positions. Her personal mission continues to be the impetus for her work with SCRC. Currently, Donna is focusing on SCRC and lending her considerable experience in organizational development and partnership-building so our region can benefit from what should be an essential part of community health. Donna is the former Chair of the National Institute of Senior Centers’ Wellness Initiatives Committee among other distinguished affiliations.
Strongly committed to the fitness and the overall health of Anaconda, the place where she was born and raised, Linda is delighted to be a founding Board Member of SCRC. Professionally, she is a program administrator for Water & Environmental Technologies, a civil engineering and consulting firm which manages the county Community Protective Measures Program regarding Superfund issues. Formerly, she served more than 30 years as Public Information Officer for Montana State Prison. Included among Linda’s professional experiences are eight years’ service in the U.S. Army Reserve. A strong supporter of victim’s rights, Linda earned a certification in Victim-Offender Dialogue and Mediation. She also holds a B.S. in Secondary Education from the University of Montana in Missoula.
Linda has witnessed the environmental and economic struggles of the region, but can also attest to the building momentum for revitalization. Since returning to Anaconda, Linda has translated her substantial communication skills and work experience into service for organizations that give back to the community. In addition to her work with SCRC, she also serves as a board member of the Anaconda Community Hospital Foundation, a member of the Community Market committee on good eating and health, and a member of the Anaconda Nonprofit Association. Linda’s husband Tom and her daughters, Lacee and Jessie, are all graduates of Anaconda schools and have heartfelt connections to this place.
Janet is a former major account manager and sales executive for corporations such as Xerox, Grainger, and AEP (American Electric and Power). Following her time in corporate America and life on the East Coast, Janet made a shift to pursue a new path as holistic practitioner and business owner in Anaconda. Here, she is fulfilling her dream of positively affecting the health and vitality of a Superfund site. Janet believes in all aspects of health renewal and management and, in addition to her work with SCRC, is an active contributor to other local efforts focused on improving Anaconda’s health, wealth, and well-being (i.e., through Anaconda Community Market, Accelerate Anaconda, Community Nursing Home of Anaconda, and the Metcalf Senior Center’s Sit and Be Fit Classes).
Janet offers her broad experiences to the SCRC Board, particularly in recognizing the needs of all constituencies, emphasizing best practices in fund management, building effective relationships for a large-scale project, and ensuring mindful programmatic development. When she first heard initial plans for SCRC, she knew she would dedicate herself to helping bring about this focal point for community health. Janet finds personal inspiration in nature; she is an avid equestrian and outdoors aficionado.
A born-and-raised ‘Goosetown girl,’ Deb’s first job was at the Washoe Theater. She later worked at St. Ann’s Hospital and for the Anaconda Copper Company. Later, a sense of adventure helped lead to fulfilling employment in Alaska with ARCO Alaska at Prudhoe Bay, Anchorage Telephone Utility, and as an independent contractor. In 2007, Deb returned to her hometown, where, in her retirement, she puts to use her enthusiasm and many unique experiences as a dedicated board member and volunteer.
Deb has volunteered with Friends of the Library and the Community Hospital Auxiliary. Now SCRC is truly her passion. Deb stresses that all communities deserve places where one can become healthy and focus on well-being: To be able to do this for Anaconda would be an outstanding legacy. Deb and her husband, Mike, have two rescue dogs—Sake and Aubrey—and, together, they enjoy a blessed life in Anaconda with family and friends.
SCRC is honored to count Al Messer among its founding board members. He has been an active, supportive, and energetic contributor to our community since 1963 when he first arrived and opened his family-owned and operated hardware store. Al has been involved in every service organization in town. He is the longest participating member of the Eagles (50-year membership), has served for 62 years as a member of the Knights of Columbus, and is also active in Kiwanis and the Elks. He has been Bank Board Director, a CHA Foundation Board Trustee, and a member of the SCORE Board. In addition to his work with SCRC, he currently serves on the boards of the County Airport, Chamber of Commerce, Anaconda Job Corps, and Booster Club. Al also served in the National Guard for five years.
At 80-years young, Al is a “do-er” who lives by the following motto: “If you don’t try, you won’t know!” The results of Al’s proven methods include the Anaconda Chamber of Commerce’s new office building; Anaconda’s Historic Bus Sightseeing Tour operated by the Chamber; the new track at the historic Mitchell Stadium; and the more than 2,000 bicycles distributed through the repair and give-away program he created and carries out in association with the Anaconda Kiwanis Club and Free Cycles of Missoula. Convinced of the positive role youth sports can play in young people’s learning to persevere, to challenge themselves, and a be good teammates, Al coached little league and Babe Ruth League for 12 years.
Al believes SCRC will be a catalyst for us locally, regionally, and statewide. Anaconda has never had this type of multi-purpose community facility: It will put us on the map, and it will be good for local businesses. It will bring individuals, no matter their age, together to socialize, recreate, and play – and, most importantly, experience the array of benefits these activities have to offer.
Betsy enjoyed a 28-year career focused on program coordination and education with Montana Power Company and NorthWestern Energy. Betsy is a veteran of the U.S. Navy and a Butte Chamber of Commerce “Military Citizen of the Year” honoree. She is a founding member of Women in Military Service for America. Active in Kiwanis International, Betsy is a past Distinguished Governor of Kiwanis; and, since 2006, she has provided leadership training to organizational leaders and hundreds of students as the Montana District’s Key Leader® Chair, among other notable positions. Betsy is also a founding member and past President of the Anaconda Main Street Program; a member of the Historic Resource Board for Anaconda-Deer Lodge County; a two-term Board member for the Anaconda Community Hospital; and has served for more than 15 years as a crisis line volunteer and guardian ad litem for the Anaconda PCA. She has a B.S. in Organizational Management (Society & Technology) with a Finance minor from Montana Tech of the University of Montana.
Betsy’s energy and experience are assets to the SCRC Board. She brings her expertise in communications and leadership to a project that she is excited about in her hometown. Betsy believes lives can be changed through meaningful experiences, and she is certain SCRC will provide a much-needed environment for positive outcomes for people in Anaconda and beyond. Betsy and her husband, Larry, raised two daughters and have six beautiful grandchildren.
Toni’s 35-year career as an educator spanned two states, having taught in both Anaconda, Montana (25 years) and Las Vegas, Nevada (10 years). Professionally, she also supervised and mentored student teachers (University of Montana Western), performed curriculum reviews, obtained Title-1 funding, and took an active role in Anaconda’s Teachers Union. Toni has a B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Montana, an M.S. in Computers in Education from Lesley College, and an endorsement in Education Administration from the University of Montana.
Envisioning a welcoming recreation complex with plenty of enriching activities for people of all ages, Toni believes everyone needs positive opportunities to continue to grow in their perspectives and abilities. Toni joined the SCRC Board with the conviction that this project will benefit the whole of Anaconda, a community that has faced many obstacles in the decades following the closure of its major industry. To this important effort she brings her educational expertise, emphasis on analytics, and a commitment to excellence. Compassion, tolerance, empathy, a hard work ethic, and solid organization are community traits Toni remembers from her childhood — traits critical both to the success of SCRC and area renewal. Toni enjoys spending free time with her husband, Jim, and two adult daughters, Stacey and Jamie, as well as cooking, hiking, walking, playing bridge, and golfing.
Gina supervises Anaconda’s Community Youth Center (CYC), an organization that provides youth development services. Its activities are carefully designed to enhance children’s life skills and prepare them for a successful future. In addition to her leadership role, Gina helps teach CYC’s 4-H Gardening and Positive Action skills courses. Gina has a B.S. in Professional and Technical Communication from Montana Tech and an M.P.A. from the University of Montana. Applicable professional experiences include marketing, networking, writing, program evaluation, web design, desktop publishing, and other practical skills in the development and operations of nonprofits and government agencies.
In addition to her skills and experiences, Gina enjoys building positive relationships in the community and among elected officials to discover solutions to community needs. Gina sees SCRC as a much-needed facility that will provide space and services to Anaconda and surrounding areas. Many community leaders are working hard to deliver services for all ages; the new SCRC will be a wonderful complement — and, in some cases, create space for those efforts. Gina enjoys spending time with her children and husband hiking, fishing, and treasure hunting around Montana.