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 at SCRC will undoubtedly lead to new friendships, new ideas, and new futures.
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.
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.
Vanessa is an MBA graduate with more than fifteen years of business development experience. She has built and led teams for both smaller startups (two of which were purchased by outside investors for a profit) and for multi-million-/billion-dollar companies. Most recently she has worked for Intuit—which has a current estimate valuation of $52.8 billion—leading the Franchise Development team of the company’s TSheets segment.
In addition to business leadership and development expertise, Vanessa also has an extensive background in fitness and athletics: She competed as a collegiate and professional volleyball player and has since stepped into the role of “coach” for the past few years. In that environment, she observed firsthand the benefits that an active lifestyle and wellness bring to a community.
Mission-driven organizations motivate Vanessa, and she believes there are very few non-profits like SCRC that can make a real impact in the quality of life, spur economic growth, and improve the overall health of the region. Having recently relocated to Anaconda—with her husband and two young sons—Vanessa is thrilled and honored to join the SCRC Board and contribute effort toward its important vision.
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.
Bio coming soon!
Michaela is a student at Montana Tech pursuing a BA in Business Management and a Professional Landman Certificate. For SCRC, Michaela represents the voice of organized youth activities, having participated in travel softball since the age of 10, varsity softball, varsity volleyball, and more — receiving all-state recognition multiple times. She was an active participant in 4H, Girl Scouts, music, and just about every childhood activity available in Anaconda. Before joining SCRC, she gained experience as a student representative on the Anaconda Community Foundation Board for two years.
Michaela wants to make sure the present and future young people of Anaconda have access to high-quality recreational opportunities outside of school. She envisions young Anacondans developing their talents and skills, building their confidence, and enjoying the sense of belonging that comes with being part of something larger than themselves. Well-versed in the value of teamwork, Michaela applies this knowledge within her role on the SCRC Board to help make the SCRC vision a reality.
Beyond her academic, board, and athletic activities, Michaela is passionate about photography and hopes to expand this interest into a full-time endeavor one day.
Bio coming soon!
Haley is a successful small-business owner in Anaconda, who leads and operates the dynamic childcare center, Tocher’s Toddlers, as well as the high-energy Aisling Irish Dance Academy. Haley incorporates all of the skills she’s honed as a performer – creativity, confidence, resilience, and stamina – into everything she does. As a self-described ‘people person,’ she has a knack for pinpointing the needs of her clients (and community) and then works tirelessly to develop quality services that will yield positive results. This method has become her trademark in program design and intuitive talent development. Haley is also experienced in marketing and social media, clientele building, and setting and reaching revenue objectives.
Haley’s commitment to Anaconda’s youngest citizens is what brings her to the SCRC Board. She points out that the community is in dire need of a facility with indoor and outdoor spaces that are well-designed and well-equipped for essential early childhood activities that, currently, occur only in limited scope in Anaconda. She emphasizes that participation in quality care and programs from a young age can have a substantial impact on a child’s future success. Haley’s focus is on ensuring SCRC’s family-centric approach—one that will allow members of a family to simultaneously maintain their health and pursue personal growth opportunities while their children receive excellent care within the same facility.
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, and she is a veteran of the U.S. Navy, recognized by the Butte Chamber of Commerce as “Military Citizen of the Year.” Dedicated to service, Betsy 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.
Gina formerly supervised Anaconda’s Community Youth Center (CYC), an organization that provides youth development services. In addition to her leadership role at the center, Gina taught 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 for the development and operation 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 to—and, in some cases, create space for—those efforts. To recharge her own batteries, Gina enjoys spending time with her children and husband hiking, fishing, and treasure hunting around Montana.