Born & raised in Toledo, Ohio, Ron completed his undergraduate work at the University of Utah and pursued graduate studies at the University of California, Chico. During Ron’s 41-year career with the Forest Service he lived in California, Washington D.C., Wisconsin and New Mexico. Ron currently serves as CEO of Neptune Aviation Services. He and his wife Vickie love to visit their 6 children and 15 grandchildren in Mississippi, Louisiana, Arizona, and California.
I love: Public speaking
Things I say: When I try to say “okay” it comes out “mmmgay.”
Favorite quote: “There are no problems we cannot solve together, and very few that we can solve by ourselves.” L.B. Johnson
Karen Neel - Treasurer
Karen is a recently retired CPA from Boyle, Deveny & Meyer. Raised on Long Island, NY and in the Adirondack Mountains, she went on to receive a BS in Forest Biology at SUNY Syracuse in '78 and a Masters in Accountancy from the U of M in '94. Between those two degrees she worked on Forest Service field crews and desk jobs at St. Patrick Hospital and Food Services of America. She's served on the boards of Garden City Harvest and Watson Children’s Shelter.
Special skill: I can write upside down and backward when explaining things to my clients.
Passions: Living Art – of course, but also my garden and learning free motion quilting.
Favorite saying: It’s all downhill except for where it’s up (like when you’re hiking or biking)!
Shelli Kenworthy - Secretary
Shelli was born here at St Pat’s and followed a winding path to a History degree from BYU. She began her career in the Hematology-Oncology department of UCSF focusing on end-of-life care, has led art and history educational tours to Europe as a homeschool mother of five boys, and is currently an art curator of various mediums including pieces acquired from Haleiwa, San Francisco, Paris, and Missoula. She has served on the board since 2015.
Favorite way to relax: On a beach in the sun with a book
Passionate about: Teaching – especially children
Favorite saying: I’m domestic. I live in a house!
I was born & raised in Oklahoma, but moved to Missoula in 2005 to attend the U of M where I later met my husband, Peter. We own and operate The Bicycle Hangar. In 2012 we welcomed our beautiful son Hank, who keeps us on our toes with his wit and eagerness to learn. In 2014 I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, I began chemotherapy and blood transfusions within two days. I am humbled to say, that after a long journey, I am one year out from my last round of chemotherapy and feeling great. Being a part of Living Art is just an incredible opportunity for me. I feel so honored to help provide this kind of healing to our wonderful community!
Favorite quote: Wendy: “So..your adventures are over?” Peter: “Oh, no. To live will be an awfully big adventure.” -Hook
Special skill: I'm always able to find the good
I love: Running and hiking with our dogs, being in the vegetable garden, biking, and adventuring around Montana with my boys!
I’m a Montana native who graduated from the School of Journalism Radio-Television Production program at the University of Montana. I’ve worked at First Interstate Bank for over 10 years and enjoy volunteering with local non-profits in my spare time. I currently serve on the Special Olympics Area Management Team. My other passions include tennis, reading, writing, crafting, and most of all traveling.
I love: Going on adventures and trying new things, whether it is food or an experience. I recently: Repelled down the tallest building in Montana as part of a fundraiser. Favorite quote: “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” - St Augustine
Jenny has a fine arts degree from the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, where she earned her BFA in textiles. She's married to Andrew and has one, sweet, funny daughter, Jo-Jo. Skills: decluttering, landscaping, meatballs and costuming
Relaxing: cleaning, running, thrift shopping...I don't know...I don't like relaxing. It stresses me out.
Passionate about: art and design, science and rational thought, sunscreen – yes, shorts – no, vintage coats – yes! Strong coffee, beer and privacy please!
I am a Montana native, the ninth of eight children, and currently a staff attorney with the child support enforcement division of the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services and am the chair of the Dispute Resolution committee of the State Bar of Montana. I graduated from the University of Montana – Missoula in 1986 and obtained a Juris Doctorate along with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration in 1998.
Passion: Social justice
Special skill: I can swim a crazy distance under water.
Favorite quote: “If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well
It were done quickly.” Macbeth by Shakespeare
Linds, a native Montanan, artist and proud owner of Ramble Journals- hand-bound leather journals sold to benefit the Rina Moog Scholarships-serves on the Educational Foundation scholarship committee and on the Be Here Now Sangha committee.
Passionate about: Serving as the X-ray to show people they do in fact have a "creative bone."
Special skills: Saying yes! I've "yes"ed my way into teaching a girl scout troop how to kayak, being a fashion show model, piercing my nose, joining a Dragon Boat racing team,and giving mindfulness training talks. I look forward to seeing what I can happily say yes to on the board of Living Art!
Things I say: "What's your highlight today?"
Ben was born in Rapid City, SD, but raised in Northern Virginia. He moved to Missoula to attend the University of Montana where he earned an Army ROTC scholarship and a degree in Forestry. He spent five years on active duty and subsequently worked as a logistics, business and operations manager in Missoula for private, public, and non-profit entities. You can find Ben chasing his three year old son down the tow rope at Snowbowl, on the river or on a hiking trail somewhere in western MT if he isn’t working or cooking. Favorite quote: "Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” -Calvin Coolidge Favorite way to relax: hiking to a fishing hole Special skill: making homemade sourdough bread
Art and cancer have been the constant parallels in my life since I was eight. While I have not battled cancer within my body, I have battled it from the sidelines watching my family members pass before my eyes, including my dad when I was 22. There were times I used prose to push forward, used paint and clay to interpret life, and times I've pushed both art and cancer away and focused on work (graphic design & marketing) and life (my encouraging husband, warrior like 4-year-old twins) only to be brought right back to it with a new mission. Now, I'm riding these parallels like a cross-country ski path and hoping I can bring something to this wonderful board and organization. Favorite quote: The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. Sam Clemens Things I say: Okey Dokey. I say it a lot. I live in rhymes; my kids are four. Things I'm passionate about: Keeping arts in education. I don’t think there is a single person who can’t leave an artistic mark.
Youpa Stein, Ex officio, co-founder
Youpa is a native Montanan. She has a BFA in acting and directing from the University of Montana and she graduated with an MA in Psychology and Drama Therapy from the California Institute of Integral Studies. She is a Registered Drama Therapist. In 1993 Youpa co-founded Living Art of Montana, where she has facilitated workshops for 22 years exploring the arts to enhance aliveness and support resilience. She has worked primarily with people dealing with illness and loss. Youpa has also served as a Montana Arts Council board member since 2005.
Beth Ferris, Ex officio, co-founder
Beth has an MFA in poetry and studied at Stanford University, Warren Wilson College and the University of Montana. She co-founded, Living Art of Montana in 1993. During the past twenty years she's worked with people who were ill or in various states of illness and loss. The study of arts in healthcare, the need for community and the ability of the arts to build connection are all part of her work. She says, "My greatest interest intellectually and spiritually is the use of my skills to bring compassion to the forefront of our actions toward those who are 'other,' or outcasts in our busy culture."