MIS is legally organized as a non-profit corporation. As such, the school is governed by a self-perpetuating Board of Trustees, elected annually at its May meeting. The Board holds the school, and its VISION and MISSION “in trust,” acting in the best interest of the institution.

The Board’s three primary responsibilities are:

  1. establishing the school’s vision, mission and strategic plan;
  2. assuring the financial welfare of the school and overseeing its business and budgets;
  3. appointing and supporting the Head of School, who manages the school’s operations.

2019-2020 Board of Trustees

Emily Richardson President

Emily works as a consultant for Warm Springs Productions.  She and her husband, a TV Producer and co-owner of Warm Springs Productions, enjoy family travel adventures and fly fishing. Emily has a background in sales, management, and project management.  She is an entrepreneur and founder of several small businesses.  Emily serves her community as a volunteer for the Missoula Art Museum, the Poverello Center, and Montana People’s Action.  Her three children attend MIS, where her dream for them is to become lifelong learners who are always willing to be risk-takers.  Emily contributes her time and talent to MIS through her work on the School’s facilities projects.

Rob Fleming Past President

Rob grew up in Missoula where he attended public school. He is a graduate of the University of Montana, with a Business Administration degree in Finance and Marketing. Rob has been a mortgage banker in Missoula since 1995. A lifelong outdoorsman, Rob enjoys all aspects of living in the Missoula area, including mountain biking, fly fishing, and snowboarding. Rob has a passion for international travel, especially in Mexico and Central America. In addition to an active lifestyle, Rob devotes a portion of his time volunteering for the University of Montana Excellence Fund, as a board member for Habitat for Humanity, and has served on the MIS Board of Trustees since 2007. He is the proud parent of two MIS alumnae. He hopes his service on the Board contributes to the qualities that make MIS great- the incredible teachers, outstanding educational program, and welcoming community.

Julie Fogarty Vice President

Erik Gibson-Snyder Secretary

Erik lived in Missoula for a dozen years before meeting his wife, Jennifer, and moving to Seattle so she could attend medical school. While in Seattle, Erik coached college soccer, started a farming business and raised their daughter, Grace. Upon returning to Missoula five years ago Erik has become a full-time dad and volunteer at MIS, the Poverello Center and coach with the Missoula Strikers. Together, the Gibson-Snyders enjoy cycling, camping and traveling with friends.

Erik is also the reigning Iguana Lounge Poker champion.

Lisa Eiler Treasurer

Lisa and her husband, Isho, moved to Missoula in 2016 from Orange County, California. Before completing her graduate degree and changing careers from public accounting to accounting professor, Lisa lived in Minnesota, where she grew up, and Oregon, where she went to graduate school. Isho and Lisa have two children. Their oldest is a MIS preschool graduate and is ready to start Kindergarten this fall. Lisa enjoys spending time with her family, baking with the kids, being outside, music, and running.

Jason Kiely

Jason transitioned from a career in community organizing to conservation work when he moved from Chicago to Missoula in 2003. In 2008, he co-founded a clean technology start up with his father and developed the company for a decade. In 2017, he began to direct a homeownership program for a local community development financial institution. He and his wife, Gita, have two middle-schoolers at MIS: a son in 8th grade and a daughter in 6th . Jason served on the Board of Montana Conservation Voters from 2007-2010 as both chair and co-chair. He also co-founded the 2nd Street Community Garden in 2005. Jason volunteers his time for MIS as chair of the Finance Committee. He is excited to work with a committee and talented staff to improve and ensure the financial sustainability of MIS as it grows. If you can’t find him, Jason is probably out riding his mountain bike, hunting or skiing.

Ray Aten

Ray is a lifelong learner, having devoted his life to education and research at the middle school, high school and collegiate levels in science and math. Ray received a Ph.D. from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Cincinnati. He then became a post-doctoral fellow at Yale University’s School of Medicine and went on to work as a research scientist for thirty years studying reproductive biology. After leaving Yale, Ray taught middle school and high school math and science. In Missoula with his wife Cyndy, Ray spends his time working with a number of community organizations. His volunteer experience includes working with Mended Hearts, the Experimental Aircraft Association, and Chimney Corners YMCA. Ray enjoys flying, carpentry, kayaking, and traveling. As the the proud grandfather of three MIS students, Ray would like to assure that the educational program MIS provides is available for his grandchildren’s grandchildren.

Doug Webber

Doug is a native of Berkeley, CA, where he attended public schools before receiving his undergraduate degree in History from Dartmouth. He went on to complete his medical degree from the University of California and finished his residency in Family Practice from the University of Utah. In 1976, Doug moved to Missoula where he practiced primarily emergency medicine at St. Patrick’s Hospital until 2008. He taught students at the U of M School of Law and Pharmacy, and was staff physician at Planned Parenthood and Blue Mountain Clinic. He serves his community as a volunteer and supporter of Five Valleys Land Trust, the Montana Natural History Center, Montana ACLU, and the Blackfoot Challenge. Doug is a dedicated outdoorsman and tennis player who lives in the Rattlesnake with his wife, Nancy, and their identical twin daughters who attend MIS. He is passionate about supporting education in Montana.

Betsy Maier

Betsy is a consultant for fundraising and marketing working with both for profit and nonprofit clients in western Montana. Betsy served as Assistant Dean of Student Affairs at Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, and as Class Dean in 1996. She was the Charter School Coordinator for the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, where she developed a plan for an elementary charter school, including a grant for state funding, and charter school education research. Betsy also worked as the Development Director for the Montana Natural History Museum where she was responsible for individual, corporate and foundation fundraising. She is a founder and steering committee member of the Missoula Nonprofit Network. Betsy is very dedicated to independent education in Missoula. She and her husband, Peter Bensen, have a son and daughter in college.

Suzanne Shaw

Suzanne grew up all over the world as a child in an enlisted family in the US Air Force, which inspired in her a love of foreign languages and insight as to how they open whole new worlds to those who know them. She is the mother of Graham and Jasper, who have been MIS students since preschool and kindergarten, respectively. Her family has benefited greatly by hosting 2 Amity Interns from Colombia and Spain, and she served for 2 years on the Parent Association Council with a special interest in Parent Connection as well as 1 year on the Marketing and Communications Committee of the MIS Board of Trustees. She is passionate about education, international health and the right for everyone to be fed. Her hobbies include mountain biking and hiking with her husband Chris, Family Movie Night, dancing and reading everything she can get her hands on.

Bridger Pierce

Originally a Bozeman native, Bridger has lived in Missoula for the last 10 years and is currently the VP of General Operations at Warm Springs Productions. He is also very involved with the conservation organization Ducks Unlimited where he is the local chapter chair, sits on the State Committee, and is on the National Marketing Committee. Additionally, he has been a member of the MIS Finance Committee since 2017. He, and his wife Lauren, have two sons: Eric, who is currently in Kindergarten at MIS, and Marc, who will begin attending Preschool next year at MIS. He loves the great outdoors of Montana and the ability to fish, hunt, ski, trail run, and raise two boys in such a special area.

Mike Vetter

Mike Vetter is Senior Resource Forester with Plum Creek, where he has worked for the last 35 years. Mike has a B. S. in forest management from The University of Montana. In the middle of his forestry career, he took a 5 year hiatus to work as an Industrial Analyst at Plum Creek’s regional office in Columbia Falls as well as Shift Supervisor at Evergreen Sawmill in Kalispell, MT. He lives in Missoula with his wife, Julie, and two younger boys who attended MIS, Ben and Liam. He is a member of the Chamber of Commerce’s Forest Resource Committee that organizes Forest Discovery days for 500 5th grade school children as well as a Forest Resource Tour in the fall. During the off season, Mike coaches soccer and Nordic skiing for two Missoula youth programs. He began serving on the MIS Board of Trustees in 2012.

Melissa Silverman Parent Association Representative

Melissa moved in 2009 to Missoula from Chicago in hopes of creating a more active and
adventurous outdoor lifestyle with her husband, Gabriel. Together, along with their 3
sons, they achieved what they set out to do by spending their time riding bikes, adventuring in the woods, and exploring Montana. Melissa is a medical-based speech pathologist that specializes in neurological and swallowing disorders. She also is the co-owner of Gecko Designs, a graphic design and marketing firm that her husband founded in 1997. During her free time, Melissa enjoys reading books, doing puzzles, brewing beer, cooking/baking, and listening to podcasts. She is currently serving as President of the Parent Association Council where she loves to create meaningful relationships with other parents.