Board of Trustees

Meet Maryhills’ All-Volunteer Trustees

Maryhill’s all-volunteer Board of Trustees helps guide strategic planning, financial oversight, and management, and is instrumental in ensuring a dynamic and vital future for the museum. Trustees also serve on committees devoted to collections, marketing, education, finance, grounds, audit, governance, fundraising and membership, executive and such ad hoc committees as necessary.

Maryhill’s Trustees have diverse interests, live throughout the region —from Seattle to Goldendale, Portland to Ion—and have skill sets ranging from marketing, education, law, and the arts, to business, farming and ranching. What they all have in common is a passion for Maryhill!

LAURA CHENEY, White Salmon, WA


Board of Trustees - Maryhill Museum - Columbia GorgeLaura Cheney is a longtime resident of White Salmon and closely involved with the family lumber business. Laura graduated from the University of Oregon with a BA in Social Science and from The Katherine Gibbs School one-year administrative secretarial program for college graduates in New York City. She and husband John lived in Omaha, Nebraska, where she worked as secretary to the vice president of a brokerage firm while John completed his tour with the Navy at SAC Headquarters. Living in White Salmon since 1972, they raised three children while being active in the Community. Laura volunteered for 10 years with the Boy Scouts of America, holding various positions from den leader to Mid-Columbia District Commissioner. She participated in bringing AYSO soccer to White Salmon as well as PTA, serving as president for 2 years. She served as Klickitat County Chair for the Republican Party from 2001 through 2011. Interested in the arts, she and husband John are members of the Portland Art Museum and involved in a foundation whose focus is gifting to the arts annually.


Board of Trustees - Maryhill Museum - Columbia GorgeLaura Fallon-Burns is a third generation Oregonian who grew up in the rural Clackamas County where she enjoyed showing animals as a Future Farmer. Like many country kids, Laura was drawn to the city. She spent most all her career living and working near downtown Portland. As an investment advisor & CFP® for Deschutes Investment Consulting, Laura specializes in all aspects of retirement planning. She has been with the firm for over 13 years and has attracted a diverse clientele which include professionals, entrepreneurs, non-profits, and what she calls “creative community-minded” people.  Prior to coming to Deschutes, Laura was a director for a financial software company and a held many roles in a 15-year+ banking career.  Community involvement is a big part of Laura’s life especially involving art and healing. Combining her love of Native American art and culture, she has been a Community Advisor for the Native American Youth & Family Center for over ten years primarily helping with the annual Gala & art auction. Other organizations she has been involved with include Red Lodge Transitions, Portland Art Museum, and the Native American Art Council. She is also a long-time member of the University Club of Portland.  Laura currently lives in NW Portland with her husband Scott and their daughter Lindsey. After many years of spending time enjoying the Columbia Gorge, Scott, a retired architect, is building their new home in Stevenson, Washington. They look forward to making Stevenson their primary home in the Summer of 2022.


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Raised in Camas, WA, the Columbia River area has always felt like home to Penny. She was introduced to Maryhill as a young girl by her grandfather in the early 1950s. Not only was it her first museum but it has remained her favorite!  She lived in the Gorge for over 18 years and served on the Board of the Columbia River Interpretive Center Museum in Stevenson for six years. As the Administrator of the Swigert Warren Foundation with Nani Warren for 20 years Penny was able to make recommendations to that board to help Maryhill and has stayed in contact with the museum as an interested and enthusiastic member. She and her husband have a great interest in the Native American history of the region and the collection at Maryhill is one of their favorite things to visit. She looks forward to furthering her knowledge of the other elements of the museum.


Board of Trustees - Maryhill Museum - Columbia Gorge“My dad always told me, ‘It’s not your choice, but your duty to serve the community that supports you.” Service and education are the grounding ideals of Jamieson Grabenhorst, a founding partner and financial advisor at Horst & Graben. The son of a school superintendent in Eastern Oregon, Jamieson brings that dedication to his work and considers himself a custodian of his clients’ financial futures. His deep ties to the Pacific Northwest start with his upbringing in Fossil and Condon and his education at Washington State University. The legacy of that community has built him a client network that spans from Astoria to The Dalles and as far north as Seattle. As an advisor, Jamieson spurns fads in investing in favor of tried-and-true investment strategies, focusing less on a single day in the markets and more on long-term plans to achieve his clients’ goals. Jamieson’s commitment to service has led him to a board membership with the Oregon Historical Society and on the advisory committee of St. Thomas More Catholic School, and he continues his father’s educational legacy through heavy involvement with Rosemary Anderson High School. When out of the office, Jamieson likes to play tennis and fish with his wife, Tiffany, and son Winston. And while he loves the city life, he also enjoys frequent trips to visit clients, friends, and family in Hood River, Condon, Yakima, and other parts of the region.


Board of Trustees - Maryhill Museum - Columbia GorgeCarolyn Huber comes from a 15-year background in the automotive industry, where she served in organizational development, human resources, marketing and philanthropy. She recently oversaw the corporate social responsibility strategy, national non-profit partnerships and volunteer leadership programs for Toyota USA. Carolyn currently serves as acting vice president for two companies that she owns with her husband. She oversees human resources, marketing and operations for the companies, which provide agricultural supply products to customers across the US and Canada. Carolyn’s appreciation of art and culture came at a young age, while exploring the world with her family. She is inspired by the layers of beauty at Maryhill Museum of Art. The surrounding environment, architecture, spectacular cultural artifacts, renowned sculptures and works of art are an inspiration that may one day lead to curating a show of her own. A Pacific Northwest native, Carolyn is grateful to call White Salmon, Washington, her home. As an active mountain biker and hiker, Carolyn is proud to contribute to the local area trails by organizing special events for the Hood River Area Trail Stewards (HRATS). She also teaches yoga at Yoga Samadhi in White Salmon. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology, with a minor in business administration, from the University of California, Berkeley.



Board of Trustees - Maryhill Museum - Columbia GorgeKaren Ireland was born and raised in Grants Pass, Oregon. She graduated from Gonzaga University and then the University of Oregon Medical School.  After a rotating internship in Connecticut, she spent 7 months in gynecologic pathology at Johns Hopkins followed by 3 years of pathology residency at the University of Colorado Medical Center.  From 1978 to 1998 she practiced surgical pathology at Oregon Health Sciences University, taught medical students, pathology residents, obstetrics/gynecology residents, and well over 100 continuing medical education courses.  Karen joined Incyte Pathology in Spokane, WA, in 1998 and retired in 2009, moving to Yakima in 2010.  For many years she took photos, where allowed at museums, of female figures (paintings, vases, statues, etc.) to include in her lectures.  I enjoy walking/hiking, birding, traveling, camping, photography and reading. 


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Nancy Leahy grew up in Lake Oswego, Oregon and graduated from Purdue University in Speech and Hearing Pathology.  She was speech and hearing pathologist in Walla Walla and Richland, Washington. Nancy taught in the Yakima School District, at Central Washington University and served as Station Manager of KYVE TV (PBS).  In Arizona, she was Executive Director of Make-A-wish Foundation International and in Colorado, coordinator of the Early Care & Education Council of Boulder County. For six years she coordinated the Dolly Parton Imagination Library in Central Washington, and in 2010 was named Executive Director of the Yakima Valley Hearing & Speech Center which transitioned to being the Director of Astria Hospital Foundation i Sunnyside. She is currently Director of Development of Grand Columba Council Boy Scouts of America.  Nancy is a 25-year member of the Rotary Club of Yakima and a member of the Yakima Rotary Trust Board. She has served on the boards of the Greater Yakima Chamber of Commerce, Yakima Youth Baseball, Colorado American Legion Baseball Association and is currently Vice President of the Parker Youth and Sports Foundation in Yakima.  She was an advisory board member of KCTS-KYVE TV (PBS) for nine years and has been on the Yakima Schools Superintendent’s Advisory Committee for twelve years.  Nancy has directed educational and fund-raising banquets, auctions, athletic tournaments, virtual and livestream productions during the past 40 years. She has three grown children and is at home in Yakima, Washington.  Nancy was first elected in 2018.


Board of Trustees - Maryhill Museum - Columbia GorgeKathleen Marquart is Alaskan Native, a member of the Tlingit-Haida Central Council. She was raised in Wrangell Alaska, the eldest daughter of a commercial fisherman. Summers were spent on the beaches in her family’s fish camp, or on seiners looking for jumpers.  Her professional career was as a Certified Physician’s Assistant in Indian country, providing medical care on reservations in South Dakota, Arizona, and New Mexico, and Oregon, as well as in Urban Indian medical clinics in Seattle, Portland, and Oklahoma City.  She worked hand in hand with people from many tribal backgrounds, especially Lakota, Navajo, Hopi, and Zuni, all of whom she lived and worked among.  She developed and supervised a Maternal/Child Health Program, using local community outreach workers and a mobile clinic unit to assure prenatal care in small, distant communities like He Dog, and Upper Cut Meat, SD. The Urban Indian clinics served a multitude of Tribes. For example, the clinic in Oklahoma City had active patients from 126 Tribes.  Kathleen has been a member of numerous committees and advisory groups on the local, state and national levels, involving rural and maternal, child health Issues. She has served as Diversity Chair on her professional associations committees. Currently Kathleen is Vice Chairperson and Representative of the Portland Area (WA, OR, ID) of the National Indian Women’s Health Resource Center.

JIM McCREIGHT, Beaverton, OR

Board of Trustees - Maryhill Museum - Columbia GorgeJim McCreight has served as president of the Beaverton Arts Commission, Beaverton Arts Foundation, Beaverton Chamber of Commerce and is President/Chairman Emeritus of the Museum Trustee Association. He served as a trustee at The High Desert Museum in Bend, Oregon 2005-2013. Service on Maryhill committees includes Executive, Finance, Strategic Planning and Development.  Jim joined the Maryhill Board of Trustees in 1995, served as treasurer in 1998 and was president from 1999 to 2002. He retired from board service in 2004 but again returned to service from 2005 to 2014.  He retired again and returned to service on the Board of Trustees in 2015.  Jim has a B.S. degree in history from Portland State University. He is currently Director of Strategic Partnership, Oregon Technology Business Center in Beaverton, OR.


Board of Trustees - Maryhill Museum - Columbia GorgeSorcha Meek is an artist and educator with a B.A. in Visual Communication cum laude from CSUC, an M.Ed. with honors from PSU, and a certificate from the Lorenzo de’Medici Art Institute, Florence, Italy in fine art, art history, with a focus on contemporary art. She spent her childhood in Ireland before moving to the USA and later spent a year living in Bordeaux, France with her husband and two children. When she moved to Hood River, OR. she co-founded the Alpinee Printmaking Studio, providing studio space for artists, night classes and weekend workshops. She then opened a contemporary art gallery, SOLO, providing space for local and regional artist to hold solo exhibitions. She was the assistant director and head teacher at New Vision School, a private elementary school in the Hood River valley, for many years and also taught in the public schools through Arts in Education. She is currently a member artist/owner at 301Gallery in downtown Hood River and is represented by the Portland Art Museum Rental Sales Gallery. Sorcha has been involved in the Gorge Arts Community as a practicing artist and educator for over two and a half decades. She is currently serving on Maryhill’s Education Committee.


Karel Lee Moersfelder and her husband, Edward, are recent residents of Portland after moving from the Midwest to join family who migrated to this area. She was born in Oakland, California, and split her precollege years in California, the Chicago area, and outside of New York. She returned to the Midwest to attend the University of Wisconsin, where she obtained the degrees of J.D. (1973), a Master of Science Education, (2014), and a B.S. in Education (1970). She and her husband moved to Minneapolis upon graduating from law school, and she practiced criminal law there for thirty-three years, originally as a Public Defender and then as a Prosecutor for Hennepin County. As an attorney in the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, she acted as a trial attorney, a Senior Attorney, and a Managing Attorney. Her responsibilities included overseeing staff attorneys, heading up Trial Divisions, and serving on the Management Team for four different County Attorneys. She is currently retired. She has put in many hours volunteering in schools and women’s community groups. Her hobbies include reading, making and collecting miniatures, attending theatre and visiting museums, travelling, quilting, and spending time with her family.


Board of Trustees - Maryhill Museum - Columbia GorgeLaura Muehleck first visited Maryhill Museum of Art in 1983 when she and her husband, Stephen, moved to Yakima. Laura values volunteer activities with an educational, fundraising, or organizational focus. She has served on numerous committees and boards of local organizations such as Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital, Yakima Valley Museum and Historical Society, the former St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center and was appointed a Yakima Regional Planning Commissioner. Longtime interests in art, history and culture have taken Laura to many international museums and galleries over the years where she has developed an appreciation for exhibits of art and artifacts in their historical context and with an educational component for the viewer. Laura appreciates Maryhill Museum of Art not only as an exceptional world-class museum but also as a timeless treasure for generations to come. 


Board of Trustees - Maryhill Museum - Columbia GorgeDavid Savinar is a native Oregonian and has fond memories of the Maryhill Museum of Art.  He has served on the Maryhill Museum of Art Board of Trustees in the past, and returns to the board enthusiastic about what he can do for Maryhill.  Currently he serves on the Board of Governors at Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA).  David is very involved in the arts in the Northwest and has a background in marketing. David has two boys living in New York and Mexico City.


Board of Trustees - Maryhill Museum - Columbia GorgeDean M. Schlenker grew up farming in the Yakima Valley.  Joined the US Army in 1984 which assisted in paying for his education.  Dean worked for the VA at Central Washington University where he received his BS in Accounting in 1990.  Colleges Dean attended:  City of Chicago, Central Texas College and Yakima Valley Community College. From 1989 to 1994 Dean assisted in building three small food manufacturing companies with approximately 200 employees in Washington and Oregon, which were sold in 1994. Most of his working career, since 1994 has been assisting Non-Profit organizations with either, financial problems or construction projects.  Organizations Dean has worked for:  Snoqualmie Indian Tribe, Heritage University, Granger, Highland and currently Goldendale School Districts. Dean’s passion is traveling having visited 51 countries.  His favorite statement is from Forest Gump: “Life is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you are going to get until you bite into it.”


Board of Trustees - Maryhill Museum - Columbia GorgeKaren Schmirler grew up in Spokane, WA.  She attended Eastern Washington University, where she received a BA in Education and a Master of Science degree in Speech/language Pathology.  After college, Karen came to Clark County Washington, to work in the field of education.  She has been a resident of the area for 47 years.  During that time, she worked as a speech/language pathologist, coordinator of a federal project (connected with the University of Oregon), department coordinator for speech/language services and principal of a specialized elementary school, in Evergreen School District.  After retiring, Karen worked at City University, supervising teachers receiving Professional Certification for the State of Washington.  Karen has always been interested in Native American culture and history, particularly in their basketry and beadwork.  Her education of Native basketry started at Maryhill Museum, where she purchased a book entitled, “The Art & Style of Western Indian Basketry”, which showcased Maryhill’s basketry collection.  Having family in Eastern Washington, Karen and her husband have taken many trips east, through the gorge. During some of these trips, Karen would quiz her husband on the identification of Native basketry, using the book from Maryhill.  Since then, Karen has tried to learn more about Native American culture and the beautiful and useful items they create.  She has worked with Two Rivers Heritage Museum in Washougal, WA and The Portland Art Museum (Native American Art Council), in Portland, OR.  She looks forward to learning about and working with Maryhill Museum, in the beautiful and historic Columbia River Gorge.


Board of Trustees - Maryhill Museum - Columbia GorgeBob is a longtime resident of The Dalles, OR and a recently retired orthopedic surgeon. He grew up on a small farm in Colorado and received his BS from Colorado State University and his MD from the University of Colorado.  Following a tour of duty as a medical officer during the Vietnam War, he completed a residency in Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Bob moved to The Dalles to practice medicine in 1974 and settled with his family in Rowena, OR. He served on the Board of Trustees at Mid-Columbia Medical Center for many years. Bob’s love of art and the natural beauty of the Columbia River Gorge was largely instilled by his late wife and local artist Janice Staver. Her enthusiasm and frequent visits to Maryhill for exhibits and events inspired Bob’s involvement. A particular highlight was their daughter’s wedding ceremony and reception that took place outside in the sculpture garden in 2000. The strong connection between health, medicine, and art continues to inspire him and he is excited by the opportunity to serve and support Maryhill Museum. Bob has served on the collections committee at Maryhill for several years. When not admiring Maryhill’s collections, Bob enjoys reading, gardening, travelling, and attempting to keep up with his 4 grandkids.



Board of Trustees - Maryhill Museum - Columbia GorgeRichard Wattenberg teaches theater history, literature, and criticism at Portland State University. His research interests are in American theater, and for some years he has focused on plays dealing with the American frontier experience. His book Early-Twentieth-Century Frontier Drama on Broadway: Situating the Western Experience in Performing Arts was published by Palgrave, Macmillan in 2011. Professor Wattenberg’s articles have appeared in a number of journals including Journal of American Drama and Theatre, American Drama, Modern Drama, Essays in Theatre, and Western American Literature. As a theater professor, he has directed a number of full productions and stage readings. For over twenty years, Richard worked as a freelance theatre reviewer, publishing some 400 reviews in The Oregonian.  Professor Wattenberg received his Ph.D. in Theater and Drama from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Board of Trustees - Maryhill Museum - Columbia GorgeNominations to the Board of Trustees
Maryhill Museum of Art, a membership organization, elects a revolving Board of Trustees at its Annual Meeting. Pursuant to the Bylaws, the Board may comprise no less than nine and no more than 25 members, with a majority residing in the State of Washington. The Governance Committee, subsequent to evaluation of qualifications and expertise, places candidates on the ballot for election to a three-year term. Members in good standing of Maryhill Museum of Art may nominate a candidate, or themselves, to the Board of Trustees by calling 509 773-3733 or emailing nominations@maryhillmuseum.org.