Mike Schweizer, President

Year Appointed/Elected to the Board: 2015

Why are you serving as a Trustee?
"I strive to participate in community activities and developed an interest in the museum when my wife was on the board and 'volunteered' me for a committee. I felt my professional skills and knowledge could be of use as the society is moving forward with development of the Collections Care Facility and new Corvallis facility."

Tom Gallagher, Vice President

Year Appointed/Elected to the Board: 2011

Career Profile
Tom earned a Bachelor of Science from Oregon State University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a retired attorney who practiced law for 45 years, the last 32 in Corvallis

Community/Professional Affiliations
Tom was a member of the boards of directors of Community Outreach, Inc. and Corvallis Caring Place. He is a former president of the Rotary Club of Corvallis.

Why are you serving as a Trustee?
“My family has resided in Benton County for over 100 years. I have lived near Corvallis for most of my life. I want to help preserve the history of this very special area.”

Marlys Amundson, Secretary

Year Appointed/Elected to the Board: 2014

Career Profile
1992 BA in English, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
1996 MA in Applied Linguistics, UCLA
1996-2007  Development Communications, Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, UCLA
2007-2014   Development Officer, College of Engineering, OSU Foundation
2014-present  Director of Development, Linus Pauling Institute, OSU Foundation

Community/Professional Affiliations
Past member, Friends of the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library Board
Past volunteer, Willamette Riverkeeper
Past member, Engineering Development Forum Executive Committee
Current member, NuScale Toastmasters
Leadership Corvallis (Class of 2013)

Why are you serving as a Trustee?
"I appreciate the role that the Benton County Historical Society plays in preserving artifacts from both the region's past and Oregon State University's, and hope to assist in the organization's mission."

Duane Jager, Treasurer

Year Appointed/Elected to the Board: 2010

Career Profile
1972  BS, Science, Oregon State University
1975  Masters in Educational Technology, Oregon State University
1975-77  Teacher, Dever-Connor School District
1977-87  Teacher, Corvallis School District
1987-2003  Corvallis School District: Resource Teacher, Media Specialist, Technology Integration Specialist
2003-present  Technology Services Manager, Corvallis School District

Why are you serving as a Trustee?
"As a young boy, I often visited the Horner Museum in Corvallis. I enjoyed this experience very much, and I would like others to have a similar opportunity, especially young kids that don't have an opportunity to have experiences outside of this area."

Neal Peterson, Immediate Past President

Year Appointed/Elected to the Board: 2010

Career Profile
Retired professional engineer: Oregon State University graduate with MS in Structural Engineering. Worked for Pittsburgh Des Moines Steel Company after graduating from OSU. Returned to OSU to teach senior level engineering courses from 1973-1981. Principal owner and principal engineer for Devco Engineering, Corvallis, Ore., for 33 years, working in Oregon, California, Washington, Nevada, Arizona and Hawaii until retirement in 2005.

Community/Professional Affiliations
Former Executive Director for the Metal Stud Manufacturers' Association
Former Technical Director for the Steel Stud Manufacturers' Association
Past member of the Greater Corvallis Rotary Club
Member of the Philomath Community Foundation board

Why are you serving as a Trustee?
"To have the opportunity to provide engineering input that addresses the construction of the new Corvallis Museum and provide technical assistance for on-going maintenance and construction issues for the existing museum facilities."


Sandy Gerding

Year Appointed/Elected to the Board: 2012

Career Profile
Office assistant Dean of Engineering, Oregon State University
1978-1996-held various positions at a number of financial institutions throughout the U.S. and Germany
1997-2003- Office assistant at Dixon Creek Dental Center.

Community/Professional Affiliations
As a 30-year Army wife, I served in numerous positions supporting many Officers' Wives Clubs. I led a number of Family Support Groups to assist military families during times of deployment in the U.S. and overseas.

Why are you serving as a Trustee?
"Both my family and my husband's family have lived in Benton County for four generations. I am especially interested in preserving the valuable history of this very unique area for the many generations to come. This is an opportunity to serve our community in the sharing and preservation of these historical collections."

Rod Harvey

Year Appointed/Elected to the Board: 2004

Career Profile
Public School Teacher and Administrator

Community/Professional Affiliations
First Presbyterian Church of Corvallis
Board Member Philomath Community Foundation

Janet Nishihara

Year Appointed/Elected to the Board: 2016

Career profile
Oregon State University Educational Opportunities Program Director, supporting first-generation, low-income students, students of color and other underserved populations. Taught courses that develop a deeper understanding of the history of students of color at Oregon State University and in Oregon.
Serving at OSU since 1981.

Community/Professional Affiliations
NASPA-Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education
AAC&U-Association of American Colleges & Universities
Oregon Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs - former member
CARDV, Friends of the Library

Why are you serving as a Trustee?
"Because I am interested in both learning more about the history of our region and in seeing the development of our understanding of the roles that people of color played in our history. I would like to see if there are ways for groups to collaborate even further in re-discovering this information and providing access to it by the public at large."

Lois Rawers

Year Appointed/Elected to the Board: 2009

Career Profile
1961-1982  Elementary Teacher in Ohio, Michigan, Idaho and Oregon, including Philomath
1984-2006  Elementary School Principal in Oregon, mainly in Corvallis
B.S. and M.A.T., Miami University, Oxford, Ohio
Ph.D., University of Oregon

Community/Professional Affiliations
Corvallis Public Schools Foundation, Board of Directors, Past Chair
U of O College of Education Alumni Assoc., Board member
Confederation of Oregon School Administrators
National Association of Elementary School Principals
Phi Delta Kappa, Professional Fraternity in Education
Northwest Women in Educational Administration

Why are you serving as a Trustee?
"I have a keen interest in history, and I value documentation of the creation and development of communities, organizations and other social entities."

Marilyn Starker

Year Appointed/Elected to the Board: 2013

Career Profile
Middle School Special Education teacher Greater Albany School District 6 years
Volunteer Old Mill Center 10+ years
Parent Educator-Community Outreach, Inc. 4 years
Founder/Director Mari's Place Child Care Center-Community Outreach 6 years

Community/Professional Affiliations
Board of Directors, Starker Forests, Inc.
Chair Philanthropy committee Starker Forests, Inc.
Board of Directors, Community Outreach, Christian Education Teacher pre-K and K First Congregational Church, UCC

Why are you serving as a Trustee?
"I am interested in how the Society works and is progressing towards getting a permanent, attractive museum in which to display its vast collection which has been so carefully stored and catalogued. Our family has shown our dedication to it and we hope to see it come to fruition."

Kirstin Starnes

Year Appointed/Elected to the Board: 2013

Career Profile
BA, University of Oregon
Masters in Library Science, Indiana University
Youth Services Librarian, Pierce County Library System (Tacoma, WA)
Early Learning & Child Care Supervising Librarian, Pierce County Library System
Youth Services Librarian, Corvallis-Benton County Public Library

Community/Professional Affiliations
Oregon Library Association
Oregon Young Adult Network, Past Chair
Franklin School PTA, school volunteer

Why are you serving as a Trustee?
"I grew up in Benton County and have returned years later to raise my family here in this great community. Past experience volunteering at museums and working in a preservation/conservation department at a university
library has increased my interest in historical preservation. I have a passion for being involved in our community and have a growing interest in local and family history. Curtis Kiefer asked me to consider joining the board and I think it would be a wonderful way to give back to the community."

Jo Anne Trow

Career Profile
Resident of Corvallis since 1965 when she joined Student Affairs Office at OSU
Originally from Ohio, she holds degrees from Denison University, Indiana University, and Michigan State University. She worked in student affairs before coming to Oregon. She was OSU's last Dean of Women and its first female Vice President.

Community/Professional Affiliations
Active in:
The League of Women Voters
First Congregational United Church of Christ
OSU Folk Club Thrift Shop
Willamette Criminal Justice Council
United Way
Corvallis Parks and Recreation Advisory Board Old Mill Center

Rick Wallace

Year Appointed/Elected to the Board: 2010

Career Profile
Corvallis School District 1972-2003
Teacher Theatre, Speech, Journalism, History, English, Leadership
Corvallis High School Activities Director 1979-1983
Director of Theatre 1983-2003
Interim Theatre Manager 2006
Bluestone Consulting, LLC 2008-Present
PERS research and education consultant

Community/Professional Affiliations
Benton County Cultural Coalition 2004-2010
Corvallis Readers' Theatre
Active in OSU Theatre productions
Oregon State Scholarship Commission 1988-1990
Oregon State Juvenile Services Commission 1985-1988
Advisory Board to Secretary of State Barbara Roberts for creating teaching resources based on materials from Oregon State Archives

Why are you serving as a Trustee?
"I have a lifelong interest in history and have taught the subject on a number of occasions. As a Benton County native, I am particularly interested in the preservation and extension of knowledge about the county's and the state's past. I was initially a History major at OSU, although I took my degree in Speech and Theatre Education.

"It is a particularly interesting and challenging time to join the Board as the Museum and the Society launch the drive to build the new museum building in Corvallis to house the collection and complement the wonderful Philomath facilities. This is a once-in-a-century opportunity for the community and the Society to build a lasting landmark for the county."

Natchee Barnd, Advisor
Wendy Beck-Nichols, Advisor
Josh Kvidt, Advisor
Alice Ramption, Advisor