Our Board of Directors
Tom W. Harrington, President (Whitehall, MT)
Tom graduated in 1978 from Montana State University with a degree in finance and management. Commissioned through the U.S. Army ROTC program, Tom served twenty-two years in various leadership and staff assignments, retiring in 2000, at the rank of colonel. Tom is currently employed as a Community and Economic Development Extension Agent with Montana State University Extension in Jefferson County, and acts as loaned staff to the Jefferson Local Development Corporation. Tom works on various economic development projects and natural resource utilization. He is actively involved in community organizations such as Jefferson Valley Search and Rescue, Jefferson River Watershed Committee, Jefferson Valley Sportsman Association, Jefferson County Parks, Recreation and Trails Committee, Whitehall American Legion, Whitehall Community Center, and Whitehall Chamber of Commerce.
Tom joined Liberty Place, Inc. as a board member in 2005, and currently serves as President. He believes in the mission of Liberty Place, and strives to help residents living with brain injury to improve their quality of life and give them the “Freedom to Try”.
*At the 15th anniversary celebration for Liberty Place, Inc. in 2011, Tom was recognized for his years of leadership and dedication and was given the title of HONORARY FOUNDING 'MOTHER' by the LPI co-founders (THE FOUNDING MOTHERS).
Roy McBride, Vice President (Whitehall, MT)
Roy H McBride is the Branch President of Rocky Mountain Bank located in Whitehall, MT. Roy brings a wealth of financial expertise to the Board of Directors as he has 30 Plus years in the banking industry. It is because of this experience that he chose to serve on the board for Liberty Place. Mr. McBride is a dedicated member of his community as he is involved in various community programs: he serves on the Board of Directors for the Jefferson Valley Community Foundation; is an active member of the Community Transition Advisory Council which coordinates economic development efforts between the Whitehall community and Barrick Golden Sunlight Mine; and he serves the youth of the valley through the Whitehall Baseball program.
April Buonamici (Bozeman, MT)
In 2005 when I retired to Bozeman, I attended my first Festival of Trees, the major fundraiser for Liberty Place. It was such a beautiful affair that I became a committee member, so I could help with it.
My life had been spent teaching children. I was certified in special ed, music and general classroom. Upon meeting the Liberty Place clients, they were just like the students I had taught, only all grown up. However, Montana no longer provides for their educational needs and mental stimulation once they turn 18. So I wholeheartedly turned to helping fund-raise for their educational needs at Liberty Place, and eventually served as Festival of Trees coordinator for seven years.
As a music teacher who is married to an art teacher, I am very proud of the current arts program that Liberty Place is running. What a wonderful way to bring out individual talent to bless the community!
Dorothy Solyst ~ Co-Founder (Bozeman, MT)
As one of the 'Founding Mothers', and now an Honorary Board Member, Dorothy has been with Liberty Place since its inception. With over twenty-five years of experience as an Occupational Therapist, she became acutely aware of the needs of individuals who have sustained brain injuries - especially in the State of Montana, where statistics place it in upper tiers per capita, for this unimaginable feat for the body and mind.
"We have worked diligently to provide needed services and life-skills training within residential community settings. Please join us in our Mission to 'Encourage individuals with brain injuries to reach their highest level of independence and to enhance the quality of their lives by giving them the Freedom to Try'".
Gail Gunderson, RN (retired) ~ Co-Founder (Belgrade, MT)
Being involved in long term care throughout her career in both direct care and administration, Mrs. Gunderson has been acutely aware of the need for community based programs for those working through recovery after brain injury. Gail has been an advocate for the Continuum of Care model for survivors, and this is behind her desire to make a difference. Gail's passion is also for seeing to the development and education for the staff of Liberty Place, Inc. She continues to volunteer several times a month for staff training and assists with the continued improvement of the program through participation in designing policy and procedures. Mrs. Gunderson actively works as a member of the Accreditation Committee.
Rhonda L. Hobbs, Accountant (Waterloo, MT)
Rhonda Hobbs holds her Bachelor's Degree from Montana Tech/University of Montana, and received her MBA from the University of Phoenix. Rhonda is the in-house accountant for McDonald’s restaurants in the Butte area, and is self-employed with bookkeeping and tax prep business. Mrs. Hobbs serves her community as a member of the Whitehall Saddle Club, as a Girl Scout Leader, and the leader for Waterloo Boosters 4-H Club. Rhonda shares her past experience as a corporate controller, which has proven to be a great value by keeping Liberty Place, Inc. fiscally responsible.
"I chose to serve on the board because of the passion and enthusiasm shown by founding mothers and I want to be a part of the vision!!!"
Jane Geissler (Bozeman, MT)
Jane Geissler has a long history of helping people. She has served as a bookkeeper, an activity director and a volunteer in skilled nursing facilities, is a past member of the Board of Directors for Love In The Name of Christ, and has been a volunteer for her church. She has also served as a volunteer and on the Board of Directors for Befrienders. Jane is a member of a prayer that group has decorated many trees for the Festival of Trees through the years. Mrs. Geissler has joined the Board at this time because much help is needed for the expansion project.
Diane O'Connor-McNair (Bozeman, MT)
I was raised in Bozeman and love the beautiful state of Montana with the many opportunities for outdoor activities. I am blessed with three children and their families.
I worked for ILX Lightwave for 14 1/2 years as an Associate Accountant and a Buyer. Later I did Business and Material Management as an Independent Consultant. My last position was as the Controller for Dobeck Performance in Belgrade.
Charles Fritz, MD (retired) (Bozeman)
Charles Fritz, M.D. Emergency Medicine Physician (ret), has lived in Bozeman 28 years. Charles has been married 45 years to his wife, Tani. They both like the outdoor activities of Montana.
I applied for the Board of Liberty Place because this loving organization filled a much needed gap in care.