OUR BOARDOfficers | Board Members | Committess & Chairs
“PRESERVING THE HISTORY AND TRADITIONS OF THE ELLENSBURG RODEO”
PHOTO: WA RURAL HERITAGE PROJECT | ELLENSBURG PUBLIC LIBRARY
COMMITTEES & CHAIRS
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BANQUET: Donna Hougnon >>
CAPITAL: Marie Smith >>
COMMUNICATIONS: Mike Allen >>
EXECUTIVE: Ken Lester >>
FINANCE: Zora Holmes >>
FUNDRAISING: Jim Gibbons >>
INDUCTION: Ken MacRae >>
MEMBERSHIP: Marie Smith >>
MUSEUM, HISTORY, AND PRESERVATION: Nip Tucker >>
RODEO BOARD/ERHOF LIAISON: Joel Smith >>
Mike Allen was a founding member of ERHOF (1997-Present). He was born and raised in Ellensburg, graduating from Ellensburg High School and Central Washington State College. His dad, Stewart Allen, was a long-time Ellensburg Rodeo Posse member. Mike is a Professor of History at the University of Washington, Tacoma and lives in Ellensburg and Tacoma He has written six books, including Rodeo Cowboys in the North American Imagination (University of Nevada Press, 1998), and A Patriot’s History of the United States, (Penguin Group 2004, co-authored with Larry Schweikart); it was a #1 New York Times bestseller. Every Labor Day weekend he can be found in the northwest grandstands with his three grown children: Jim, Davy, and Caroline.
Jim Gibbons joined the ERHOF Board in 2014. He was born and raised in Ellensburg, graduating from Ellensburg High School and Washington State University. Jim has been in the Insurance business all his life and has offices in Ellensburg, Cle Elum and Yakima. Jim and his wife Janet have made their home in Yakima since 1986. Jim has been active with the State Insurance Agents/Brokers Association for years, is a long time Board Member of Comprehensive Health in Central Washington, and has been an active Rotarian for over 26 years. The Ellensburg Rodeo has always been a part of his life as has the city of Ellensburg and the Kittitas Valley.
Donna Hougnon joined the Board in 2016. Donna was born and raised in Ellensburg and was a 1981 EHS graduate. She graduated from Central Washington University with a degree in Business Administration. Growing up she enjoyed attending the Ellensburg Rodeo with her family and participated in Horse 4-H. Prior to joining the board she helped with annual ERHOF fundraiser. Donna is excited to work with the board members to bring a permanent ERHOF museum for everyone to enjoy. She and her husband Kim have two grown sons, Cody and Colton.
Kent Lester joined the ERHOF Board in 2017. He was born and raised in Seattle, graduating from the University of Washington with degrees in History and Economics. With family ties in Okanogan, he developed an appreciation for rodeo growing up, attending both the Omak Stampede and the Ellensburg Rodeo. It was on trips to Okanogan that he and his wife, Lisa, were drawn to Kittitas Valley, first purchasing property in the Teanaway in 2000 and eventually deciding to make Ellensburg their permanent home. Kent works as a lender at Cashmere Valley Bank and is involved in the Leadership Kittitas County program sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce. He is an avid supporter of the arts and an outdoorsman, enjoying time spent walking and hunting with Jay, Buck and Daisy, his three Brittanys.
Ken MacRae, D.V.M., joined the ERHOF board in 2004. He was ranch raised in Idaho and has been a long-time rodeo competitor. He graduated from WSU in 1961 with a degree in Veterinary Medicine, moved to Ellensburg in June, 1961. He joined Dr. Leonard Newman in practice at The Ellensburg Animal Hospital and took over that practice when Dr. Newman retired in 1974. He joined the Ellensburg Rodeo Board of Directors in 1969, and became Arena Director and Official Veterinarian in 1971, serving in those capacities until retirement from the Rodeo Board in 2000. In 2012, he was honored by being inducted into the Ellensburg Rodeo Hall of Fame.
Zora Holmes joined the Board in 2016. Zora grew up in Kent, WA and frequented the Kittitas Valley as a young adult. Zora moved to Ellensburg in 1992 with her two children to help open Kittitas Valley Bank, now Cashmere Valley Bank. She met and married lifelong resident Ken Peterson, who served on the Ellensburg Rodeo Board for 21 years. Zora has volunteered on many Boards since moving to Ellensburg including United Way, The Clymer Museum and The Foundation at Kittitas Valley Hospital. Zora is excited to work with the Board members to develop financial reporting that will help them achieve future goals.
Teri Phillip has been on the ERHOF board since 2001. She was born and raised in Ellensburg and was a 1975 EHS graduate. She has attended the Ellensburg Rodeo since she was a child, and rode in the Wranglerettes. She moved back to Ellensburg with her husband, Dr. Bill Phillip, in 2000. She volunteers and is on the board of directors for the Spirit Therapeutic Riding Center. She is a past board member and president of the Clymer Museum and Gallery.
Joel Smith was a founding member of ERHOF (1997-Present). Joel was born and raised in Ellensburg. His family has been in Ellensburg for five generations. He retired from a local career in agriculture. He served on the Ellensburg Rodeo Board of Directors for twenty-six years, and was honored by the Ellensburg Rodeo Board’s nomination of him as Justin Boots Committee Man of the Year, which he won in 2007. He is married to Marie Smith who is also an ERHOF board member. They have been married for over forty years and have two married sons: Austin, whose family lives in Ellensburg, and Damian, whose family lives in Chelan. Rodeo has always been his passion, especially the Ellensburg Rodeo. He says, “Long live cowboys! And let their legends survive.”
Marie Smith is an Ellensburg native, one of 9 children and descendant of the Fitterer and Rogers families, both pioneer families of the Kittitas Valley. Marie married into the JR Smith Family in 1975. She is a graduate of Lourdes Academy which once stood at 8th and Ruby Streets. Marie is a proud mother to 2 sons, Austin and Damian and has 4 grandchildren. She was a member of the Shama Nada Middle Eastern dance troupe for 8 years enjoying costuming, choreography and performance. Marie sold real estate in the Kittitas Valley for 20 years and served for 15 years on the Kittitas County Association of Realtors, receiving Realtor of the Year, Community Service and Realtor Achievement awards. She enjoys yoga, golfing, gardening and volunteering for community events including being a part of building the western village at the Ellensburg Rodeo and helping to secure the Driver House. Marie served as one of the founders of the Maynard Linder Spirit of the Rodeo award and has served on the Jazz in the Valley board for 14 years. She is passionate about the rich heritage of the Ellensburg Rodeo.
Nip Tucker is a Kittitas Valley native whose passion for rodeo and interest in history prompted him to serve on the Ellensburg Rodeo Hall of Fame Board. Nip began competing in county and high school rodeo events before eventually joining the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association as a calf roper, steer wrestler, and team roper. He was a two-time Columbia River Circuit finalist in calf roping. Nip continues to train roping and barrel racing horses with his wife Jody. As a history teacher at Ellensburg High School, Nip has an interest in preserving local history. One part of ERHOF that Nip particularly enjoys is working on the oral history collection. Nip and Jody have a son, Tait, and two daughters, Trew and Trey.
Jami has been a lifelong equestrian having started riding and involvement with horse sports at the age of three. Jami has been and is involved with equestrian based programs to help special needs children and adults. She donates her time to these programs that use the unique bond between horses and humans to help those special needs children and adults overcome challenges. Jami and her husband Mitch own and operate Kittitas Valley Outfitters from their Schnebly Road ranch. She and her family are accomplished riders and guides with a longtime interest in rodeo and western traditions and a strong desire to preserve those traditions. Jami serves on ERHOF’s Membership and Communications committees.
John was born and raised in Ellensburg and, as a teenager, rode with the Kittitas County Junior Sheriff’s Posse. After graduating from Ellensburg High school, he spent a year at CWU before attending the University of Washington. John lived in Seattle for 40 years and built a career as a residential interior designer. His expertise as an industry color consultant led to publications in Fine Life In America, Kitchen and Bath, McCalls, Women’s World, and other magazines. Returning to Ellensburg before retirement, John was a contributing artist to ERHOF’s art auction fundraiser before joining the ERHOF board in 2020. He serves as a curator on ERHOF’s Museum Committee.
Krissy has strong rural connections stemming from her southwest Washington childhood, 4H, and love of horses. She came to Ellensburg as a CWU student and now works as a member of the Jerrol’s Bookstore team. Krissy has brought much-needed Tech skills to the ERHOF board and serves as ERHOF Recorder.
Mitch Truax has spent his adult life on the back of a saddle horse as professional guide, packer and outfitter. Whether guiding a pack string or driving his chuck wagon he and his family have dedicated themselves to the preservation of the Western heritage of America. Now he does so as member of the ERHOF board.
Daniel Beard brings impressive rodeo credentials to ERHOF. He is the grandson of ERHOF Inductees, the late Frank and Charlot Beard. Born in Toppenish and now residing in Ellensburg, Daniel graduated in History from Central Washington University. He teaches American history at Morgan Middle School and is a rodeo stock contractor. Among other ERHOF duties, Daniel will join our Induction Committee.