Melissa grew up in northeast Ohio to a family of artists. She had her first set of professional colored pencils at the age of 5 and began sweeping the teddy bear coloring contest circuit at 6 years old. Although art has always been a love and a hobby, Melissa's career passion was in the environmental field. She graduated with a BA in Environmental Studies from Hiram College in Ohio and promptly set off out West post-graduation. She has been an environmental educator in New Mexico and a park ranger in Colorado before making her way to Montana to attend graduate & law school.
Board of Directors
Julie has been with the ZACC since 2011, when she began an AmeriCorps internship as the Volunteer Coordinator. After graduating from UM with a psychology degree, she couldn't stay away from the ZACC and joined the board in fall of 2012. She is originally from Billings and currently works as the executive assistant for Ecogeek LLC. Although not much of an artist herself, Julie is constantly inspired by what comes of human creativity. Its places like the ZACC (and the people involved) that make her so happy to call Missoula home.
Lauren Tyler Norby is an artist based in Missoula. Raised in the woods of Potomac, Montana, he earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from The University of Montana in 2006, and his Master of Fine Arts from The University of California, Santa Barbara in 2010. Norby previously worked as an art instructor and a gallery director. Currently he works in television production. Norby's art spans from drawings and comics to performances and installations to videos and music. Norby has shown his work regionally and nationally, including a solo exhibit at Missoula's Brink Gallery in 2014.
When asked where he grew up, Charley Carpenter says "around"-- meaning Connecticut, Texas, the San Francisco Bay Area, and western Montana. He has a BS in Economics from Montana State University, and his law degree from the Catholic University of America. Charley was a corporate lawyer in Washington DC from 1991 to 2009, when he moved back to Montana to start his own law practice in Missoula. He and his photographer wife Uschi chose Missoula as their home not only for the outstanding natural beauty, but also for its thriving arts scene.
Matt Gehr was born in Missoula but grew up in Spokane. He loves the artistic community in Missoula and is grateful to be able to do his part to support community arts. He is studying business management and work in banking. Outside of work and the ZACC, Matt enjoys reading and being outdoors.
Al Pils was born in Madison, Wisconsin where he lived until 1993 until moving to Missoula to pursue good times and the “Wilds of Montana.”
Al is a board member of the ZACC and happens to be the ZACC's neighbor--working next door at the Northside Kettlehouse.
Liz Dye is a native of Missoula and this is her 2nd time on the ZACC Board. Liz studied Art and the U of M and has a degree in graphic design from the Art Institute of Seattle. She is a Realtor Broker at Portico Real Estate.
Josh grew up in Yakima, Washington and has called Missoula home since 1992. He loves art, especially music, and helped organize Total Fest for fourteen years, runs a small record label and is proud to be a board member with the ZACC.
Pauly is very excited to be a board member for the Zootown Arts Community Center.
Jamie was born and raised along the Kusquqvak River in southwest Alaska. She moved to Missoula in 2004 to complete UM's renowned accounting program. While here she fell for her husband and rooted. Jamie became a licensed CPA in 2009 and currently practices public accounting. When she can find spare time Jamie fills it with fresh air, forest treasures, books, and watercolors. Jamie is a member of the Orutsararmiut Tribal Council and a proud Yup'ik Eskimo. This is her second term as ZACC's Treasurer.
Geoff cut his teeth in the Outdoor Industry where he learned the finer art of building a brand and creating lifestyle based marketing on a non-existent budget. In layman’s terms this meant he was expected to bust his butt and produce results with no money.