Board and Staff
Hannah has always been in love with the natural world. As a child, she was always outside. Her summers were spent at Lake Champlain harvesting blueberries, fishing and making preserves, and canned goods with her mom. Those magical experiences have shaped Hannah's career and her relationship with her community. Hannah has owned a successful flower business for over 20 years and is a professional Fly Fishing guide. She loves teaching others about the importance of clean waters as the foundation for healthy ecosystems. Hannah lives off the grid in Idaho with her husband and adopted twins. She is thrilled to be a part of the blossoming O'Hara Commons and looks forward to its unfolding future.
Hannah Spencer Fast, Chair
As a child growing up in central Ohio, Craig and his siblings were each assigned a section of the family's one acre garden. He was fascinated with the variety of flowers and vegetables they could grow. His first job was selling honey, and eventually he opened a food co-op that still exists today. He joins the board of the O'Hara Commons to connect with the community and hopes to share and nurture his lifelong passion for the growing things of this planet with others. Craig is the father of four children and has been married to his beautiful, calm and patient wife for 40 years.
Craig Kreider, Vice Chair, Interim
Susan has a degree in English Literature and a professional background as a paralegal, running intensive litigation like the ‘Trial of the Century’ that took place in New Orleans after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, as well as preparing the case for the Fukushima nuclear incident.
She gained a deep understanding of the local community and volunteer spirit in Hamilton when serving as the Executive Director at the Daly Mansion in 2009 - 2011. She hopes to contribute to the O'Hara Commons with her business skills and generally unflappable nature.
She enjoys biodynamic composting, flower gardening, and the unique expression of terroir that comes with fermentation. She stands firmly in favor of the Oxford comma. She and her intrepid mate, Lindy, gladly live near Hamilton.
Susan Hardman, Treasurer
Bill was raised in Mississippi, but escaped from there in 1969, winding up in Montana in 1977, where his main regret has been failure in growing speckled butterbeans and okra to go with his cornbread and turnip greens. He completed a MS degree at the University of Montana in wildland vegetation ecology from the School of Forestry in 1994. Bill loves to roam the hills looking for natural secrets and photo ops. He is no master gardener, but sometimes manage to supply himself with tomatoes, jalapeños, onions, and a few other essentials (with Pat’s help, of course), while leaving the production of squashes, beets, and other inedibles to her.
William Thompson, Secretary
As an Artist and Waldorf Educator, Dulcie works every day to support strong community from organizing community celebrations of the seasons to riding her bike to buy local food and goods for her family. Originally from Oregon, she moved to Montana in 1992 to attend the University of Montana where she received a BFA in Ceramic Arts, lived in Choteau where she helped begin the Choteau Community Art Studio and finally settled in the Bitterroot Valley. Dulcie and her family live in the heart of Hamilton where her boys help grow food in their abundant backyard garden and appreciate the beauty of the Bitterroot River just a short walk from their back door. After 13 years of teaching preschool, she now works full-time creating artwork to inspire people to love and live fully.
Dulcie Belanger, Board Member
Henry grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, but is now a recent resident of Corvallis Montana. He lives off grid, depending on the Earth, Wind and Sun to energize his family’s mountain yurt.
He graduated from the University of Cincinnati with degrees in Education and Psychological Foundations.
Henry worked in the field of education for 10 years, teaching math, physics, and science topics. He then owned, with his brother, a printing company with a national presence. The company was sold in 2010.
During his working life and during retirement, he participated as a board member with several manufacturing companies as well as with philanthropic entities. Henry was a board member for the Cincinnati Parks Foundation for over 10 years. He was on the board, and past President, of the Covington-Cincinnati Suspension Bridge Committee that is dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of the John A. Roebling Bridge.
Henry has been married to Donna for 50 years. They had one child. Hillary Sargent and her family are also off grid mountain neighbors.
Henry’s love of family, friends, and community has helped enhance his love of clean air, water and land.
Henry Peters, Board Member
Samantha transitioned from 13 years of owning and managing a retail garden business into the role of executive director with The O’Hara Commons. She brings with her a rich understanding of our local community, a passion for sustainable living and a lifetime dedicated to education. Samantha has lived and gardened in the Bitterroot Valley for over 19 years and is always finding a way to spend as much time as possible, everyday, outside surrounded by nature. Every year Samantha fills her garden with enough to feed all who visit and has always been fortunate that the deer, the rabbits, the birds and the insects have always been well mannered. Her motto: Let no question go unanswered.
Samantha O'Byrne, Executive Director
Renee is a long-time and still-learning gardener of 25 years. Most of her gardening has been in the short, dry, cool season environments of the Intermountain West and Great Basin. She’s been living in the Bitterroot for 5 years now, is a Level 3 Montana Master Gardener (and again, still learning), and thrilled by the “mild climate” and “longer” frost free season of the Bitterroot Valley. At home she has 1/2 acre fenced for berries, fruit trees, and vegetables, with ornamental perennials and annuals thrown in for the pollinators. She’ll be the first to admit what she doesn’t know but is a real bulldog when it comes to getting answers for you.
Renee Snyder, Volunteer Coordinator