• Our Board of Directors


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    President Craig Thomas Naylor

    Craig lives west of Kalispell on ten acres his in-laws acquired in payment for a gambling debt. He writes stories, novels, and poetry, and coordinates the annual Flathead River Writers Conference. His work has been published in the Whitefish Review, the Montana and Idaho Senior News, and presented live at the White Raven Winery's WineSpiration concerts and the Flathead Story Concert series. He is Yondan (fourth-level black belt) and chief instructor at Aikido in Kalispell and, in his free time, tends an orchard of heirloom apple varieties. Craig is also a doctor of music composition (Univ. of Southern California). His accolade-filled career included conducting at the Kennedy Center and the National Museum of the American Indian. In between writing assignments, he still puts black dots on five lines now and then. https://craigthomasnaylor.com/

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    Vice President - Sue Purvis

    Susan Purvis is the best-selling author of Go Find, My Journey to Find the Lost & Myself. Often called a "maverick," Susan has paved a successful career in the outdoor industry, shuffling between author, educator, business owner, scientist, K-9 search and rescue dog handler, wilderness medicine, and avalanche specialist. Her exploits have appeared in Smithsonian, Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, on CNN, the BBC, and Discovery Channels. Susan has spoken to over 10,000 individuals from SEALs to CEOs and corporate investors. https://susanpurvis.com/

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    Secretary - Fran Tabor

    Fran discovered science in the 1950’s, a time when continental drift was the wild-eyed theory of the day, and serious engineers claimed they could send spaceships to the moon. By the time she entered college, she, with classmates, watched the first moon landing, and continental drift had become mainstream science. Neither achievement would be possible without the power of imagination amplified by the power of the written word. Be it technical, poetry, adventure, or a tear-jerker love story, Fran’s romance with the written word is part of all she writes. Fran’s writing includes business books, science fiction, romantic & family comedy, and poetry. https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/FranTabor

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    Treasurer - Dr Erika Putnam

    Erika is an author, holistic chiropractor, and yoga instructor. She resides and practices in Whitefish, Montana. She combines her unique interests and expertise to deliver real-life pain and prevention solutions on the page, in the office, and on the yoga mat. For over 25 years she has approached health from a wholeness perspective that includes the complexities of people's physical, emotional, and energetic elements. She is an advocate for prevention and proactive self-care. Erika is a contributing author in several books, including The Ultimate Guide to Self-Healing Techniques, and leads an online writing group for healers and healthcare entrepreneurs who want to write and learn in community. https://thebendatwhitefish.com/meet-dr-erika-putnam/

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    At-Large Member - Jess Owen

    Jess is an author and hobby artist and has been publishing books for many years. She has a self-published Fantasy series and two traditionally published
    contemporary Young Adult novels. She has been involved with Authors of the Flathead for over twenty years as a member, conference attendee, conference
    presenter, student writing contest judge, past-President, and current Board Member "at large." She knows that our best chance of navigating the complex and daunting waters of writing and publishing is by doing it together,
    and believes whole-heartedly in the Authors of the Flathead mission of "writers helping writers." You can find her on bookshelves under the names Jess E. Owen (fantasy) and Jessica Kara (contemporary), at Authors of the Flathead meetings, and on most social media platforms. Jess will be moving from the board to coordinating the annual student writing competition when her term expires Jan 1, 2024. http://www.jessowen.com/ 

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    At-Large Member - Claudia Bennett

    Claudia Bennett, Ph.D., OT is an occupational therapist with over thirty years of experience specializing in supporting and training caregivers. She earned her doctorate from Michigan State University in American Studies, where she focused on the intersection of medicine and religion. Wanting to further understand the role of faith in healing and grief, Doctor Bennett led an oral history project for the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Michigan, where she recorded the life stories of over three hundred
    Catholic nuns. It was while listening to these stories of courage and unwavering belief during times of adversity, life-threatening harm, and doubt that Dr. Bennett realized the necessity for spiritual practice for
    caregivers. Inspired to share all she learned from these experiences, Dr.Bennett became a certified Spiritual Life Coach specializing in helping caregivers find fulfillment and their true calling.

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