Jim was raised in the suburbs of Detroit, MI as the youngest of three siblings whose mother was a LCSW and father managed a group of engineers at Ford Motor Company. It was the 70s, Motown, and dreams of playing hockey were all that filled Jim’s head. In the fall of 1987, he made his way to Denison University where he met Peg Rodgers and started on the path to the rest of his life. They moved to Montana in 1991 and spent 5 years learning the ways of living in a small western town. By 1996, they were ready to begin their dream of opening a bakery in Joseph, OR. They owned and operated WildFlour Bakery for almost 15 years and started a family along the way. Their son Flynn was born in 2003 and their daughter Cooper was born in 2006.
If Jim was to define his life in one word, then family is everything to him. In 2011, he graduated from Portland State University with a B.S. in Civil Engineering and took a job with Devco Engineering as a structural engineer designing cold-formed steel framing for large commercial and private projects throughout the western states. His free time is spent with family and friends at Fergi and ice skating in the winter, while enjoying the lake, hiking and hunting during the warmer months.
In addition to his board position at Wallowa Valley Center for Wellness, he is the treasurer of the Ferguson Ridge Ski Patrol and the Safety Officer of the Wallowa Valley Little League. He also serves on the Wallowa County Planning Commission and recently started the non-profit Wallowa County Athletic Network (WCAN) to build community through sports and physical activity. He is honored to be a part of the Wallowa Valley Center for Wellness team and firmly believes the work performed in this organization makes Wallowa County a better place. Developing the Hearts for Health project has been his main focus as a board member and is very excited to be a part of this nationally renowned project.
Ted was born and raised in Pendleton, OR, and served in the Army for 27 years, all in combat arms. After 3 years of active duty during Desert Storm, Ted came back to Pendleton and was offered a job, directly due to his service, at Fed Ex. Ted spent 25 years with that company as a Swing Driver and during that time, filled in for the Wallowa County route. It was then that he decided this was where he wanted to call home. Ted ended up moving to Enterprise in late fall of 2015. He spent some time working at Highview Angus Ranch. Ted was connected to services here at the local Veterans Services Office and was soon asked to apply for the Veterans Service Officer position since the current officer was retiring. Ted applied and proudly accepted his new role as Wallowa County’s Veterans Service Officer.
Ted decided to sit on the Board of Director’s for Wallowa Valley Center for Wellness WVCW) for several reasons. He not only has a passion for helping local Veterans, but also connecting them with behavioral health services. Also, Ted deeply supports the integrated model that WVCW utilizes currently with providers from Winding Waters Clinic. He truly supports the plans for further integration at the integrated health services facility. Ted believes strongly in the reducing stigma in receiving mental health services and believes this model helps to do that.
Ted is a proud husband of Jimmie K. Thorne and has been married for 31 years and they have 8 kids together and just had their 9th grandchild. He enjoys spending his free time fishing and hunting and really enjoys living and serving Wallowa County.
Ruthie Mann was born and raised in the farmlands of Indiana, but only a hop and a skip from Chicago, Illinois. She always knew she wanted to be in healthcare and pursued a nursing career through Purdue University in 2004. Her career started in pediatric and adult acute care in Crown Point, Indiana. She fell in love with Wallowa County and moved to Joseph in 2009 with a job secured at Wallowa Memorial Hospital. She expanded her training to include ER and OB as well. Wallowa County quickly became her home and gave her the first sense of true community.
Working in ER brought experience with mental health and addiction that Ruthie hadn’t previously encountered from the professional side but having family members that have suffered from mental health issues and alcoholism brought a level of understanding and compassion that had yet to be summoned. When given the opportunity to join the board of directors, she immediately accepted with hopes of contributing to the community and partnership between WVCW and WMH. Ruthie joined the board in 2018 and has enjoyed the contributions from a very strong and diverse group of people. The staff of WVCW have also been very impressive and always work hard to grow and adapt with the community and it’s needs.
Melyssa (Mel) Sharp
Melyssa (Mel) Sharp grew up in Wallowa County, attending school in Enterprise before residing in Central Oregon and Portland and finally returning to the county with her husband, David, in 2020. Mel has career experience leading sales and marketing teams around international commercial agriculture and in nonprofit direct service including working in a DV/SA shelter in Central Oregon.
She is passionate about social and restorative justice, preventative education, and language & supporting transformational change and healthy communities. She is grateful to be a part of a rural community and enjoys her time off spending time with her family and friends, playing with her dog, reading, experimenting in the kitchen, and enjoying all the natural beauty of the county.