President: Pat Dickason
E-mail: lwvthurston [at] gmail [dot] com
Pat was born and raised in Eastern WA, is an alumni of University of WA, did graduate work at Seattle University. She’s a retired state worker, now enjoying living in downtown Olympia. Pat has been involved in League since 2006, co-chaired the State League study on Early Education, served on the State League Board, chaired the State Lobby Team, and was elected Thurston President in 2015. Pat loves working with such an active, committed, concerned group of women and men.
Vice President: Ruth Harms
Ruth is a Washington native. She recently retired from a lifetime career as an educator and advocate for children and families. Ruth taught in Sierra Leone, Australia, and Longview. She was the Director of a shelter for battered women and the coauthor of a curriculum that teaches children about preventing child sexual abuse. She was also the Child Abuse Prevention Supervisor for 5 years at the Office of the Supt. Of Public Instruction. Before retiring Ruth worked for Seattle Children’s Hospital to introduce a program to prevent “Shaken Baby Syndrome”. As a League member, Ruth worked on the LWV Early Childhood Education Study, the Growth Management Study and helped develop training to promote "The State We’re In: Washington."
Secretary: Karen Tvedt
A native of Washington State, Karen's career in public policy, research, and administration at state and federal levels focused primarily on supporting families and children by improving the availability and quality of child care and early education services. Following the lead of Margie Reeves and other great role models, she joined the League of Women Voters to work with others who are passionate about leaving the world a better place for our children and grandchildren. In her spare time, Karen is enrolled in a chaplaincy program through Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe.
Treasurer: Peggy Murphy
Peggy has extensive education and volunteer and professional experience working with many legal issues regarding environmental law and land use planning. She worked with a major Environmental/Land Use attorney initially in Olympia and then in Bellevue with another major Environmental/Land Use attorney. She returned to Olympia in 1995 and worked with the Department of Natural Resources for seventeen years, including as litigation and Public Disclosure manager.
She also taught high school US History in Seattle and has volunteered for many years with the LWV, often focusing on voter education and facilitation.
Allyson is originally from Queens, New York City. She received undergraduate degrees from McGill University in Montreal, Canada and Tel-Aviv University in Israel. Her Master’s degree is from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. She also completed her Ph.D. in anthropology at the University of Nevada. While in Skagway, Alaska conducting archaeological excavations for the National Park Service she met her partner of 30 years, Gary. After working in South Dakota and Minnesota, she was offered the appointed position of the Washington State Historic Preservation Officer in 1999. Allyson served in this position under Governors Gary Locke, Christine Gregoire and Governor Inslee. She and Gary have two daughters, Amanda and Elana. They are happy empty nesters with their three dogs: Gatsby, Magoo and Roofus. In her spare time she volunteers with the League, Temple Beth Hatfiloh, jogs with her dogs, kickboxs and weightlifts.
Peggy was born and spent her first 50 years in the other Washington, where she worked mainly as a contract writer and editor, avoiding signing on as a career bureaucrat. She came to Olympia in 1991. Peggy joined the League several years later on the urging of her neighbor and fellow activist Karen Verrill. She is a self-declared, card-carrying tree-hugger with a passionate for protecting our planet. Peggy wants to see the League grow ever more involved in leadership roles in the signature environmental issues of our time and place. At 80 years old, she is happy to see young people stepping up and speaking up.
Dawn Brooks Gibbs
Dawn’s commitment to the League grows out of her desire to be an active informed voter and her appreciation for the League’s history, positions, and ongoing work. Dawn joined the League in 2006. She currently serves on several committees, produces the TRY (They Represent You) brochure, and creates the Membership Directory. She served as VP from 2012 to 2014 and has led our involvement in fairs and festivals, including voter registration between 2009 and 2013.
Valerie's career spans interior design, clothing design, banking, fish packing/exporting, personnel management, emergency room tech support, private investigating, hospital medical assistance, and private practice psychotherapy. Throughout her life, she has consistently been involved in politics, mostly nonpartisan. She believes the League of Women Voters accomplishes salient social-political work, and she is pleased to be on the team with the Thurston County League of Women Voters. She is passionate about her children, grandchildren and life with her husband of 35 years.
Darlene joined the League of Women Voters of Thurston County when she returned to the Northwest in 2014 to learn more about the political world we live in and to help make positive change for our community. She is currently the Executive Director of the Olympia Free Clinic and has over 30 years of experience in public health and social services.
Paula grew up in Hawaii, and came to the mainland to attend college at Western State University. She taught school in California for some time, and then returned to Hawaii where she ran a flower plantation. Following the sale of the flower plantation, Paula moved to Steamboat Peninsula in 2008. She joined League in 2015, and she is very interested in election issues and promoting voting registration, particularly among young people. Paula is pleased to join the League Board.
R. Peggy Smith
Peggy was born and raised in Tacoma, WA. She graduated from the University of Puget Sound with a degree in Chemistry. After spending about ten years out of state, pursuing advanced degrees and career, she made her way back to Washington State. She then started her 30 plus year career as a state employee, working in a variety of planning, research, and data related positions. While in graduate school she joined the Association for Women in Science. This was the first of a number of women’s and community organizations she has been active in. Others include Washington Women United and the Women’s Political Caucus.
In anticipation of retirement, Peggy developed a passion for travel, hiking, and women’s basketball. It’s amazing how well these three fit together. With nudging from her friend Pat Dickason, she realized the League of Women Voters was a perfect place to invest her less strenuous volunteer time. Between, serving on the LWVTC Board, and being the LWVWA Education Fund Treasurer and on the state Board, there has been plenty to keep her busy and enjoying herself.
Karen has been an active League member for many years because she likes to be well informed on issues and enjoys knowing and working with the people she meets. Her most recent League work has been a significant, statewide Civic Education project for grades 7-12 entitled "The State We’re In: Washington." Karen also worked on the League's four-year study of Forest Issues and has lobbied local and state governments on social policy issues. She has been President of the State League, the Thurston County League, and a Thurston Board member for a number of years.