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Spotlight on Laura Obert - Artist, Commissioner and Rotarian

Submitted by vsample on Sat, 02/27/2016 - 08:50

Growing up, Laura’s family moved often. Her father worked for the U.S. Border Patrol and was relocated many times.  However, Laura ended up in Havre and graduated from Havre High School.

After high school Laura attended Montana State University studying English Literature and History. Before finishing her degree, Laura took a year off and worked as a Nanny in Washington DC.  She loved the city and all it had to offer.

After spending a year in Washington D.C, Laura moved to Phoenix and finished school at the University of Arizona but received her degree from Northwestern.  Her next step was a job in the Holiday Division at Alaska Airlines in Seattle.  While living in Seattle she connected with other Montanans and went to a bar to watch a Cat-Griz football game. There she met Brian Obert  - a Boeing engineer from Townsend. They eventually got married.

When Brian’s father began to have health problems, Brian and Laura gave up their jobs in Seattle and moved back to Townsend to take care of Brian’s father.  They bought property out on the Winston flats area and built a house. The house is an environment friendly, Straw Bale house!

Laura was always artistic and decided to pursue that as a career.  Her art was displayed and sold in galleries throughout the US: Chicago, Florida, California, New York and Colorado.  However, both Laura and Brian felt that the gallery model left them disconnected from the art world and the people that love art.  They decided to go on the road following the art fair circuit. From 1998 to 2006 they travelled all over the country going from art fair to art fair.  Laura provided the art and Brian did the framing and marketing.  They had a great time and loved meeting the people that bought their art. They made many friends and received cards and letters from the art patrons they met over the years.

However, as the economy started to decline it became harder to make a living in the art world.  Brian took a job with the Montana Business Assistance Connection (MBAC) in Helena (where he is now the Executive Director).  Laura did not want continue going on the road to the art fairs without Brian; so, she started thinking about alternatives and decided to pursue becoming a teacher.

Laura was always active in the community and strived to make a contribution to Townsend and Broadwater County.  She was approached about becoming active in politics. Laura decided to run for the state legislature where she lost the election. However, having gotten involved in politics she decided to run for County Commissioner in 2008 and won the seat she has held ever since.

In addition to serving as a Broadwater County Commissioner, Laura has continued to be very involved in the community.  She was an active member of the Townsend Soroptomist Club.  Both Laura and Brian were approached by Bill Kearns regarding joining the Townsend Rotary Club. They both felt honored at being asked to join Rotary because the club was so active in community events.

Since joining Rotary, Laura has served as the president of the Townsend Rotary Club and has acted as co-chairman of the extremely successful Townsend Fall Fest – in addition to her role managing the vendors.

 

 

 

"The Shire"

Laura Obert