Dear Thrive community,

We are thrilled to announce that Thrive’s new executive director, Virginia Hanson, is joining us March 21!

Virginia has been an educator for more than 25 years, with experience in secondary education, public and private schools, most recently at Iowa State University. Her work at Iowa State included teaching, fundraising, donor relationships, majors’ management, oversight of department employees and student workers, and representing the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in the faculty senate (at-large and as the caucus chair).

Virginia holds a Master of Arts from Portland State University and a bachelor’s from the University of New Hampshire.

Virginia met with staff and board members in February, and we consistently heard that Virginia is personable, a wonderful listener, and brings strong people skills, communications, and management expertise. The board and staff look forward to supporting her in this transition, and to collaborating with her in extending Thrive’s mission. Virginia’s husband is already in Bozeman, and she and their two children are in the process of moving.

“I look forward to working with Thrive’s dedicated staff in advancing its mission to give Gallatin Valley families the support they need to raise healthy and successful children,” shared Virginia. “Thrive’s board is a lineup of experts who can further help us reach our goals and be the best non-profit organization possible. It was getting to know these people and learning just how much they care that made this opportunity to serve as executive director so attractive. I can’t wait to get started in doing this very important work together.”

Additionally, we’re equally excited to congratulate Brittany Eilers as she moves into a new role as Thrive’s new director of development. Brittany has been a valuable Thrive team member for nearly 15 years, with extensive experience in all facets of the organization, including programs and development.

With a bachelor’s degree from Cal Poly, Brittany found her true calling during an internship with a social services nonprofit. From that point on, she plunged into the realm of community advocacy as an AmeriCorps member, swiftly advancing to roles such as program manager. Most recently as our business partnerships officer, Brittany successfully developed our current corporate philanthropic program. Her strong reputation and unwavering belief in the transformative power of relationships underscore her leadership, both within our organization and throughout the region.

“Thrive is an organization I hold very dear, and I am deeply honored to step into the role of director of development,” shared Brittany. “Over the years, I have seen the phenomenal impact of Thrive’s work here in Southwest Montana and it is a privilege to advocate for programs known to make a difference in the lives of many. I am excited to welcome Virginia to Thrive and eager to continue partnering with our dedicated team, supporters, and community to enhance our fundraising initiatives and further our mission.”

We hope you’ll help us welcome Virginia to Thrive and to Bozeman, and get reacquainted with Brittany, at a meet-and-greet at Thrive (407 S Ferguson Ave, Bozeman, MT 59718) from 4 to 6 p.m. on Monday, April 1, 2024. Light appetizers and drinks will be provided. 

Thrive is proud to have served the greater Bozeman community for nearly 40 years, and we look forward to continuing that for years to come. Are you interested in learning more about Thrive? Learn more on our website and view our upcoming events.

Thank you for your continued support of Thrive, and in welcoming two new leaders!


Mark Lasswell
chair, board of directors