The Clearwater Historical Society’s Board members come from a variety of backgrounds and interests from education and law enforcement to engineering and the timber industry, but they are all dedicated to preserving, protecting and sharing the history of Clearwater Country.
Get to know them a little better:
Board President Mike Goodwin was born in Wyandott, MI in 1949, He was raised in a small farming community outside of Mt. Pleasant, MI. He graduated from Mt. Pleasant High School in 1967. Mike enlisted in the Army on Sept. 4, 1968 and served until Oct. 3, 1971. Then he attended Mt. Hood Community College from 1972 -1974, graduating with an Associates Degree in Forestry. He went to work for Potlatch Corporation on June 1, 1974 and worked for them for the next 32 years. With the exception of 5 years working out of Lewiston, the rest of this time was spent working out of Headquarters. He also worked for 5 years for Clearwater County as an appraiser for the Assessors Office. He retired in May 2012. He and Karen Bird married on Dec. 18, 1971 and have two grown sons, Joshua and Caleb.
Board Vice President Rodger Colgan was born and raised in Salem, OR. Following high school, he used a scholarship to attend Lewis and Clark College in Portland, OR and graduated with a B.S. degree in Physics in 1961. He served three years as a Naval Officer from 1961 to 1964. The next effort was a couple years as an Electrical Engineer with the USBPA. Following the BPA experience was two years at Grand Coulee Dam and next to Orofino for the construction of Dworshak Dam. Following completion, Rodger was appointed Dworshak Project Manager and worked there until his September 1993 retirement. Not settled yet, he ran for public office and wound up as a Commissioner for Clearwater County for two years. He is married and has two married daughters that live in Boise.
John Schwartz has dedicated most of his adult life to working in education, all in Idaho. He has a Bachelors and Masters degree from the University of Idaho. He spent 33 years as a teacher, counselor, high school principal, superintendent and state department of education consultant, federal program and curriculum coordinator. After retiring, he also spent three years as a school board member for Joint School District #171 headquartered in Orofino. He is married and has three children.
Richard ‘Tia’ Pomponio
Richard ‘Tia’ Pomponio was born in Elk River and started his career in the timber industry working for Potlatch Timber Protective Association in 1959. He worked summers until 1961 when he went to work for Potlatch Forests at Camp T. He worked three log drives before going to work for JE Hall Logging building roads. He was part of the crews that cleared timber from the Dworshak Dam site. In 1973, he went back to work for Potlatch at Headquarters operating equipment and later moved to a supervisory position where he remained until his retirement in 2007. He and his wife, Deloris, have lived in Orofino since 1971.
Most of Donna Leach’s life has been spent in Idaho. After graduating from high school in Kamiah and the University of Idaho, she taught at Deary High School and Moscow Junior High while her husband obtained his Forestry degree. After spending several years at different locations on the St. Joe National Forest Ted was transferred to the Clearwater National Forest in Orofino where they have resided every since. Besides raising three children, she worked as Clearwater County Extension Home Economist, substitute teacher, special education teacher and supervised adult basic education classes. For 25 years, she owned and operated a Retail Clothing Department store.
Now retired, traveling, gardening, and keeping up with three grandchildren and their activities are among the favorite things to do. She is currently on the Board of Directors of Orofino Retirement Properties, Inc., active in the Methodist Church, PEO, Friends of the Library and Fine Gold Campers.
Donna has agreed to serve on the Clearwater Historical Society Board. Preserving and expanding the museum is vital to a well rounded community and she and husband Ted Leach are both interested in the history of the area and preservation of some of the historical buildings.