Elizabeth Kraus is the co-founder and Chief Investment Officer at the MergeLane venture capital fund. As the CIO of MergeLane, she has invested in 54 startups and recruited a network of over 300 mentors and 600 investors to support this portfolio. She has been founding, working for, and investing in startups for nearly 20 years. Elizabeth started her career at the rapidly growing startup Exclusive Resorts and co-founded her own startup, myUsearch.com, at the age of 25.
As an endurance athlete and former fitness instructor, Elizabeth has seen the benefits of these types of facilities firsthand. Elizabeth serves as president of the Helena Regional Sports Association in hopes of impacting generations of Montanans through physical and mental health and wellness, youth development, community engagement, and economic growth.
After returning home and establishing a new practice in Helena in 1994, Ben led the growth of Mosaic Architecture into one of the leading architectural firms in the state. The design-driven and community-oriented firm is guided through a philosophy of collaboration, hard work, and high quality that stem from Ben’s Montana roots. Ben’s focus on an inclusive design process has led to many successful commercial, community, and education projects. His skills in team building, conflict resolution, and creative problem solving are key to getting a project off on the right foot.
Through raising a family of four active kids, coaching, and traveling across the United States for youth sporting events, Ben’s passion for establishing a multi-use sports venue in Helena comes from experiencing the needs, functions, and programming of similar facilities. Ben has been involved with HRSA for seven years, helping to establish the case for this needed new facility.
Tim is a principal and managing partner of SMA Architecture + Design. He has played a key role in 17 years of SMA’s growth by encouraging a relationship-focused approach to client experience and empowering a design process that bridges early client vision with end-user experience.
He has a love for the business of architecture and strives to build partnerships across Montana communities focusing on volunteerism as a catalyst for building strong relationships and supporting our community health.
Tim has a family of two strong daughters and a cherished, supportive wife, who are his key teammates in life. They love their time together, whether they are traveling to new places, returning to favorite destinations, or at home for Meldrum Movie Night.
Life is shaped by one’s experiences. During President Nixon’s impeachment proceeding, Paul worked alongside Hillary Rodham; He was a law school classmate of serial killer Ted Bundy; He played tennis with Robert Redford – twice! He completed solo swims across Lake Tahoe (21 miles) and the Bridge-to Bridge-to-Bridge (31 miles) swim in San Francisco Bay
Paul served as a real estate executive with national real estate development companies and focused on all phases of real estate development, finance, credit analysis, real property law and marketing. After 15 years running his own business in land development, he retired and wrote and published The Alex Boudreau Adventure Series.
Paul is a lifelong swimmer, water polo player, and has competed in athletic/sports venues around the world. He co-coaches the Helena Ridleys Masters swim team and sees firsthand the smiles and high fives shared among the swimmers when they finish a group practice. His goal is to see the doors open on this project knowing that it will improve our community’s physical and mental wellness for generations to come.
Heather is an attorney who recently retired from spending nearly 13 years at NorthWestern Energy, as General Counsel and Vice President – Regulatory and Federal Government Affairs. Prior to that, she spent nearly 25 years in private practice and started her legal career with several years at Legal Services.
She is passionate about the role sports and recreation can play in a person’s physical and mental health, in building community, and in facilitating economic development. Heather is a life-long athlete, most recently competing in IRONMAN and multi-sport races. She previously led a successful multi-million dollar effort to build a new 5 studio dance facility, allowing the program to exponentially increase the number of students and dance offerings.