Board of Directors
Big Sky Community Housing Trust’s board members believe in the need for a strong and active board to fully realize BSCHT’s purpose. The Board of Directors is composed of community leaders who use their time and skills to be objective decision makers and advocates for BSCHT.
Big Sky Community Housing Trust Leaders
David O’Connor | New Executive Director on May 1, 2022
As I begin my first month at the helm of the Big Sky Community Housing Trust, I’m honored and excited to be a part of an organization and a mission that has always been close to my heart. I want to thank everyone for such a warm welcome. Retiring Executive Director Laura Seyfang and Program Manager Becky Brockie have been very generous with their time over the past month in supporting and assisting in this transition, and I am confident we are well poised to continue to build on BSCHT’s successes, as well as identify more and more tools we can use.
First and foremost, I would like to wish Laura Seyfang the very best in retirement. Laura came to the BSCHT as its first director five years ago, and in that time has built an arsenal of programs to improve the availability of equitable housing in Big Sky. She created an organization that not only is affecting real change in our community, but also has become recognized as a leader, around Montana and the Rocky Mountain West, in creative and effective community-based solutions for one of Big Sky’s greatest challenges.
I’m looking forward to continuing to build on the successes, as well as working to develop even more opportunities to provide access to housing in our community across the spectrum of all our residents. I’ve lived in Big Sky all of my adult life, and I am committed to the belief that this community functions best when it is well-rounded. I’ve watched us do incredible things over those years, and I know that in order for us to continue to do so, it’s crucial that the people who make those things happen can continue to live here.
The Housing Trust continues to develop projects and programs to carry us into the future. The Riverview Apartments and Powderlight projects leverage partnerships with Resort Tax, Lone Mountain Land Company and federal grants, as well as the water usage rights the community dedicated to workforce housing in 2019. Our RENT LOCAL and HOME SHARE programs continue to build an ever-expanding network of existing properties who commit to local tenancy. Our GOOD DEEDS program, just unveiled this year, utilizes deed restrictions to commit properties to local occupancy in perpetuity.
I’ve seen time and again the positive power of collaboration across our community. I welcome any opportunities to talk about our programs, as well as potential solutions we can work on. I’m looking forward to working with all our partners to help keep Big Sky the best place to live, work and play in Montana.
David O’Connor, Executive Director
Dave Brown, Yellowstone Club Vice President of Residential Services | BSCHT Board Chair
In July of 2019, Dave Brown moved to Big Sky with his wife Paige and their two sons, excited to start his new adventure as the Vice President of Residential Services for Yellowstone Club. After moving to Big Sky, Dave and his family quickly and completely fell in love.
Over the past year and a half, Dave’s department took over all Yellowstone Club employee housing to ensure options exist in the Big Sky area for all levels of Yellowstone Club employees. Each season, this work involves finding and securing over 500 beds. Although COVID compounded the task, it shed even more light on the need for appropriate housing for those who want to live in Big Sky. As a community member with 26 years of experience in business management, new construction building, asset management, and property management, Dave is fully committed to being a part of Big Sky Community Housing Trust.
Rick Simkins, Simkins Holdings, LCC – Town Center Project Coordinator | BSCHT Board Vice-Chair
As Project Coordinator, Simkins is responsible for development and follow-up on major initiatives, particularly those in the Big Sky Town Center area. Simkins graduated in 2015 from Cornell College with a BA in Economics. He has a passion for the issue of workforce housing and has a strong connection to the Big Sky community. His background allows him to represent different segments of the community: real estate developers, homeowners, and young professionals. In 2017, Simkins participated in the many work sessions building towards the comprehensive Housing Action Plan, which led to the recommendation of the creation of the Big Sky Community Housing Trust.
Kevin Hinkle, Lone Mountain Land Company CFO | BSCHT Board Treasurer
As the Chief Financial Officer for Lone Mountain Land Company, Kevin Hinkle is involved with many aspects of the business including construction and development of residential and commercial projects throughout Big Sky. A critical component of the success of Lone Mountain Land Company is the availability and viability of workforce housing, and the strategic goals of the Big Sky Community Housing Trust align perfectly with these endeavors. After a two-year hiatus, Kevin and his wife Terri returned to Montana and are settling into their home in Big Sky, where they are committed to the growth and prosperity of the community through participation in community boards and programs such as the BSCHT.
Mark Dean, Citi Community Capital Retired Managing Director and National Head of Production
Mark Dean is a retired Managing Director and former National Head of Production for Citi Community Capital, which specializes in affordable and workforce multi-family housing and providing construction and permanent financing in addition to LIHTC equity and investment banking services. At Citi Community Capital, Dean’s team averaged over 200 transactions totaling $5 to $6 billion in 30-35 states per year. Dean managed a production team of 32 bankers and worked as a member of the Executive Management Team.
With over 30 years of experience financing multi-family affordable and workforce housing projects, Dean has personally closed more than 300 multi-family housing financings, totaling more than $5 billion. He has served on the Board of Evergreen Impact Housing Fund, a subordinate debt lender for affordable housing in the Puget Sound Area where Dean also owns and operates three apartment complexes. Additionally, Dean personally developed The Fields at Warms Springs in Ketchum, Idaho, a 41-unit condominium project with 14 deed restricted units providing an affordable homeownership opportunity. He also developed The Timbers in Ketchum, a 32-unit market-rate condo project.
Cleve Johnson, CRC Partners and CBG Builders Founding Partner
Cleve Johnson has visited Big Sky every year since the mid-70s, and he and his wife enjoy living in their home in the Meadow. For the past 30 years, Johnson worked in real estate development and residential construction. As the founding partner of CRC Partners and CBG Builders, Johnson has been involved in large scale residential projects across the country and has developed several thousand units of affordable housing.
Kenny Holtz, Real Estate Developer
After a 10-year career at Yellowstone Club, Kenny Holtz and his family moved to California in 2016 but returned to Big Sky in 2020 to pursue real estate development opportunities. Previously, Holtz served the Big Sky community by serving on the BSOA Architectural Review Committee, Big Sky Advisory Committee to Gallatin County Planning and Zoning Commission, and Big Brothers Big Sisters Board of Directors.
Holtz has also actively been involved in establishing workforce housing. In 2015, he played a leadership role in the development of operational and business plans to transform the historic Gallatin Gateway Inn into a workforce housing solution with 115 beds. In 2016 on behalf of Randall Realty Group, Holtz sourced the Spruce Cone development, conceptualized the design, and developed the operating plans for the first new Big Sky-based employee housing solution in decades encompassing seven units, 28 rooms, and 56 beds.
Jennifer Boutsianis, Santosha Wellness Center, Operations Manager
Jen moved to Big Sky in 2015 after accepting a position with PureWest Christie’s International Real Estate that evolved into a role far beyond office management. By 2019, she was overseeing the marketing of three offices and their 40+ agents as well as the company’s bi-annual market reports (for three regions and 17 cities) while still managing the office and transactions for Big Sky. Being submerged in the real estate movement throughout Montana has and will continue to assist her in her role as a Board Member for the BSCHT. After seven years of growth, it was time for a different role and she moved over to Santosha Wellness Center to take on a role as their Operations Manager. Overseeing the day-to-day as well as marketing, she takes pride in the center’s commitment to improving the well-being of both locals and visitors alike.
Elise Clark, COO of Alder & Tweed
Elise first fell in love with Montana in 2006, when she moved to Bozeman to attend the school of Business at Montana State University. After receiving her Bachelor’s Degree and moving away to the Bahamas to explore growth opportunities in her career, Elise and her husband Mike were excited to be able to move back to Bozeman in the summer of 2014.
As the Chief Operations Officer for the Design Firm Alder & Tweed in Big Sky Montana, Elise regularly engages in all aspects of business in residential and commercial interior design. She has commuted from Bozeman to Big Sky for the last eight years, and as such fully understands the logistical and financial challenge the local workforce faces to be able to be a part of the Big Sky community. Elise is fully committed to being an advocate for the Big Sky workforce, and developing and implementing solutions and partnerships towards the responsible development of the Big Sky community to be able to support all of its residents.
Stephen Brown, Managing Director in Global Wealth Management at UBS
Stephen has spent almost 40 years in the financial services industry, 30 of which were devoted to providing comprehensive wealth management services to affluent families and the causes that are important to them. Most recently, he has led the efforts of a large global private bank to transform their leadership practices through executive education and individual coaching.
After falling in love with Big Sky on a visit in 2008, Steve and his wife, Lisa, have gone from frequent visitors to seasonal residents. They have two grown sons, the oldest now living here with his wife as they operate a local businesses. While Steve and Lisa continue to actively support a large homeless services organization and a Charter school in Boston, they are excited to be involved in Big Sky and believe that BSCHTs work to provide affordable housing locally is essential to the economic health and diversity of the community.
Michelle Frederick, Vice President of Lodging at Big Sky Resort
Michelle joined the Big Sky Community Housing Trust board in January 2023. As Big Sky Resort’s Vice President of Lodging and as a local resident of nearly twenty years, Michelle brings with her a commitment to helping Big Sky continue to grow in a sustainable manner to ensure generations to come can enjoy the outdoor recreation offered here.
Raised in Minnesota in a skiing family, Michelle headed west after graduating from the University of St. Thomas in 2004. Almost immediately, Michelle fell in love with the mountains and began setting down roots. After nine years working in marketing and events roles at Moonlight Basin, Michelle joined the Big Sky Resort team in 2013. In her current role leading Big Sky Resort’s lodging operations, she has experienced firsthand the challenges of hiring a large seasonal workforce without adequate and affordable housing in the community. The Big Sky community is ever growing and has more development on the horizon. This growth will simply not be possible without direct attention to developing workforce housing.
Michelle lives in the meadow, where she loves playing in the outdoors with her husband Brian, two boys, and two dogs.
Mia Lennon, Broker at Big Sky Real Estate Co.
Shannon Sears, Vice President of Montana Title
As the Vice President of Montana Title & Escrow, Shannon has established strong relationships with the real estate and lending community in Big Sky. She is highly educated on development projects in Gallatin and Madison County and played an integral role in the transactions for Meadowview Condos and Good Deeds Program. Shannon currently serves on the Big Sky Chamber Board of Directors, and she thoroughly enjoyed her contribution to the creation and success of Leadership Big Sky.
As a participant of the Rent Local program, Shannon utilized her relationships with the Housing Trust to purchase her home in 2022, and she is highly committed to giving back to the community through enhancing affordable housing solutions.