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Elevatus Architecture Continues Growth, Adds Four New Team Members

Nik Vilamaa
Nik Vilamaa
Paul Laney
Paul Laney
Kim Murphy
Kim Murphy
Hailey Johnson
Hailey Johnson
FORT WAYNE, IN – Elevatus Architecture is excited to announce experienced relationship builder Nik Vilamaa has joined the firm as Project Executive of Education. 

Vilamaa is a skilled business development professional with two decades of sales and marketing experience. With a focus on education buildout, Vilamaa has managed facility design projects for K-12 school clients across Indiana. 

The Vilamaa name is deeply rooted in Fort Wayne architecture. With Elevatus, Vilamaa will bolster the firm's growing Education Team as it meets the unprecedented demand within the sector.

“Nik Vilamaa understands the value in relationships,” said Elevatus CEO Michael Gouloff. “He’s worked alongside school districts all around Indiana, and he knows how to listen to the needs of those stakeholders and deliver solutions they can count on. Nik’s talents will be key in the continued growth of our education portfolio.” 

Vilamaa is a member of the Indiana Association of School Business Officials, the IASBO School Operations Committee, the Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents, and the Indiana School Board Association. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Ball State University. 

Elevatus also announced the addition of retired Sheriff Paul Laney to the firm as a Justice Specialist.

Laney served three terms as the elected Sheriff of Cass County, North Dakota, before he retired from a 30-year career in law enforcement in 2018. Before he was elected Sheriff, Laney was a lieutenant of the Fargo Police Department, where he spent 17 of those years. He is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps.

Laney served on the board of directors for the National Sheriff’s Association for six years. In 2012, he was named the National Sheriff’s Association’s Ferris E. Lucas “National Sheriff of the Year.”

“Paul Laney is one of the most respected Sheriffs in America. He is the real deal,” said Gouloff. “Paul will help Elevatus reach the highest level of integrity and excellence within justice architecture. We are proud to have him on our team.”

Added Elevatus President Cory Miller: “Elevatus’ client- and results-focused approach to justice design keeps making positive impacts across the US. Paul brings an enthusiastic ambassadorship to Elevatus that is unparalleled in the justice design and operations market that will help maintain that focus and provide top notch service for clients nationwide.”

Laney has also been named the E911 Institutes Government Leader of the Year for 2011, and was honored with the 2015 North Dakota Peace Officers Association Lone Eagle Award and National Sheriff’s Associations 2017 President’s Award. Laney has served on the boards for the Dakota Territory Sheriff’s Association, the North Dakota Sheriff’s and Deputies Association, the North Dakota Association of Counties, and the United Way of Cass Clay in addition to the National Sheriff’s Association. He currently serves on three national committees: the Drug Enforcement Committee, the Awards Committee and the Homeland Security Committee for the National Sheriff’s Association. Laney also owns his own consulting company, PD Laney Consulting LLC. He also hosts a bimonthly podcast called “Jail Talk,” which discusses resources for law enforcement.

Through groundbreaking design innovations and unmatched client service, Elevatus has risen to the top of the justice design industry. The firm is eager to leverage Laney’s experience in law enforcement and his coast-to-coast connections to help forge strong relationships with clients and help them navigate the jail design process.

Elevatus is also excited to announce the addition of experienced marketing and operations professional Kim Murphy as Director of Branding and Creative Services.

Murphy is a spirited corporate promoter and brand elevator, with extensive career experience in ideation and development and execution of sponsorships, marketing communications, public relations, special events, and customer and employee experience.

Murphy most recently served as the Chief Marketing and Administrative Officer with Ruoff Mortgage, where she handled strategic planning, special projects, administration and facilities management, and brand communications. She has negotiated and managed partnerships with NASCAR, Andretti Autosport, Live Nation and more than 50 professional sports teams.

Murphy has volunteered and served on nonprofit boards for the past 25 years and has managed corporate philanthropy and involvement. She currently sits on boards for Stillwater Hospice and Hope’s Harbor.

“I believe that professionals with the skillsets of Kim Murphy don’t come around often,” said Gouloff. “Kim knows what it takes to build up a company. She’s an expert marketer, strategist, communicator, and brand ambassador, and her enthusiasm is contagious. Elevatus will feel an immediate boost and sustained energy with Kim on board. We are proud she chose us.” 

Murphy is a Purdue Fort Wayne alum. She also is a graduate of the Leadership Fort Wayne program. 

Finally, Elevatus announced Hailey Johnson has joined the firm as Interior Designer. 

Johnson is a talented and creative designer with firm experience. She graduated with honors from Ball State University, achieving a degree in Interior Design. 

“Hailey’s energetic and collaborative personality has already proven to be a great fit with the culture at Elevatus,” said Interior Design Lead Karla Buchan. “She brings a unique perspective and vision to the interior design department. In addition, her communication skills will help engage and bring about a clear narrative to our clients. We are looking forward to her support in the continued elevation of design.” 

Johnson is currently working to achieve NCIDQ certification.She is a member of the Fort Wayne chapter of the International Interior Design Association.

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