Russell R. Smith

Russell R. Smith


Russell brings over 30 years' experience as a Developer/Builder, Designer, Real Estate Investor and International Consulting Executive to his role as Principal of Western Visions Inc. Involved directly in the Real Estate Development and Homebuilding industries since 1988, and, indirectly for several years prior to that, Russell was the founder and Principal of two successful Colorado resort area homebuilding firms from 1988 through 1996. His focus, along with his architectural design team and Real Estate Market Partner was upon the design and construction of unique state of the art custom homes in his home town, located in one of America's Premier Ski and Summer Mountain Resort Valleys. Among his many signature style applications was the development, in conjunction with his key Architectural Design Partner, of cutting edge design element combinations of native lodgepole, stone and stucco exteriors that have come to symbolize Mountain West Style.

From 1996 through 2016 Russell continued his interest in cutting edge residential design through investments in a broad range of properties and the direction of significant new construction, restoration and retrofit projects while simultaneously embarking upon a 20 year career in the global consulting industry. He spent four years as a Vice-President and Practice Group Director for a prestigious Washington, D.C. firm where he led the firm's Technology and Defense Technology Practice Group and was Co-Director of The Defense and Energy Practice Groups. Russell subsequently founded and served as CEO/Senior Managing Director of Third Coast International Group, a boutique international firm specializing in representative and advisory consulting in the Defense, Energy, Counter Terrorism and Life Sciences verticals serving clients that included growth stage and large corporate enterprises in addition to senior military and government leaders in the U.S. and allied foreign countries. A recognized expert in driving large scale program and project efficiencies, he was instrumental in the development, management and influence of projects with aggregate program values in excess of $6.5 Billion.

Russell had the opportunity to sell Third Coast in February of 2016 and while the thought of an early retirement and life beside the pool in Hawaii was indeed quite tempting, he decided to return to his passion of helping folks realize their vision of life in a Mountain West Dream Home, be it one in which they currently live through an amazing redesign and remodel or a collaborative project to build anew. This passion led him to found Western Visions in the Spring of 2016. His longstanding committment to technological excellence, cutting edge materials and technique applications and sustainable building practices present our clients with a design-build environment that is second to none. As the New West enters its fifth decade, Russell is proud to offer his Dream Home Visions to select clientele in the Magic Valley.

"Even throughout the 20 years that I was active in the national and international level consulting arena, I continued to acquire, build and retrofit state of the art properties so, at the end of the day, I guess it was only natural that I returned to something already so much in my blood."

Russell R. Smith

"My entire professional life, regardless of career track, has been one that required the utmost in integrity, vision and relentless pursuit of excellence and I am committed to bringing those closely held values to every client and every project we undertake at Western Visions."

Russell R. Smith

Dez Leckenby

Dez Leckenby

Operations Manager

Dez brings over 15 years’ experience in Office Management, AR/AP, Project Management and Client Relations in the Construction, Agri-Business and Health Sciences Industries to her role as Operations Manager at Western Visions Inc. A lifelong resident of the Magic Valley, Dez has deep roots in the community as well as extensive building industry relationships and excellent client service skills. She provides a central point of project coordination for our vendor partners, subcontractors and client community in addition to managing our overall office operations.

Dan Cooper brings over 15 years experience as a Master Electrician, U.S. Naval Electrician, Green Energy Domain Expert & Certified Lighting Designer to his role guiding Western Visions' Next Generation Energy, Lighting and Electrical Design.

Dan's formal education includes in excess of 1000 classroom and 8000 on the job training hours in addition to 4 Years Service in the United States Navy working on Cutting Edge Power Generation including shore, ship-based and classified systems. He founded EcoTech Electrical in 2006 and has since developed a deep body of work and expertise which he brings to the Western Visions Team with a focus upon:

  • Whole Home LED and Load Reduction Technologies
  • Innovative Outside the Box Lighting Design
  • Fully Integrated SMART Home Solutions
  • Next Generation Home Theater and Audio Solutions
  • Stunning Exterior Lighting Layouts
  • Cutting Edge Solar, Wind and Micro-Hydro Home Energy Solutions

We look forward to bringing Dan's insight and domain expertise to your project!

Laura Merrick, C.I.D.

Laura Merrick, C.I.D.

Interiors, Décor & Aesthetics

Laura brings over 10 years’ experience in interior decorating, design and floorplan layout to the Western Visions Team. Her experience consulting on new construction, remodel and whole-home makeover projects make her an ideal addition to Western Visions’ end to end Design-Build offerings. Laura additionally was a pioneer in bringing Professional Home Staging to the Magic Valley’s new and existing home residential real estate marketplace. Her personal style incorporates multiple materials, patterns, and textures blended to bring visual interest and coziness to her spaces. She believes in beauty with functionality and designs with her client’s lifestyles, personal tastes, and life space synergy actively informing her concepts.

The Founder and Principal of Flourishes Interior Decorating, Laura made the decision to expand her reach and offerings on behalf of her clients by bringing her practice in-house with Western Visions in September of 2017.

An Idaho native, Laura has lived in the Magic Valley since 2009. She has worked with local residents and businesses on a broad variety of projects and collaborations that have included local artists and distributors. She additionally has worked for many years with the homebuilding community, including multiple projects and home show stagings for one of Idaho’s largest builders.

Laura attended Boise State University and received her Interior Decorating Certification with honors from Ashworth College.
She holds Certification as a Certified Interior Decorator with Certified Interior Decorators International, Inc. and is the only Interior Decorator in Twin Falls to hold C.I.D. Certification.