Our Team

Board of Directors

Sam Kusic

A hobbyist woodworker, Sam has more than 20 years of experience in writing and business communications. He holds a master’s degree in quantitative economics from the University of Pittsburgh.

Bridget Butler

Bridget brings skills in data collection, processing and visualisation to the Board. As a moped and motorcycle hobbyist, Bridget uses the shop to refurbish and modify vintage bikes.

Sarah Nielsen

Sarah is a Pittsburgh-based artist making warm, eclectic, works in wood from her shop in Lawrenceville.

Lizzee Solomon

Lizzee is an artist, designer, and educator. She is responsible for overseeing education and marketing efforts. She also represents Protohaven at various events throughout the region.

Sarah Murphy

Sarah comes to the board with 10 years of nonprofit management experience. She currently works as a project manager for the Council for Professional Recognition, a nonprofit aimed at credentialing early childhood educators.

Jonathan Conley

Jon is an Artificial Intelligence expert with interests in photography, film, metal working, wood working, 3d printing and making awesome things!

Scott Martin
Vice Chairperson

In addition to serving on the board, Scott is the Systems Administrator, Operational Committee Lead, and liaison between Shop Tech Leads, Staff, and Board.


Taylor Grieshober
Membership Coordinator

Taylor is a Pittsburgh-based writer and former educator  She earned her MFA in fiction from Oregon State University in 2018 and her short story collection, Off Days, was published in 2019.


Cord Merrell
Fabrication & Woodworking

Multi-disciplinary maker with years of experience. He’s eager to share the lessons he’s learned along the way.

Karen Kocher
Blacksmithing & Metal

Part blacksmith, part fabricator, and full-time artist. She makes warm, joyful pieces using a mix of traditional and makeshift tools.

Valerie Hildenbrand
Textiles & Lasers

Founder of Grove Avenue Design. She makes intricate art that combines traditional techniques with new technology.

Brian Rooker

Long-time artist, designer, stitcher, and maker who loves to ply modern techniques and technologies to craft medieval and fantasy artistry. He’s the proprietor of Fortune’s Foundry, a handmade hobby & game accessories shop for tabletop gamers and medieval enthusiasts.

Lizzee Solomon
Lasers & Graphics

Artist, designer, and educator who fell in love with laser cutting 10 years ago. She is passionate about spreading the love to other artists and makers. Lizzee creates vibrant bold works using CNC technology, blending traditional and manufactured materials. She is also a commercial artist specializing in digital fabrication, sign making, and onsite mural painting.

Sarah Nielsen
Woodworking & Design

Pittsburgh-based artist making warm, eclectic, works in wood from her shop in Lawrenceville.

Shop Techs

Marin Bishop

Matt Germaine

Morgan Swartz

Valerie Hildenbrand

Karen Kocher