Mountain View Meadows

Mark Runkle

Mark Ryland

Mark Runkle, owner, is the spine of the Mountain View Meadows team.  His lifelong experience as an American entrepreneur provides the foundation, leadership and stability to this complex and significant land development project.  Mark graduated from Veterinary School at Ohio State University where he put himself through college with the help of a small herd of horses and group of instructors teaching horseback riding at summer camps in Ohio.  With the computer age blossoming, Mark began another business, “Heart to Heart”.  This new company worked with school systems all across America using a unique computer program as a fundraising tool that matched-up teens by their types and preferences.  Valentine’s Day typically ended the fundraising season for “Heart to Heart” and Mark discovered that he could sell his used computers shortly thereafter.  Thus began his entrepreneurship into the computer manufacturing and distribution business.

Building his own line of computers, “Midwest Micro,” and distributing mail order additional hardware from scanners to monitors, Mark built “Infotel” into a major player in the bourgeoning computer world providing jobs to over 700 people in a small Ohio community. In 1997, Mark sold his company (which then went public), remaining with the organization an additional three years to assist with the transition.  In 2001 he and his first wife, Joyce, built their new log home, the Elkhorn View Lodge, a few miles outside of Montana City.  When Joyce passed away shortly after their home was completed, he turned his attention to a new venture; developing. Mark got his feet wet with the highly successful and prestigious “Moonlight Ridge” community located just off Jackson Creek Road in Jefferson County.

Mark does not take the concept of “developing” lightly.  Growing up in a farming family and with substantial farm holdings of his own, Mark knows the value of agricultural lands and realizes the responsibility that comes with thoughtful, intelligent land management and development.  Recognizing a significant issue with urban sprawl in the Helena Valley and the toll it takes on air quality and energy consumption, the high risks for water contamination and the irreversible depletion of irrigated agricultural lands, he found a way to use his resources to initiate a project that, long term, would benefit the City of Helena and the entire region for generations to come.  Although managing the day-to-day operations at Mountain View Meadows required developing a new skill set, Mark took the challenge to heart and assembled a talented team of professionals to assist him in making the best decisions possible.   Working to assist in the actualization of the City of Helena’s growth policy and embracing smart growth principles, he hopes to create a desirable alternative to urban sprawl to benefit not only the residents of the community but the future of the City and the area as a whole.

From boring under Interstate 15 and Highway 12 to bury over eight miles of water and sewer mains to designing, developing and donating a new five-acre park to the City of Helena, Mark has made a major commitment to the success of the project both financially and managerially. He has overseen the moving of over a million tons of earth and the production on site of more than 100,000 tons of gravel,  contributed to the design of streets, homes, parks and green spaces and is often seen on weekends cutting weeds with his tractor and bushhog or smoothing dirt piles with his small bulldozer. After all, as Mark says, he is “just a farm boy at heart.”

The time and effort it takes to build a better community has been quite an undertaking but Mark is tenacious and relentless when it comes to seeing a project to fruition. He looks forward to the day he can sit back with his wife, Rebecca, enjoy a glass of wine and take in the amazing mountain views from the patio of a restaurant at his favorite community, Mountain View Meadows.