C.E.O. & Founding Owner
CEO and founder of The Synergy Project, Lisa Rands is an American climbing icon, former Open National champion and the first American to win a World Cup bouldering competition. She blasted to public attention with her phenomenal bouldering prowess, taking a second and two first-place finishes in her first year on the international circuit as she attained the rank of number one in the world. She also blitzed outdoor climbing competitions such as the Phoenix Bouldering Contest and the southeast’s “Triple Crown” with comprehensive wins.
As a former member of The North Face global athlete team, Lisa inspired a generation of women climbers with her dynamic style, and her bold, gutsy ascents of climbs previously regarded as only, “for the guys.” Beyond winning numerous national and international events and awards, Lisa’s quest for adventure has taken her around the world to Alpine spires in Patagonia and the revered gritstone cliffs of England. She has created new boulder problems at the emerging climbing Mecca of Rocklands, South Africa, and has teamed up with legend Peter Croft to establish first ascents in the Sierra backcountry.
Known throughout the world for her exceptional talent, and drive, Lisa is also recognized for her modest personality and friendly demeanor. Lisa is married to Wills Young, another member of our team.
Designer & Ambassador
Designer, ambassador, and key partner Isaac Caldiero made history in 2015 becoming the first winner of the hugely popular NBC TV show American Ninja Warrior. But, Isaac is not just an exceptional all-around athlete, he has also been at the cutting edge of climbing with his free solos and “highball” bouldering.
Introduced to climbing by a friend at age 15, Isaac, then living in Utah, was instantly addicted. He wrote and published a guidebook to the bouldering of Joe’s Valley, Utah, now a popular national destination. He traveled and climbed across Europe with some of the sport’s most elite climbers, spearheaded development at an emerging climbing area Moe’s Valley, Utah, and even developed remote boulders in Turkey and Asia. He has established v14 and free-soloed 5.14, both cutting edge achievements in climbing.
After hearing of the American Ninja Warrior show, Isaac joined a group of friends intent on trying out. Soon after the first experience, he took up ninja training as a sideline. Training specifically for the show made a big difference, and he began to feel that success might even be possible. The fitness he developed through dirt-biking, climbing, hiking, canyoneering and the relentless practicing on ninja obstacles, was really just one key to success. It was the strength of mind and determination honed through high-stakes climbing that really took him to the top.
Founding Owner, Head of Programs
Co-founder of The Synergy Project, Wills Young was raised in England, and learned to climb there, holding leader falls with a waist belay long before climbing gyms existed. He honed his lead climbing skills through traditional climbing on local gritstone “edges,” the mountain crags of Scotland, and the dicey sea cliffs of Wales, climbing half a dozen years before he ever clipped a bolt.
A move back to his native California saw Wills develop hundreds of boulder problems at climbing areas in Southern California, and elsewhere, becoming a significant leader in the bouldering boom of the 1990s and early 2000s and leaving a legacy of first ascents, many of them recognized as some of the finest boulder problems in the country. Wills wrote passionately about the climbing scene for Rock and Ice, Climbing and Outside magazines among others.
After a spell behind the desk as an editor at Climbing magazine, writing about and traveling with the world’s best climbers, Wills moved to Bishop, California, with wife-to-be Lisa Rands. There, he authored one of the country’s most popular climbing guidebooks, Bishop Bouldering, climbing nearly all of the book’s 2000 boulder problems in the process. In his role as coach, Wills pushed Lisa to improve her technique and propelled her to wins at international competitions, training with her through countless gym sessions and thousands of days out on the rock.
General Manager Ben is a previous owner of Tennessee Bouldering Authority with his wife Stephanie; having purchased Chattanooga’s original climbing gym in 2017. Ben started climbing in 2006 after moving to Chattanooga for college. Having grown up not far from the hiking and climbing destination of Foster Falls, Ben soon became fascinated by rock climbing, fell in love with the sport, and began climbing as much as possible. Encountering a slight detour and a chance for music stardom, Ben took a small break from the sport, only to yearn for it more in its absence. Before running TBA, Ben helped open Flying Squirrel Bar and worked with the climber-centric team there for over 5 years. Now he enjoys exploring the fine southeastern sandstone the Chattanooga area has to offer. Ben has a friendly, positive personality make him a perfect manager for Synergy Climbing and Ninja.
Marketing Director & Yoga Instructor
Marketing Director and yoga instructor Stephanie previously owned Tennessee Bouldering Authority (TBA) with her husband, Ben (above). Stephanie starting climbing around 2010 at the legendary Vertical Ventures in Tampa, FL. A true Florida Flopper, Stephanie fell in love with bouldering because anything taller is too scary. Joking aside, Stephanie has a passion for all things climbing, yoga, and art related, having practiced all three for many years. She moved to Chattanooga in 2012 seeking opportunities to own and run her own business, fulfilling that dream with her husband, purchasing and operating TBA. Her strong background in sales and a degree in marketing makes her a great addition to the Synergy Climbing and Ninja team. You can usually find her tucked behind a camera lens or sharing her love of yoga and bouldering.
Synergy Climbing & Ninja
Mon: 2:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Tue: 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Wed: 2::00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Thu: 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Fri: 2::00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Sat: 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Sun: 12:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.