Steve Arveschoug Executive Director
Steve Arveschoug (pronounced “Arveskow”), is the Executive Director of the Big Sky Economic Development Authority and Economic Development Corporation. In that role Steve leads the economic development efforts for Yellowstone County and the Billings’ community.
Before relocating to Montana in 2008, Steve was the Executive Director of the HARP Authority in Pueblo, Colorado, directing a $30 million downtown redevelopment project and a non-profit capital-improvement foundation. Steve has 10 years of experience in water resources development, managing two of Colorado’s largest water conservancy districts. He also served two terms in the Colorado Legislature as an elected State Representative.
Steve holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Montana Tech and a Master of Public Administration Degree from the University of Colorado. Steve’s wife, Chris is a registered nurse and a native of Anaconda, Montana.
Jim Tevlin Controller
Jim has a BS from the University of Alabama and a MBA from the University of South Alabama, and is a Certified Public Accountant (TN-inactive). His experience roster includes positions with Arthur Andersen & Co, Federal Express Corporation, and Big Sky Airlines.
Mary Lou McMillan Director of First Impressions
Mary Lou supports the Small Business Development Center and serves as BSED’s Director of First Impressions. Wearing many hats, Mary Lou also supports the organization’s Program Directors on various projects throughout the year.
Member Investors and Marketing
Melanie Schwarz Director of Marketing & Member Investors
Melanie Schwarz works with our growing list of companies who invest in the work of our organization by pledging membership dollars to the Big Sky Economic Development Corporation. Melanie is a graduate of Montana State University Bozeman with degrees in Marketing and Management. She is active with the Montana Ambassadors and numerous local boards and councils. Melanie has significant marketing and relationship building experience having worked for The Center for Children and Families, Montana State University Billings and owning her own advertising agency.
Dianne Lehm Director of Community Development
Dianne oversees the Community Development team working on key Community Development and planning projects throughout Yellowstone County. She consults with local non-profit organizations and facilitates collaborative community projects which contribute to successful business operations, job creation, and desirable quality of life. Dianne has over 15 years experience in grant and project management, grant administration, grant writing and research, Federal and State compliance, fund development, and marketing. Dianne holds a Masters in Management Degree from the University of Mary, as well as, a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Maryland, and an Associate of Arts Degree from Montgomery College.
Patrick Klugman Community Development Senior Project Manager
Patrick holds a Master of Public Administration Degree from Montana State University Billings and Bachelor of Art Degrees in Political Science and Legal Studies from Minnesota State University Moorhead. He currently serves on the City of Billings/Yellowstone County Planning Board representing Ward V of Billings. As a member of the International Economic Development Council, he is continuing his professional development training to strengthen economic knowledge and support current and future community endeavors. Originally from Minnesota, Patrick enjoys the beautiful Montana landscape and engaging in the local vibrant economy. He works to expand the impact of community development and provide greater outreach services to rural Yellowstone County.
Thom MacLean Community Development Project Manager
Thom MacLean provides Project Management as part of the Community Development team. Thom is a graduate of the University of Montana with degrees in Business Finance and Economics/Political Science. Thom lived on the hi-line where he owned a small business and was involved in various civic and community organizations. Thom is excited to be working in community development for Yellowstone County.
New Business Recruitment and Outreach
Allison Corbyn Business Recruitment and Outreach Program Manager
Allison holds a B.S. in History and Political Science from Rocky Mountain College. Allison works directly with business executives and corporate site selection consultants to locate operations in Yellowstone County, providing proposals, incentives and information to help them make informed decisions. Corbyn previously worked in BSED’s Community Development department. Originally from Fort Collins, Colorado, Allison moved to Montana for the great quality of life and small town feel with metropolitan amenities.
Karen Baumgart Director of BillingsWorks
With a BA in History, a Master’s Degree in Public Relations, and a certification in Brain-Based Coaching Karen Baumgart brings a multifaceted perspective to her work. Born, raised and educated in Montana, Karen is committed to the advancement of the Big Sky state. Karen was previously employed as a coach and facilitator for Elation, Inc.-a start-up company in Billings dedicated to organizational performance. Prior to, she served as the Immigration Specialist for the Office of International Studies at Montana State University-Billings. By combining the different aspects of her education and professional experience, Karen has the perspective and insights that elicit enthusiasm for innovation and excitement for action.
Brandon Berger Director of Business Finance
Brandon Berger has a BA in Business Finance from MSU-Bozeman. He is the Director of Business Finance. Prior coming to Big Sky EDC, he worked for 12 years for Wells Fargo in Billings in Trust Tax, Retirement Plan Administration, and Credit Analysis. He is a board member of the Billings Downtown Exchange Club.
Ben Rose Loan Officer
Ben is a Rocky Mountain College graduate with a BA in Business Management. Prior to joining the Business Finance team, Ben was a Business Advisor for Big Sky Economic Development’s SBDC and held various positions with the Billings Chamber of Commerce and Southeast Montana Tourism.
Montana Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC)
Deanna Langman Statewide Program Manager
Deanna is the Statewide Program Manager for the Montana Procurement Technical Assistance Center as well as the Billings PTAC Sub-Center Manager. She manages a network of PTAC centers across Montana and locally works with Billings-area businesses to help them do business with state and federal governments. Deanna has extensive experience in consulting with small businesses have worked with several area banks including Wells Fargo, Little Horn State Bank and Rocky Mountain Bank. Additionally, Deanna served in Big Sky Economic Development’s Small Business Development Center department for 6 years. She holds a B.S. in Health Administration from Montana State University-Billings and a Masters in Business Admin
Kathy Lund SBDC/PTAC Project Support Specialist
Kathy Moody-Lund is a Project Support Specialist with the Montana Procurement Technical Assistance Center and Small Business Development Center. She is a member of the Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers and the International Economic Development Council and has completed the Business Retention And Expansion course, as well as the Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development Strategies course.
Small Business Development Center (SBDC) / Business Expansion and Retention (BEAR)
Dena Johnson SBDC Regional Director
Dena provides business consulting & training to coach businesses with startup, growth and profitability. She specializes in finance, strategic planning, business planning and human capital. She is co-author of the startup book, “The Tristart Matrix” and a certified NxLeveL instructor. She has successfully assisted business owners in obtaining several million dollars in capital as well as develop strategies that have dramatically increased profitability.
Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC)
Sara Hudson Director, Veterans Business Outreach Center Region VIII
Sara holds a Master in Public Administration and has completed her doctoral coursework in urban and public administration. She has more than twelve years of experience with grants and projects management of federal, state, local and foundation awards. She has served in the capacities of fund development consultant on projects throughout the United States; program developer of grants training modules for continuing education courses; grants instructor for organizations operating in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex; lead financial analyst to the Dallas City Manager; and co-investigator on graduate research grants. She is a professionally trained strategic planner and most recently facilitated the strategic planning processes for the Parmly Billings Library Board and the Billings Livability Partnership. Sara is a fourth-generation Montanan and owns her own consulting business, Hudson Consulting, L.L.C.