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.
CONDUCTOR: Determination | Relationship | Delegator | Independence
Shanna Zier Controller
Shanna serves as the Controller for Big Sky Economic Development. She is a dedicated financial and accounting professional with progressive experience in financial systems, accounting laws and regulations, and communication. Shanna holds a BS in Business Administration, Financial Management and Accounting from the University of Montana and is a Commissioned National Bank Examiner (NBE). She currently serves on the Finance Committee for Dress for Success.
RAINMAKER: Delegator | Profitability | Knowledge | Independence
Becky Rogers Director of Operation
Becky Rogers serves as the Director of Operations. Her degree in Business Management/Organizational Behavior and background includes extensive work in general business operations including management of a multi-location dental practice consisting of regular practice and property acquisitions. Highly skilled in project management, financial analysis, budget management, and administrative functions, she flourishes in versatile roles that demand a diverse skill set and manage high-level projects.
Currently Becky provides operational functions such as human resource management, facility management, board of directors communications, organizational structure, and organizing financial, strategic, and other day-to-day processes. She ensures the internal operations run smoothly, allowing our team to better focus on serving clients and the community.
CONDUCTOR: Delegator | Independence | Knowledge | Selling
Austin Trunkle Operations Support Specialist
Austin is an Operations Support Specialist for Big Sky Economic Development. Austin joined Big Sky Economic Development as an intern in 2016 and worked his way into a full-time position.
Austin works extensively with the BSED Board of Directors in addition to organizational projects such as grant work, accreditation and re-accreditation, legislative efforts, and technical writing.
CONDUCTOR: Relationship | Delegator | Profitability | Knowledge
Kayla Vokral SBDC/Operations Support Specialist
Kayla is the Small Business Development Center/Operations Support Specialist at Big Sky Economic Development. Kayla joined the Big Sky Economic Development team in July 2019. She is the first point of contact for clients; providing clients with customer service by assisting with intake requests, scheduling appointments, general start up questions and provides administrative support to the Director.
Having previous experience in running a small business helps her understand the obstacles and roadblocks entrepreneur’s face so she can provide support while they are on their journey.
CONDUCTOR: Delegator | Independence | Relationship | Disruptor
Member Investors and Marketing
Melanie Schwarz Director of Business Development
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.
RAINMAKER: Relationship | Independence | Knowledge | Disruptor
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.
RAINMAKER: Independence | Profitability | Knowledge | Disruptor
Patrick Klugman 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.
CONDUCTOR: Relationship | Confidence | Independence | Knowledge
Thom MacLean Project Manager
Thom graduated from the University of Montana with degrees in Finance, Economics and Political Science. Prior to joining Big Sky Economic Development, he owned a business in Chinook, Montana, where he also coached the high school tennis team. Thom is happy to be back in Billings and excited by its vitality and its potential.
CONDUCTOR: Delegator | Knowledge | Disruptor | Determination
New Business Recruitment and Outreach
Allison Corbyn Director of New Business Recruitment
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.
EXPERT: Determination | Selling | Independence | Knowledge
Marcell Bruski Marketing and Outreach Program Manager
Marcell Bruski was raised as any good Ekalaka kiddo; building fences for local famers and ranchers. At the age of 18 she moved to Billings, Montana and completed her undergraduate degree in Business Administration. Truly embodying Rocky Mountain College’s mission of cultivating future leaders, Bruski transitioned an internship with the Billings Chamber into a full-time role managing, messaging and supporting the further development of their youth leadership and young professionals’ programs.
She currently works as the Marketing and Outreach Program Manager for Big Sky Economic Development where she’s committed to elevating projects in her community. Over the past three years she’s built a reputation of elevating programs, herself and those around her. She serves on the Montana’s Young Professionals’ Summit Board, is an active member in NextGEN, is found on nearly every community outreach effort and has spearheaded strategic placemaking initiatives reminding her peers why they’re Better Off In Billings.
RAINMAKER: Determination | Confidence | Independence | Delegator
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.
Sherry O’Donnell Loan Officer
Sherry is located in the Big Sky Finance’s Helena office and specializes in the SBA 504 loan closings. She started with Montana Community Finance Corporation in 2000 and joined the Big Sky Finance team as part of their merger in 2017. Sherry enjoys working with all types of business owners around Montana taking the next step in buying their buildings.
JoAnn Jones Loan Officer
Jo Ann Jones has a BS in Business Administration, Finance and Management from the University of Montana. Prior to joining the Big Sky Finance team, she was a Portfolio and Servicing Manager/Underwriter for over 15 years with Montana Community Finance Corporation with previous commercial lending experience with large and small commercial banks throughout the state of Montana. Jo Ann has volunteered in a variety of service organizations during her career and is currently on the Family Selection Committee for Helena Habitat for Humanity.
Johnna Jablonski Loan Specialist
Johnna is a California born-Washington raised Montanan. At the age of 18 she moved to Montana and fell in love with Big Sky Country and made Montana her home. She enrolled at MSU Billings at the age of 29 while caring for two children and working a full-time job. Always ambitious and excited for a challenge, she is set to reach her goal of graduating within 3 years with her undergraduate degree in Marketing. Jablonski is a firm believer that no matter where you come from or the adversity you’ve faced, anything is possible.
She currently works as the Loan Specialist for Big Sky Finance, a program of Big Sky Economic Development where she brings 13 years of customer service experience and financial expertise. She strives to care for Big Sky Finance’s clients and their loans with integrity, passion, and attention to detail. Jablonski is also an active member of NextGEN and recently graduated from the Leadership Billings 2020 class hosted by the Billings Chamber of Commerce.
EXPERT: Disruptor | Relationship | Independence | Knowledge
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 Administration.
RAINMAKER: Delegator | Risk | Independence | Knowledge
Rosalind Dix Government Contracting Advisor
Rosalind Dix is a government contracting advisor for the Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC). Rosalind has a Bachelor of Arts in Hospitality Business Management from Washington State University and will graduate with her Masters of Science in Finance in August 2018 from Northeastern University. She has a background in hotel management and has held supervisory and management positions in Portland, Seattle, and Billings. Rosalind has also worked in commercial financing for GE Capital and Bank of Montreal where she was an Insurance Claims Analyst. Rosalind is originally from Joliet, MT. After living away for several years to pursue her education and career she moved back permanently in 2013. Outside of work she loves to bake delicious treats and cook interesting meals. She also tries to spend as much time hiking in the mountains as she can. Rosalind enjoys serving the community and helping small businesses grow.
Small Business Development Center (SBDC) / Business Expansion and Retention (BEAR)
Kevin Scharfe Director of Entrepreneurship
Kevin is the perfect leader for Rock31. He is an entrepreneur and product designer whose innovative camping line was nominated for a global innovation award in 2014. He was the Creative Director for a neuroscience-based tech startup before joining Big Sky Economic Development and taking on the Rock31 challenge.
CONDUCTOR: Determination | Independence | Delegator | Disruptor
Lorene Hintz, ASBC SBDC Regional Director
Lorene Hintz is a Business Advisor for the Small Business Development Center at Big Sky Economic Development. She also manages the Business Expansion and Retention (B.E.A.R.) program and the Big Sky Trust Fund Job Creation and Worker Training grant assistance programs to provide capital and workforce training to basic sector businesses.
As an Accredited Business Consultant, Lorene is a passionate advocate and champion for small business owners and entrepreneurs. She provides one-on-one consulting, business technical and marketing assistance, financials analysis, business planning, and facilitates training workshops. She was named America’s SBDC State Star in 2010, is a member of Montana Economic Developers Association (MEDA), Certified Nxlevel Trainer, Profit Mastery Consultant, Accredited Business Planning Advisor, Intuit QuickBooks Trainer, Certified Core Four Trainer, and is a Certified Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP) through the National Development Council.
Lorene strives to recognize needs, promote opportunities, and inspire growth in start-up and existing businesses.
Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC)
Dustin Frost Director –Veterans Business Outreach Center
Dustin is a fourth generation Montanan with a proven record of success in business, politics, and service. After studying Wildlife Biology and Communication Studies at the University of Montana, he managed two of Congressman Denny Rehberg’s successful statewide reelection campaigns. He then led the Congressman’s in-state constituent service operation as State Director until 2010, when he cofounded a Montana-based political consulting and government affairs company. The company helped to elect dozens of candidates across our region, including many right here in Yellowstone County. From 2012 to 2016, Dustin owned Alphagraphics of Billings, a nationally recognized print and marketing firm serving the Billings community for over 20 years. Dustin was honorably discharged after serving for 6 years as Chaplain’s Assistant in the Montana Army National Guard’s 1-190th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion. He recently served on the Board of Directors of Montana Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, a career and technical student organization with over 1,150 members in 70 chapters across Montana.
Brian Clemons Senior Training Program Manager
Brian Clemons, a Kansas native, joined the U.S. Army after high school and spent 26 years earning a retirement. During his time in the active Army, he did tours in Germany, Greece, and Korea. As a member of the Air Defense Artillery, he spent more than eight years in El Paso, Texas. Clemons was one of the founding certified crew members of the Line-of-Sight-Forward-Heavy program. It was one of three nationally accredited gunners on the 25 million (per tank) development program. Clemons moved on to the 101st Airborne Air Assault Division, Fort Campbell, Kentucky, where he spent the next two years performing Air Defense missions. After a break in service and a three-year stint as a civilian running a ranch in Kansas where he managed more than 100,000 acres and 15,000 head of cattle on grass and another 2,000 in the feedlot, Clemons decided the Army was where he was most comfortable and re-entered.
Clemons took a position with the National Missile Defense Agency (MDA), as a senior intelligence liaison in support of Joint Operations. In this position, he was heavily involved in mentoring other soldiers in Soldier of the Year competitions, participated in several integrated flight tests, and attended the Battle Staff NCO course in Pennsylvania. He served eight years in the mission and then took on as the First Sgt./Senior Operations NCO for the 117th Space Support Battalion, where he mentored, counseled, and managed the schooling of more than 320 enlisted soldiers. Clemons was instrumental in deploying specialized space teams throughout the Southwest Asian Theatre to support the 1st Marine Division. He managed deliverables with multi-million dollars’ worth of assets. As one of very few to meet the Air Force’s stringent entrance qualifications, Clemons had the honor of attending the Master of Space Strategic Thinking program (usually only available to field grade officers and above). Included during his time of service, Clemons and his wife created and ran three small businesses to include one that is still going 20 years later.
After retirement and while attending college, Clemons and his wife designed and created a food truck business, which they started and then sold at a profit. Clemons finished a four-year degree in three-years, graduating Cum Laude from Colorado Technical University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in logistics and supply chain management. Before coming on board with the VBOC, Clemons was the co-general manager and production manager for Peak Spring Water/American Summits. He managed millions of dollars in assets, recovering more than $100,000 in receivables in just two months, shipping internationally, and managing the water production. He outpaced all previous efforts and created more than 5,500 gallons of product in only one day. Clemons remains excited and pleased to be with the VBOC and assist and support Veterans in their entrepreneurial dreams.
CONDUCTOR: Delagator | Independence | Determination | Disruptor