Business Chitchat

Resources for and stories of entrepreneurship, business, agriculture, and economic development in Southwest Montana.

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Tuesday May 14, 2024

What's the best way to hire? How can employees and employers poise themselves for a smooth hiring practice? What's the best way to deal with a shortage of employees? Tabatha Hyatt, Co-Owner of Express Employment in Butte and owner of Express Employment in Helena breaks down for us all the best practices for hiring and workforce needs. 
About Tabatha: 
Tabatha began her journey with Express Employment in 2017 in a usual and unusual way. Usual in that she lost a job in a unique field and didn’t know where to turn. She went to her local Express Employment office for help! Unusual in the fact that she landed AT Express working as a Business Developer partnering with businesses on their job needs. She loved it so much she became partner and she loved that so much that she recently purchased the Helena Express Employment also!
Originally, Tabatha earned her degree in Health Promotion and ran corporate wellness programs for 20 years. She added her MBA with marketing around the time she started at Express to expand her skills and be able to step out of wellness. Little did she know she was stepping into the most ‘well’ thing she’s done!  Helping people on both sides of the coin with employers and employees is the ultimate rewarding position to be in. We help problem-solve all day everyday and find solutions every day! Whether you’re looking to hire or be hired, seeking help for a day or a decade, you can find it with Tabatha and Express!
Find Express Employment Online:

Wednesday Mar 20, 2024

Jen DeLong and Lisa Howell, owners of Recreate Climbing + Fitness in Butte, Montana talk to us about what it takes to bring to life a dream. Their story is one of grit, determination, aligned timing, and lots of trust. In this episode, you'll hear about their do's and don'ts, and their wins and failures. They share their best tips for entrepreneurship and scaling the walls of what is possible for your business. 
Visit Their Website: 
About Jen & Lisa:
Lisa Howell
For fifteen years, I worked as a dental hygienist and loved the relationship aspect of working in direct patient care. Prior to dental hygiene, I worked as a human resource specialist for Montana State after graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from MSU-Bozeman. Go Cats! I have a wonderful husband, Ryan, and two beautiful children, Sawyer and Sadie. We live in Butte and also run an electrical contracting business, Wired Electric.I have always made fitness a priority in my life, and have found group fitness training to be the most effective way to stay committed to a workout routine. Prior to group training, I trained for long distance running events and ran outdoors. Throughout my life, I struggled with various injuries brought on by my career and also years of running. I spent many years in physical therapy to correct these injuries. Through these trials, I have gained a passion for mobility training and injury prevention. I am certified in Functional Range Conditioning and am also certified as a Healthy Steps Nutrition (HSN) Coach. The foundation for fitness is nutrition, and I truly believe in a holistic lifestyle. Coaching with HSN makes this endeavor simple, but, not easy. We’re so stoked to be partnered with such an amazing company.Recreate is truly my dream gym – which is why you’ll see Jen and I, and our families, working out and climbing right along side you. We created the gym we wanted to belong to – we hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
Jen DeLong
Hello, my name is Jen DeLong. I graduated from the University of Montana in 2003 with a degree in History and Communications. While I was at the U of M, I competed on the University Track Team for four years.  On the side, I got a minor in Contemporary Dance and went on the study dance for the next decade.
After completing my studies I was a college pastor and spent several of my summers as a tour director in Europe and Central America working with high school students. Both of these jobs fueled my love for faith, personal growth and leadership development.
In 2012 with a curiosity for business, I launched a wedding and portrait photography business that I’ve done over the last decade. In 2014, my husband and I relocated to Butte, where we began investing in real estate, revitalizing old buildings into vibrant living spaces.
Presently, I am the co-founder of Recreate Climbing and Fitness Gym with Lisa Howell, embracing the opportunity to inspire others to reach new heights in their health and wellness. As I grow in experience, I believe strength training and functional fitness are foundational to living a vibrant and active life. In 2020, I completed a certification as a Health and Life Coach from the Health Coach Institute. I love running Spartan races and exploring my potential.I’m a mom of three beautiful kids, Ava, Jude, and Adele and I have an amazing husband, Matt DeLong.

Thursday Mar 07, 2024

How can you make the most of the USDA Value Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program? Marlee Johnston of USDA and Headwaters Food and Ag Development (FADC) Director, Karley Carter share with us how Headwaters and USDA can help you be a successful grant applicant for this critical food and ag grant program!
More on Value Added Producer Grants:
Book a consult with Headwaters FADC Director:
About Marlee
Marlee Johnston, Ag Producer State Specialist, has been with USDA Rural Development since July, 2019. Marlee’s primary role is assisting producers across MT in accessing grant and loan funding. Montana has seen great success in the Value-Added Producer Grant, bringing over $7.0 million dollars to over 45 receipts in the last 3 cycles. 

Friday Mar 01, 2024

How can you use USDA's Value Added Producer Grants (VAPG) or Montana's Growth Through Agriculture Program (GTA) to grow your ag business? Cari Verlanic of Farmer Boy Eggs in Drummond shares with us how they have used grants to grow! 
About Cari 
My name is Cari Verlanic and I’ve been married to a rancher for 39 years. I’m the mom to three grown boys who are the owners of Farmer Boy Eggs. I was a school teacher for Drummond Public Schools for 27 years and am now the manager of our boys egg business. When I’m not at the chicken coop or delivering eggs, I am busy on the ranch helping to manage the day to day schedules, bookkeeping and field work.
More About Farmer Boy Eggs:

Friday Feb 23, 2024

Dawn Conklin, Executive Director of Trust Montana, shares with us the community land trust model and how Trust Montana is working to bring affordable housing solutions to Montana. How can we make housing affordable for teachers, farmers, ranchers, nurses, and emergency responders? How can we keep Montana's rural cities affordable? Learn about this and more!
About Dawn Conklin
Dawn brings years of nonprofit experience to lead the mission of Trust Montana.  Her career has led her to work with NGO’s, the US government and mission organizations in Bangladesh, Ukraine, South Africa, Uganda and Ghana. She is skilled at working in cross-cultural settings and has served as a bridge builder through her work in economic and community development.  
Dawn is acutely aware of the housing affordability challenges and began her advocacy early in her career in her home state of Pennsylvania. Her first nonprofit job was managing a transitional shelter for homeless families.  Dawn had the privilege of marching side by side with her clients in the Housing Now! March in Washington D.C.  
Dawn holds a Master of Science degree in Economic and Community Development and a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Business.  Her passion for attainable housing, stewarding resources and compassion for vulnerable populations are sure to make it an exciting journey as she sets off to lead Trust Montana.
Email: dawn@trustmontana.orgPhone: (406)-898-7636
Learn More about Trust Montana 

Tuesday Dec 26, 2023

When should your business consider a loan? How much do you need for a downpayment? What can you get ready for the loan process? How can you work with a bank? Learn from Jess Pendleton, Our Director of Loan Services, Kerry Taylor our loan assistant, and Courtney Loeffler, the Regional Director of our Small Business Development Center (SBDC) on how to prepare for a loan and all things getting your business ready for a loan. 

Tuesday Dec 19, 2023

What does your business need to export or import goods? How can you set your business up for foreign direct investment (FDI)? Are their grants available for foreign trade? In this episode, Brigitta Miranda-Freer of the Montana World Trade Center answers all questions related to international trade and explains how the Montana World Trade Center can help your business navigate it with ease and confidence.
Contact Brigitta:
(406) 243-6982
About the Montana World Trade Center:
Montana World Trade Center is a program of The University of Montana. We strengthen Montana businesses through international trade while providing immediately relevant, hands-on opportunities for students to participate in the process.
Although more than 300 World Trade Centers operate worldwide, MWTC is unique in its relationship with The University of Montana. Integrating the extended resources available through the University system, MWTC provides a higher, more personalized level of service than typically received through World Trade Center membership. Compiling and analyzing information obtained through the World Trade Centers Association, governmental organizations, trade associations, professional networking, and comprehensive primary and secondary research, MWTC trade specialists and project managers can be an invaluable extension of your company’s capabilities.
Our HistoryA license to operate a World Trade Center for the State of Montana was transferred from private developers to the University of Montana and approved by the Board of Regents in 1995. MWTC is part of the World Trade Center Association (WTCA), which includes more than 300 World Trade Centers (WTCs) in 88 countries. Since its inception, the MWTC has undertaken a dual role as consultant and economic developer, assisting our member businesses to establish and strengthen international commercial capabilities while striving to develop untapped international trade opportunities throughout the State of Montana and the neighboring regions.
Our MissionMontana World Trade Center’s mission is to grow Montana’s international trade portfolio. MWTC works to develop the untapped international trade opportunities for the state and region. This mission includes a heavy emphasis on providing experiential learning for students, technical assistance to businesses and promoting international economic development for Montana companies and industries.
The MWTC also incorporates the mission of the WTCA, which is peace and prosperity through trade.

Tuesday Nov 14, 2023

Join me for a conversation about Reimagining Rural with Tara Mastel of the MSU Extension Service. Reimagining Rural is a program to increase volunteer engagement in rural communities. Reimagining Rural communities each host an in-person gathering for their local volunteers and leaders to watch rural-focused speakers via Zoom. Following the speakers, each community has their own local discussion about the ideas they heard from the speaker and how they might apply locally. 
About Tara: 
Tara Mastel is Program Lead for Community Development at MSU Extension where she leads the Reimagining Rural program and works to support rural community vitality and local leaders.  Tara grew up in Wolf Point and served as a county Extension agent in Jefferson for 10 years.   
Where to apply for Reimagining Rural and to Learn More:

Tuesday Oct 31, 2023

Resodyn's new contract with the U.S. Navy will bring $13.2 million to Southwest Montana. What does this contract mean for Southwest Montana? What is advanced manufacturing like for this Butte-based business? How long was this contract in the making? Join us for a conversation with Resodyn's Dr. Joe Mayne and Mark Shutey on how this contract will impact our region. 
About Dr. Joseph Mayne
Dr. Joseph MayneSenior Chemical EngineerResodyn Corporation
Dr. Mayne boasts over 13 years of expertise in spearheading the discovery and advancement of cutting-edge technologies, always with a keen eye on bringing them to the commercial forefront. He earned his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan, with a thesis that focused on the practical application of catalysis for generating hydrogen through liquid fuel reforming. Additionally, he holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Utah. For nearly a decade, Dr. Mayne dedicated himself to pioneering innovative membrane technologies tailored for gas separation within the natural gas sector. In the most recent four years, he has served as a Senior Chemical Engineer at Resodyn, where he assumes a leadership role in shaping the development of flow processes built upon the groundbreaking ResonantAcoustic® Mixing platform.
About Mark Shutey
Director of Business Development & MarketingResodyn Corporation
Mark is the acting Director of Business Development and Marketing for Resodyn Acoustic Mixers, Inc. He is a dynamic leader with 30+ years of leadership, business planning, and business managementexperience. Mark has a background in engineering and earned his BS in Environmental Engineering from Montana Tech. A Butte Native, Mark is skilled in strategic planning, corporation start-up, new technology development, market analyses, marketing, advertising, and sales.

Tuesday Oct 24, 2023

What makes a high-impact video? How can you make a connection with your followers and customers? KXLF's, Lindsey Silveira, breaks down for us what goes into telling your story as a business owner and how you can make a video that will resonate with your audience! 
About Lindsey
My name is Lindsey Silveira and I am a local account executive for KXLF KBZK with the Montana Television Network. My professional background includes 13 plus year in sales and business development. I am also an active member of the United States Army Reserves as a military police officer. I have a heart for serving people and I am passionate about assisting people thrive in their businesses and reaching their goals. Outside of work, I am a mother of two incredible little children. My daughter Sophia who is nine & My son AJ who is seven years old. Life is busy, but it is so beautiful. I've been in Butte for four years now and the Butte community has truly blessed me, and I've gotten to know some of the most remarkable people. Butte, MT is such a unique place and there is a community here like I've never seen anywhere else. 
Reach Lindsey Here:

© 2023 Business Chitchat with Headwaters RC&D and Butte Local Development Corporation

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