Meet the Team
Each member of the Beartooth staff brings a wealth of professional experience to the organization to ensure your project is able to move towards a positive result.
Food and Ag Director
Joel is a fourth-generation Montanan who grew up on a "typical Montana ranch" just south of Roberts. He has continued his family's tradition of agriculture by working for the USDA Farm Service Agency for seven years, then becoming the director of the Food and Ag Development Center at Beartooth in 2007. Joel specializes in the business, marketing, and financial aspects of running a business. With his background in production agriculture, he is able to assist businesses in a variety of ways. He has a solid knowledge of the tools and opportunities available to both start-ups and expanding businesses.
Joel enjoys working with many diverse and innovative ag-related industries. "It's never the same. Every project is different and we all learn a lot."
Jillann Knutson brings to the organization an Associate's Degree in General Business from Sheridan College in Sheridan, Wyoming, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Rocky Mountain College, Billings, Montana. Jillann has lived all over Montana, graduating from high school in Joliet, then moving to Wyoming for several years before returning to the area. Away from work, Jillann enjoys her time with husband Kris and daughters Allison, Makayla and Hailey. The Knutsons own a place south of Bridger where they enjoy the peace and quiet of country life and cattle. Jillann began working at Beartooth in May of 2006.
Economic Development Director
As a life-long resident of the American West, Steve Simonson has focused his career energies on organizational growth and development. He has a passion for entrepreneurism and seeks to create environments that help entrepreneurs thrive. Born in Wyoming and raised in Montana, Steve holds a bachelor’s degree from Montana State University in Bozeman, MT, and the professional designation of Certified Economic Finance Professional. He is also a 2008 graduate of Leadership Montana. Steve has led community economic development organizations in Montana and Colorado. Additionally, he has built three successful businesses from the ground up.