Sue Taylor, Economic Development Director

Sue Taylor, the newest member of the Beartooth team joined us July, 2015 from northern Wyoming, where she has been involved in economic development for the past 7 years. Prior to that Sue worked in similar positions in western Montana and Wisconsin. Just before leaving Wisconsin, she organized an “Extreme Makover” project for a downtown business which involved 50 volunteers who logged more than 200 hours over a four-day period. Sue has been a Main Street Manager and has a passion for downtown revitalization. Other strengths include marketing, developing community identities, project development and she admits to being a serial entrepreneur. Sue believes in the power of Asset-Based Community Development and in building on the existing strengths of a community in order to facilitate growth. Sue grew up in a military family and has lived in many parts of the country, but has a weakness for the mountains. She has two grown children and five grandchildren. Sue and John enjoy auctions of all sorts and have been known to travel quite a bit for the chance to pick up a few good antiques.    

Jillann Knutson, Revolving Loan Manager-Bookkeeper

Jillann Knutson brings to the organization an associate 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 high school from Joliet, then moving to Wyoming for several years, only to return to the area. Away from work, Jillann and her husband Kris and daughter Allison own a place south of Bridger where they enjoy the piece and quiet of country life.  Jillann started Beartooth in May of 2006.

Joel Bertolino, Ag Program Technician

Joel Bertolino has been a program manager for Beartooth RC&D since October of 2007. His previous program experience includes working as a Program Technician for the USDA Farm Service Agency in Carbon County. As a Beartooth employee Joel has expanded his program knowledge by attending many educational opportunities including: 2008 Risk Management Education course, numerous Renewable Energy Conferences and professional development courses through International Economic Development Council, including Real Estate Development and Reuse, and Economic Development Finance. Joel has recently assisted in the writing of a successful Growth Through Agriculture grants, coordinates the Montana Cooperative Development Center program, develops and provides oversight for Rural Development grants for local Agricultural projects. He has also assisted in the preparation of successful Big Sky Trust Fund and Community Development Block Grant funding proposals and is primarily focused on coordinating the Montana Food and Ag Center program, which seeks to further diversify our rural ag economy by promoting energy and value added businesses through technical assistance, research and education.

Dick Rath, Forester-Fuels Reduction Program

Dick Rath is a retired U.S. Forest Service Fire Manager. During thirty plus years, Dick worked throughout the United States on wildland fires and fuels projects. Most of his career was spent in Fire Management for the Kootenai National Forest in Northwest Montana and the Gallatin National Forest. Dick retired in 2003 and currently lives south of Big Timber with his wife. They have three grown children and are grandparents. Dick implements the Fuels Reduction Program..

Earl Atwood, Office Manager

Earl Atwood relocated to Montana in 2009 after retiring from a long career with Wyoming State Government in Cheyenne. With over thirty years of service, Earl worked in tax administration, technology management, and executive support for the Wyoming Public Safety Communications Commission. Earl provides support for Special projects at Beartooth RC&D such as the Montana Broadband project and various outreach activities.

Earl and his wife live near Fishtail. They have two grown children.