Billings Regional Small Business Development Center

Counties served: Yellowstone, Big Horn, Carbon, Golden Valley, Musselshell, Petroleum, Stillwater, Sweet Grass, Wheatland



Lorene Hintz, SBDC Regional Director
406.254.6014 |


Lorene Hintz, Regional Director for the Small Business Development Center at Big Sky Economic Development, manages the Big Sky Trust Fund Job Creation grant program. As an Accredited Business Consultant, Lorene is a passionate advocate and champion for small business owners and entrepreneurs. She provides business technical assistance, marketing research, financial analysis/projections, loan packaging, and one-on-one consulting.

Her experience includes 16 years of retail business ownership, co-owner of Hintz Trucking, and eighteen years as a Small Business Development Center Regional Director. Lorene strives to recognize business owners' needs, promote opportunities, and inspire growth in start-up and existing businesses. She is a volunteer mentor for entrepreneurial development programs across the state, including Early-Stage Montana, Rock31, Veteran's Business Outreach Centers, and the Women's Business Center. 

Lorene was named America's SBDC State Star in 2010 and 2022, is a member of Montana Economic Developers Association (MEDA), Accredited Small Business Consultant (ASBD), Certified Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP), certified NxLevel trainer, Profit Mastery consultant, and a certified Core Four Trainer.


Billings Project Support Specialist

Kayla Vokral, SBDC Training Manager and Business Advisor

Kayla is a Business Advisor for the Small Business Development Center at Big Sky Economic Development. Kayla joined the Big Sky Economic Development team in July 2019. She assists clients with market research, financial projections, and business plan development. She is the key team member who schedules and facilitates the on-line training in the Billings region.
Having previous experience in running a small business helps her understand the obstacles and roadblocks entrepreneurs face so she can provide support while they are on their journey.


Jason Nitschke

Jason Nitschke, Zero to Five Senior Child Care Business Advisor
406.402.2455 |

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Jason joins Zero to Five Montana as a Senior Child Care Business Advisor after eight years in economic development as Vice President with the Great Falls Development Authority (GFDA) and Regional Director of the Great Falls area Small Business Development Center (SBDC). He will be delivering educational opportunities and one-on-one consultation support to entrepreneurs and communities starting, growing, and expanding childcare and early education solutions.

Since 2014, he has advised and trained nearly 4000 entrepreneurs and business professionals, helped start over 100 businesses, supported 2800 jobs, and helped in attracting nearly $75M in capital investment into area businesses. He was the 2022 recipient of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Boots to Business Instructor of the Year, a national award recognizing the top five presenters of the SBA’s Introduction to Entrepreneurship curriculum for active-duty military and veterans. In 2018, he was named the Montana State SBDC Star honoring the top 1% of business advisors in the U.S.

Prior to joining the economic development community, Jason owned two businesses and spent 16 years as a print and broadcast journalist. He is an award-winning broadcaster, native Montanan, and is a proud daughter-dad. Jason holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Political Science from the University of Montana and a master’s degree in Communication from Hawaii Pacific University-Honolulu.

He is a certified business advisor, Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP), and certified Profit Mastery and PeerSpectives facilitator.