Butte Regional Small Business Development Center

Counties Served: Silver Bow, Madison, Jefferson, Beaverhead, Deer Lodge, Granite, Powell


Butte Regional Director

Julie Jaksha, SBDC Regional Director

Julie Jaksha is the Director of the Small Business Development Center for Headwaters RC&D in Butte Montana. Julie helps businesses with business planning, marketing, financials, and growth strategies throughout the seven counties that Headwaters serves. The mission of Headwaters is to build, sustain and promote small business and enhance the local economy through job and business creation.

Julie has over 16 years in the banking industry working at both Wells Fargo and First Montana Bank before joining Headwaters in 2009. In 2013, she completed the National Development Council Economic Development Finance Professional program and earned certification. In addition, she is a trained facilitator for Edward Lowe PeerSpective Progam and Profit Mastery, a financial education program for small business owners.

Julie also volunteers her time serving on numerous public and private boards including, Butte Silver Bow Zoning Board, Insure Montana Board, Montana Community Finance Corporation Loan Committee, and the Montana Youth Soccer Association. Julie started the first official Start-Up event in August and has grown the group to 50 members. Julie is attending Montana Tech, working towards completing her BA in Business Management. Julie and her husband Steve have three children, and like to spend their weekends traveling for soccer games, as well as skiing, camping, rafting, fishing and hiking.

Julie won the Montana "State Star" in 2014 and in 2019, a national award that recognizes outstanding performers from America's Small Business Development Centers.

COVID Specialist

Melissa Wanamaker, SBDC Business Advisor/ COVID Specialist

Melissa Wanamaker joined Headwater’s Small Business Development Center in September 2020 as a Business Advisor focusing on the response to COVID-19. Melissa is a Butte native who went to Alaska for a summer job and stayed away 25 years. In Alaska, she spent most of her career on both sides of the Philanthropy equation. Her greatest successes were in External Affairs Philanthropy and Community Services for ConocoPhillips (and Phillips and ARCO Alaska, Inc.) and as an award-winning and benchmark-setting Development Director for the American Red Cross and American Heart Association. She has a Marketing degree with an International Option from the University of Alaska Anchorage.

The Covid-19 pandemic presents incredible challenges but also unique opportunities. Melissa looks forward to supporting, promoting and advocating for the Headwater region’s entrepreneurs, craftspeople, artists, makers, builders, doers, retailers, nonprofits and other small businesses to not only survive this challenging time but to thrive. As resources become available to help with COVID-19 impacts, she’s here to help connect you to them.

Business Advisor

Taylor Lovell, SBDC Business Advisor/ COVID Specialist

Taylor Lovell worked as an intern for Headwaters RC&D in Butte, MT for almost a year while working towards finishing her bachelor’s degree in Professional and Technical Communication from Montana Tech of the University of Montana. Following graduation, Taylor accepted the Business Advisor position with the Montana SBDC and Headwaters RC&D. As a recent graduate, Taylor is eager to help provide aid and growth to businesses in the seven-county region.

Taylor is a member of the Butte Young Professionals, which encourages the growth and prosperity of young individuals in the Butte Community. As a Montana native, Taylor understands the importance of providing resources to help neighbors and small businesses succeed no matter the situation.

Trainings Provided at Center:

  • Core Four
  • Profit Mastery
  • Business 101: Evaluate a Business Idea
  • QuickBooks
  • Meet Up Entrepreneur Group