About Us

"For over fifty years, we have worked hard to serve the economic and community development needs of those who live and work in this special part of Montana. Our ongoing commitment is to make northern Montana a better place to raise a family and make a living by focusing our resources on business financing, entrepreneurial training, infrastructure development, value-added agriculture and community planning. We look forward to continuing our efforts to create a healthier, more vibrant economy for the residents of northern Montana."
-Deborah Callahan, President, Board of Directors

About Bear Paw Development

Bear Paw Development Corporation is a private non-profit organization created for the purpose of administering programs to help improve regional economic conditions in Hill, Blaine, Liberty, Chouteau and Phillips Counties and the Fort Belknap and Rocky Boy's Indian Reservations. Bear Paw Development works toward this goal by coordinating economic development planning and project implementation among its member entities, assisting local governments in planning public works and coordinating public and private investments, and by engaging in research, planning and advisory functions appropriate to the attainment of its objectives.

Our Vision

As we look towards the future five, ten and twenty years from now, we foresee the Bear Paw Economic Development District taking a leadership position as a center for alternative energy generation and production, transportation, light manufacturing, food processing, health care, value-added agriculture, micro-enterprise development and workforce education. We will assist in this natural evolution of our economy by nourishing the successful partnerships we have built with public and private entities and through the timely and professional delivery of our core functions of community and regional planning, infrastructure financing, entrepreneurial consulting and business lending.


The District was officially recognized by the U.S. Economic Development Administration in 1969. It has also received similar recognition from the State of Montana. The members of the District oversee Bear Paw Development Corporation, which was created to provide professional planning and project management. As a private, non-profit corporation, Bear Paw Development operates independently of local, state and federal government entities. The organization prepares an annual work plan that describes its activities for the year and is governed by a 24 member Board of Directors consisting of local elected officials and private sector representatives. 

Bear Paw Development services the following geographic areas in the State of Montana:

Hill County
Blaine County
Liberty County
Phillips County
Chouteau County
Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation
Fort Belknap Indian Reservation

If your project is not listed in our service area, please contact us and we can direct you to the appropriate agency.

Board of Directors

Deborah Callahan, President

At-Large Member

Jim Ghekiere, Vice President

Liberty County

Ron Young, Treasurer

At-Large Member

Doug Kaercher, Secretary

At-Large Member

Loretta Bell

Fort Belknap Indian Reservation

Rhonda Brewer

At-Large Member

Bruce Christofferson

Phillips County

Frank DePriest

Blaine County

Sarah Olson

City of Fort Benton

Scott Ross

Town of Chester

Dina Sainato-Meneely

At-Large Member

Ralph Schneider

City of Harlem

Daren Schuster

Chouteau County

Dave Skiff

At-Large Member

Tim Solomon

City of Havre

Maureen Wicks

At-Large Member  

Building Partnerships for Community and Economic Development

© Bear Paw Development Corporation. All rights reserved.
Website by Metcalfe Media

300 Second Avenue
P.O. Box 170, Havre, MT 59501