The U.S. Small Business Administration  has named Brent Donnelly as its new director for the Montana District Office. He previously served as the Deputy District Director for the same office, which is based in Helena. Donnelly replaces Wayne Gardella, who retired from the SBA in February of this year.

“Small firms in Montana have a significant impact on our local economies in both rural and urban communities,” Donnelly said. “It is an honor to be selected as District Director, and I look forward to working with the talented SBA team based in Helena and our robust group of partners we have across the state that assist small businesses to start, grow, expand, and recover.”

After graduating from Pacific Lutheran University with a B.A. in Entrepreneurship and New Venture Management, Donnelly spent over 10 years working in private sector residential and long term agricultural real estate lending, including work with the secondary market through the Farmer Mac I program. Prior to entering federal service, Brent was a small business owner running a finance company and home improvement company. In 2009, Donnelly was hired by the USDA Rural Development and served in several capacities including as the Director of the Business-Cooperative programs for Montana. In his spare time, Donnelly volunteers with several local organizations including 4-H, FFA, youth sports and his church.  He is married with four children.