W. Scott Osterman, Director

W. Scott OstermanScott Osterman is a visionary leader with a private sector background of guiding successful strategy and execution to realize growth, develop strong partnerships and lead companies through transition. Osterman is a north central Montana native whose roots date back to an 1860s miner’s cabin on Helena’s Last Chance Gulch and to an 1880s homestead in the Missouri Breaks. Mostly recently, Osterman served as senior director of business unit operations at Applied Materials in Kalispell. Over the course of his 30-year career, Osterman has served as a senior executive in Fortune 500 companies and venture start-ups in the semiconductor, automobile, and high-tech hardware and software industries. His broad experience in business includes strategic planning, rapid growth initiatives, operations, sales, market development, and turnaround execution. Osterman is a graduate of the University of Montana and continued his graduate studies at Washington State University.



Adam J. SchaferAdam J. Schafer, Deputy Director

Adam J. Schafer joined Montana Department of Commerce as Deputy Director in September, 2020. Prior to that he served in the Governor’s Office as a Deputy Chief of Staff, Senior Advisor and Director of Public Engagement. Previously he served as Montana’s Deputy Commissioner of Securities and Insurance and Chief of Staff for the Commissioner. Schafer served as executive director for the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators in Washington, D.C. for 11 years, before returning to Montana in 2012. He was born in Great Falls and grew up in Billings. He received his degree from North Central College in Naperville, IL, and lives in Helena with his wife Anjenette and son Leo.



Cheryl CohenCheryl Cohen, Administrator, Housing MT Division

Cheryl Cohen joined Montana Housing as Operations Manager in October 2018 and was hired as Division Administrator in May 2020. She previously served over eight years as a Community Development Specialist and Senior Community Development Specialist with the City of Seattle Office of Housing’s multifamily asset management unit. She has over 15 years of affordable housing compliance, property/asset management, and operations experience in the public and non-profit sectors. Cheryl is certified in low income housing tax credit compliance and is a Certified Specialist in HUD Occupancy. She has a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Washington.

 



Jenny-Pelej.jpgJenny Pelej, Administrator, Brand MT Division

Jenny Pelej is the Division Administrator of the Office of Tourism and Business Development. Though she originally came to the state from Wisconsin, Jenny’s Montana connections run deep. The majority of her more than 19-year career in communications, promotions and policy has been spent working in government or non-profit organizations throughout the state. The remaining years of her career were spent with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Jenny holds a bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources and Communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a master’s degree in Public Relations from Montana State University. Jenny loves trail running, fishing, skiing and exploring all Montana has to offer with her son. (And since she came to Montana, she has lived in Helena twice, as well as Billings, Kalispell, Missoula and Bigfork.)

 


 

Renee Lemon Renee Lemon, Administrator, Community MT Division

Renee Lemon leads the Community Development Division, which provides technical assistance and funding to help communities improve health, safety, and economic vitality. She has over 20 years of experience with planning, grant writing and administration, and geographic information systems in the public and private sectors. This includes working as a state government planner facilitating groups to find solutions to public policy issues, as a private consultant helping communities develop comprehensive plans and administer grants, and as a county planner reviewing development proposals. Renee holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Montana and a bachelor’s degree in earth sciences from Montana State University. She is also a certified planner with the American Institute of Certified Planners. 



Liane_Taylor_web.jpg Liane Taylor, Administrator, Business MT Division

Liane Taylor is the Business MT Division Administrator. Prior to joining the Montana Department of Commerce, Liane worked for Governor Greg Gianforte; first as the Boards and Appointments Director, and then helping lead the State’s ARPA efforts. She has a real estate business, has been a lobbyist, and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Russian and Political Science from the University of Texas.

Liane is a fourth generation Montanan, born on the Ft. Peck Indian Reservation to a farming/ranching family who fostered many entrepreneurs and small business owners. She has been a consistent leader in the real estate industry in Montana for over 20 years, helping numerous clients manage their business and investment portfolios, development projects, as well as residential and commercial real estate.

Liane enjoys all of the many outdoor wonders of Montana, including whitewater rafting and fishing. She has two fabulous daughters; one a junior at MSU, and one a senior in high school.


 

Anastasia_web.jpg Anastasia Burton, Communications & Public Affairs Supervisor

Raised in northcentral Montana, Anastasia earned her bachelor’s degree in broadcast communications from the University of Providence. Anastasia has 20 years of State service in the communications field, including working in the Governor’s Office, the Attorney General’s Office, and DPHHS. She also was the Community Relations & Marketing Director for Shodair Children’s Hospital.

Anastasia has served on the board of Susan G. Komen Idaho-Montana, the Helena Public Art Committee, and the Selma Held Park Committee. She and her husband are the proud parents of twins, who are in college.