The Billings Chamber of Commerce has announced the staff promotion of Jack Jennaway, and welcomes Kyra Cousins and Toby Walker to its staff.

Jennaway has been promoted to Business Advocacy Manager, Cousins fills the position of Visit Billings Visitor Services Manager, and Walker joins as the Member Recruitment Manager.

Jennaway accepted a promotion to Business Advocacy Manager. He began working at the Billings Chamber in March 2020. His key responsibilities include coordinating Business Advocacy program activities, leading crime prevention safety efforts and agriculture committee efforts, and implementing strategies to suppor the business community.

Additionally, Jennaway conducts research and information management, provides support for community levies and initiatives as directed by the Chamber Board of Directors, and assists with production of Business Advocacy publications and communications.

Cousins accepted the role of Visitor Services Manager for Visit Billings, managed by the Billings Chamber. She has worked as the Member Operations Specialist for the Billings Chamber, in which she handled a variety of operational tasks and providing exceptional support to members and clients. Her background and experience in customer service and serving as an integral part of daily operations will serve her well in her new role for Visit Billings. Walker is originally from Auburn, California and moved to Billings at a young age. He graduated with a bachelors’ degree in Mass Communications from North Dakota University in 2004.

After college, he returned to Billings and embarked on a career in the service side of the automotive industry. Prior to joining the Chamber staff, Walker worked as a Retail and Outside Sales Manager for MARS. His customer service background and people skills will serve him well in his role as Member Recruitment Manager.


McCall Homes/ McCall Development, 6212 Norma Jean Sq N, Com New Other, 30,000

Valley Bible Church, Inc/ Upwork Construction, 3603 O’Shea Circle, Com Remodel, $20,306

School District # 23/ Langlas & Assoc., Inc., 6416 Elysian Rd, Com Addition, $300,000

Cogburn Holdings, LLC/ Dick Anderson Construction, 6767 Tun Tavern Rd, Com New Warehouse/Storage, $3,277,296

BBBillings LLC/ Langlas & Assoc., Inc, 548 Main St, Com Remodel, $375,000

Todd Denowh 320 N 17th St, Com Remodel, $2,385

Mclaws, Craig John Etal/  Colters Construction LLC, 3990 Avenue D, Com Remodel, $40,000

Intermountain Health/ Hardy Construction Co., 1233 N 30th St, Com Remodel , $250,000

Darcey Frewin, 300 S 24th St W, Com Remodel, $10,000

1889 Brewing Company LLC/ Neumann Construction, 204 N 13th St,  Com Remodel – Change In Use $180,000

Billings Clinic/ Environmental Contractors LLC., 2701 6th Ave N,  Demolition Permit Comm, $44,000


Hill, Jeff J & Tammy L/ Hill Builders, 1406 Anchor Ave, Res New Single Family, $310,362

Infinity Home LLC/ Infinity Home LLC, 960 Matador Ave, Res New Single Family, $211,636

Legacy LLC / CDH, LLC, 5225 Rich Ln, Res New Single Family, $374,967

John Haman/ HD Building Inc, 1317 Anchor Ave, Res New Single Family, $250,902

CDH, LLC/ CDH, LLC, 5235 Dovetail Ave, Res New Single Family, $281,058

Magnus Land Development LLC/ Brown Builders Inc., 6389 Signal Peak Ave, Res New Two Family, $326,204

Magnus Land Development LLC/ Brown Builders Inc., 6385 Signal Peak Ave, Res New Two Family, $326,204

Bollinger, Rikki K/ Stapleton Construction, 936 Dorothy Ln, Res New Accessory Structure, $188,172

Popelka, William K & Barbara E, 1113 Yale Ave, Res New Accessory Structure Garage, $36,864

Infinity Home LLC/ Infinity Home LLC, 7003 Bronze Blvd, Res New Single Family, $233,601

Kercher, Paul/ Perchall LLC, 4260 Long Rider Trl, Res New Single Family, $500,000

Hirsch, Wayne M & Traci J/ Jeff Engel Construction, Inc, 503 Winged Foot Dr, Res New Single Family, $700,000

Billings Best Builders/ Billings Best Builders LLC, 5342 S Iron Mountain Rd, Res New Single Family, $315,000

United Way of Yellowstone County has received a $2.5 million grant from the Bezos Day 1 Families Fund—the largest gift in the organization’s history. The grant is aimed at helping the homeless in Billings.

This is the sixth round of annual Day 1 Families Fund grants, which recognize organizations doing work to help families experiencing homelessness secure housing and achieve stability. The fund, created in 2018 by Jeff Bezos, former CEO and founder of Amazon, is part of a $2 billion commitment to such organizations throughout the country. This is the sixth round of grants, bringing the total awarded to $639 million.

According to Kim Lewis, president and CEO of United Way of Yellowstone County, the one-time grant will support United Way of Yellowstone County in serving children and adults in families experiencing homelessness, who represent more than a quarter of the homeless population nationally. Lewis explained that the funds will increase access to services and “empower coalitions.”

United Way of Yellowstone County will use The Day 1 Families Fund grant to divert families from homelessness and rehouse families.

What do The Rolling Stones, NFL star Tyreek Hill, and Maryland millionaires have in common? They all moved because of taxes.

You may not be a famous musician or a pro athlete, but you too may have considered taxes in deciding, “should I stay, or should I go?” Or maybe not. While high-profile stories abound, what do the data tell us about taxes and migration? Do people—regular people—really move because of taxes?

The answer is complicated, but one thing is clear: Americans are moving from higher-tax states to lower-tax states. This alone doesn’t prove anything, but the most recent IRS data seem to show a connection between taxes and migration:

* Nine of the top 10 states with the largest population gains from 2019 to 2020 have no or low individual income taxes (the most visible of all the tax types, and highly connected to where you live).

* Of the states that saw more income tax filers move in than out, nearly 80 percent had below-average state and local tax collections per capita in fiscal year 2020, while half of the states that experienced more filers moving out than in had above-average collections per capita.

* Similarly, 19 of the 28 states with more people moving in than out had a top marginal income tax rate below the national median, while 16 of the 22 states plus D.C. with more people moving out than in had above-median top income tax rates.

* Among the 25 best-ranking states on the 2020 State Business Tax Climate Index, 20 states gained taxpayers between 2019 and 2020. Among the 25 worst-ranking states on the Index, 17 lost taxpayers to interstate migration.

Of course, correlation does not equal causation, so how do we know taxes play a role in people’s location decisions?

One clue: most studies have found that state and local taxes affect migration, and the effect seems to have become stronger over the years—probably because technology has made it easier for people and businesses to move.

Another clue: survey data. An annual Census Bureau survey asks people who moved why they did it. Though it doesn’t ask about taxes directly, respondents’ answers reveal the indirect influence of taxes. For example, in 2017, 16 percent said they “wanted [a] new or better home,” 11.5 percent said they moved “to establish own household,” and 8.3 percent “wanted cheaper housing,” all of which are influenced by property taxes. And the 9.9 percent who moved for a “new job or job transfer” likely took into account income taxes and benefited from the job opportunities related to the state’s economic competitiveness.

Though people move for many different reasons, the evidence suggests taxes are at least one factor—both directly and indirectly. All things being equal, people prefer lower taxes. They also favor many of the things that a well-designed tax code helps facilitate, like a strong job market and a reasonable overall cost of living.

When people move out of a state, they take their earning power with them. IRS data from 2019 and 2020 shows that most states that lost people to interstate migration also lost adjusted gross income (AGI). Conversely, most states that gained people also gained AGI.

For example, in 2021, California and New York lost $29 billion and $25 billion in AGI, respectively, while Florida gained $39 billion.

And less income in the state means less tax revenue. In 2021, California lost $343 million while New York lost $300 million.

Evidently, people’s migration decisions can affect a state’s economy and budget.

While experts generally agree that taxes play some role in people’s decisions about where to live and work, they disagree over the significance. Some argue that the influence of taxes on migration decisions is so small, policymakers shouldn’t even consider it when designing tax policy.

But policymakers only have so many tools at their disposal to attract people. Not every state can offer warm weather and nice beaches. But they can control their taxes. Prioritizing structurally sound tax policy with low rates will not only lower people’s tax burdens—which clearly attracts some people—but also produce economic growth, increasing the job opportunities and wages that attract others.

A company in Bozeman, MagDrive Technologies, has revealed that oil and gas refineries can reduce their emission footprint by 62% through the adoption of magnetically actuated valves.

This innovative technology presents a significant leap in the industry’s efforts to meet climate regulations. MagDrive claims the technology will bring true zero emission components to industries like oil and gas, energy, nuclear, aerospace, and cryogenics.

MagDrive CEO, Nick Runyon, will present the team’s groundbreaking findings at the Conference of the Parties in Dubai on December 3.

Runyon’s presentation will showcase the crucial role of advanced technology in achieving the government’s ambitious global climate goals. The timing of the technology aligns with the need for rapid changes that will be necessary to meet the time restraints being called for to limit greenhouse gas emission to 1.5 degrees centigrade.

MagDrive is licensing its patented valve designs to qualified manufacturers, which will facilitate widespread availability of zero-emission valves to the oil and gas industry.

As a leader in zero-emission valve technology, MagDrive Technologies is committed to providing innovative solutions that address environmental challenges by reducing industrial emissions.