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Montana Business Spotlight: Big Sky Decon ‘making a big difference’ with decontamination products

Montana Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen introduces the latest installment of the Montana Business Spotlight series recognizing and highlighting local businesses across the Treasure State. This feature introduces Montanans to Big Sky Decon in Missoula. Click the play button on the featured image above to watch the Big Sky Decon Montana Business Spotlight.

MISSOULA, Mont. — Montana Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen has continued to visit with businesses across the Treasure State during her first term in office, including a Made in Montana company that’s turning heads with its goal to enhance public safety.

Big Sky Decon, previously known as Kart Kleen, originated with the idea of cleaning grocery store shopping carts, but has since expanded to applications in law enforcement, first responders, schools, and more.

“The innovation and dedication from the team at Big Sky Decon is inspiring,” said Secretary Jacobsen. “They’re a locally owned and operated company that truly cares about their clients – our children’s schools, local businesses, and our law enforcement officers and first responders who risk their lives for us – and it’s great to see their passion for a cleaner, safer community. “

“We are a Made in America company, and we are a Montana company and employee owned,” said Big Sky Decon CEO Jason Gardiner. “We care about the people we deal with; we care a hell of a lot more about the people that we deal with than we do the profit that we make.”

It’s that dedication to public safety that led Gardiner and his team to brainstorm ways to “reduce the spread of viruses, bacteria, fungi, and protozoa” in as many places as possible. The ideas bounced around in Gardiner’s mind for nearly two decades, as he wrote patents and paperwork to prepare for implementation.

“Then we wake up one morning and it seemed like the world is on fire,” Gardiner said, recalling 2020. “People didn’t think I was crazy anymore. They didn’t think my ideas were ludicrous anymore. They didn’t think that what we were trying to do was nuts.”

“(U.S.) Senator (Steve) Daines was able to get us into Hellgate Elementary here in Missoula, and we showed and exhibited our product,” Gardiner added.

Big Sky Decon VP Max Gardiner says that initial preview led to other opportunities with the Montana school system.

“We did a program at the Department of Public Health and Human Services to be able to outfit the K-12 schools in Montana, and we had a bunch of schools apply and we had a really good success with that,” said Max. “We’ve been checking in periodically with a lot of the schools that ordered our stuff, and I got an email (recently) from one of the schools which had a classroom where a bunch of students were sick. … They used one of our area units after school and moved it around the classroom three minutes at a time in each spot. And kids over the next week came back to school every day and all complaints went away. There was no more sickness that they were dealing with.”

“At the end of the email she sent, she said, ‘I wish I was able to get more products. It’s great that this is quick and efficient, but I would love to be able to do one room and then another one at the same time.’ So we had a real life example brought to us and I was like, ‘Wow, that’s incredible.’”

Decreasing and eliminating the spread of viruses and bacteria in high-traffic areas like schools has been an easy decision for Jason and Max, but they knew their products could assist other at-risk individuals as well – law enforcement and first responders.

“What I bring to the table is my experience as a law enforcement officer for 27 years,” explained Bob Bouchee, sales executive at Big Sky Decon. “They don’t have a choice when there’s a call for help, it doesn’t matter where the place is, whether it’s dirty or not, you go in, it’s part of the job. But by getting into those types of scenarios, it opens up the possibility that the individual officer or first responder is going to be exposed to disease or bacteria … and then they proceed to put it back into a patrol car or fire truck or ambulance that they share amongst their other peers.

“What really hit home to me personally was that they could take it back to their families. Our units will prevent that, and that’s why I was all in when first speaking with Jason and Max.”

Big Sky Decon has implemented numerous products for a variety of applications. Their area decon unit and incident response bag are transportable and can be used at any scene, while other units are more stationary and can remain at a school, police station, or any other location.

The testimonials speak for themselves as two decades worth of ideas and implementation continue to expand to new clients across the state, and, according to Jason, hopefully across the country and globe.

“Where does it go from here? Shoot, there are a plethora of ideas,” explained Jason. “We would love to see an expansion of the programs that we just did in Montana, especially in the schools. If something like this was being worked on all over the world, then I could see tremendous positivity in a lot of areas – mental health sickness, and things like that.”

“It gets a little overwhelming when you start thinking about all the different avenues that we can take with this technology and these units that have been designed,” added Bouchee. “But it’s also very exciting where we can go in the future in how many hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people that we can help in the coming years.”

“Whatever we can do to continually help people in Montana and people in the States and internationally, we want to do everything we can because we believe our products can really make a big difference,” chimed in Max. “We’re just at the starting point of where we think we’re going; there’s a lot more opportunity.”

“Thank you for doing business in Montana, Big Sky Decon,” said Secretary Jacobsen.

For more information, including video explanations on the various types of applications, visit BigSkyDecon.com.

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