Staff Members

Brian Holst, Executive Director - (907) 523-2333

Since 2008, Brian Holst serves as the Executive Director of the Juneau Economic Development Council. Prior to joining JEDC, Brian worked in community and economic development for almost twenty years. His previous experience includes working with local and national stakeholders in challenging economic and political circumstances in the developing world, with extensive experience leading countrywide programs in Latin America and Eastern Europe. Brian has directly managed implementation of programs in micro-finance, home improvement lending, environmental planning, disaster mitigation and response, business support services and various construction efforts ranging from energy to schools to roads.

Brian is a graduate of Juneau-Douglas High School and the University of Notre Dame. He served as a US Peace Corps Volunteer in small business development and has also worked as an international consultant and small business owner.

Brian is committed to the prosperity of Juneau and to the wellbeing of Alaskans. Brian serves in numerous capacities including the Alaska Center for Energy and Power, Alaska Coastal Rainforest Center, Alaska Committee, Any Given Child Initiative, Alaska Early Childhood Coordinating Council, Alaska State Committee on Research, as well as active in service groups. He is staunch advocate for developing talent early and is a member of the Juneau Board of Education. He is surrounded by an extended family, including his wife Estela and four children.  Brian has been a resident of Alaska since 1978.

Eva Bornstein, Program Officer - (907) 523-2339

Eva Bornstein sees her work at JEDC as a way of using her talents to help our city and region stay strong and sustainable. She is the lead researcher at JEDC, directing the annual Economic Indicators publication and providing research support for many JEDC programs. She is project lead for development and implementation of the Southeast Cluster Initiative, with responsibility for the Renewable Energy and the Visitor Products Cluster Working Groups.

Committed to community, Eva has dedicated time and talent to the Juneau community through work and volunteerism. She was honored as a Juneau School District Volunteer of the Year and served five years on the Juneau Commission on Sustainability, during which she helped start the Juneau Local Foods Festival.

Eva holds an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, an MS from Yale University, and a BA from Bryn Mawr College. Her career has spanned from corporate strategic planning for a Fortune 500 multinational, to project management in the banking industry, to teaching Business Finance at the University of Alaska Southeast School of Management.

Rebecca Soza, STEM AK Program Manager - (907) 523-2334

Becca has a passion for community involvement in education that creates real-world opportunities for students to engage in learning. She regularly teaches Juneau Girl Scouts, coordinates science camps, organized “Girls Rock Science!” and leads other community science events designed to introduce STEM programs and careers to students. Her primary role at JEDC is directing Alaska’s FIRST Robotics program where she has built the statewide program to include over 200 teams and 400 volunteers.

Becca earned her MA in Secondary Science Education and BA in Environmental Science from Columbia University and went on to teach middle-school science at an inner-city public school and work for a variety of nonprofit organizations.

She is now an integral part of JEDC’s STEM AK programming on the local, regional and statewide level.  Beyond FIRST Robotics, she developes and executes enrichment activities, professional development opportunities, helps facilitate Technology Transfer partnerships and is an enthusiastic advocate for STEM education. 

Robyn Mesdag, CFA, Researcher

Prior to working at JEDC, Robyn worked in finance, first with the State of Alaska as an Investment Officer, then for a Portland, Oregon investment consulting firm as an Associate Consultant. During her time in finance, Robyn created, reviewed and presented performance reports to clients to ensure clients’ investment goals were being met per their investment policy, managed and facilitated recommended transition plans, completed asset allocation studies and special projects, including a salary study for the State of Washington and public funds reporting. Robyn has earned the right to use the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.   

At JEDC Robyn’s responsibilities include economic research, acting as a liaison for the Junior Achievement program, and organizing fundraising to support the robotics teams statewide.

Robyn has a finance degree from Linfield College and is a graduate of Juneau – Douglas High School. Outside of JEDC Robyn spends time with her husband, two children and her (many) extended family members, as well as volunteering in the schools.