BOARD OF DIRECTORS (Information from the JEDC Bylaws)

Section 1. The affairs of the JEDC shall be managed by its Board of Directors.

Section 2. Board of Directors.

A. The Board of Directors of the JEDC shall consist of eleven (11) members.

B. The eleven (11) members of the JEDC Board of Directors shall be comprised as follows:

  • i. The mayor of the City and Borough of Juneau or the mayor's designee from the CBJ Assembly;
    ii. The Chancellor of University of Alaska Southeast or the Chancellor's designee from UAS;
    iii. One member appointed by the CBJ Assembly representing organized labor;
    iv. One member appointed by the CBJ Assembly representing a nonprofit environmental organization;
    v. Seven (7) members appointed by the CBJ Assembly based upon their experience and expertise in fields relating to economic development, including but not limited to large and small business, entrepreneurship, natural resource development, tourism, banking and finance, engineering and construction, and government.

C. The term of each member of the JEDC Board of Director shall be staggered three (3) years.

D. No Director, except the Mayor and the Chancellor of UAS who hold permanent seats, may serve for more than two (2) consecutive terms.

E. The JEDC shall publish notice of vacancies on the JEDC Board of Directors. The JEDC Board or a recruitment committee will review and may interview candidates for the JEDC Board of Directors. The JEDC Board will forward the names of recommended candidates to the CBJ Assembly. The CBJ Assembly will appoint JEDC board members.

Board Members

Garrett Schoenberger, Chair

Garrett’s background is in real estate, with more than $200 million in transaction volume over his career.

Garrett has experience with lease and sale transactions, as well as real estate acquisitions with a private equity group.

He worked as an industrial broker with Grubb & Ellis, based in Phoenix, Arizona, completing more than $39 million in lease and sale transactions ranging from 1,000 to 250,000 square feet, and providing transaction services for more than 50 clients.  

He served as the Director of Acquisitions for Curtis Capital Group based in Bellevue, Washington, where over five years he was directly involved in the acquisition of 12 multi-family properties across five states, totaling more than $161 million. His responsibilities included sourcing, underwriting, negotiating and executing business plans with an average annualized return on investments of 29 percent.

He earned a business degree from Arizona State University and was a proud member of the Sun Devil baseball program.

When not at work, Garrett is enjoying being back in his home state with his wife and new baby daughter, enjoying the abundant outdoor opportunities.

Dr. Karen Carey, Vice Chair

Dr. Karen Carey serves as Chancellor at the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS), Chancellor Carey provides strategic leadership in fulfilling UAS’ mission, including budget development, academic planning and program assessments, student and enrollment services, administrative services, and community relations.  

Carey has served on national and international academic boards, including the National Association of School Psychologists, the International Association of School Psychologists, and  served as Alaska’s representative on the Executive Committee of the Western Academic Leadership Forum, part of WICHE (Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education). She has served in many capacities over her career working to insure social justice for underrepresented groups in education settings. 

Karen has two grown step-children with her husband Allan and four grandchildren along with three dogs and a cat.  Karen and Allan love Southeast Alaska and wish they had moved here years ago. She enjoys attending the symphony, Perseverance Theatre, all of the great art activities in Juneau, and all of the fantastic outdoor activities. 

Jake Carpenter, Treasurer

Jake Carpenter is a technologist and entrepreneur from Juneau, Alaska. His love for Alaska and business has fueled his involvement in the startup community across Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. Jake has been interested in solving big problems for as long as he can remember. He has a BA in Liberal Arts and an Executive MBA in Entrepreneurship. His journey in technology has included stints in non-profits, government, and private industry. When he isn't stuck behind a computer screen solving his lastest programming problem, he enjoys spending time with his family. In particular, he enjoys learning Spanish with his daughter Eleanor and looking at pictures of baby animals with his son Marty. In his humble opinion, there's no place better than Alaska to create the next big thing.

Melissa Kookesh, Secretary

Melissa M. Kookesh was elected to the Kootznoowoo Board in 2016 and began serving as Board Chair. In addition to her role as Chairwoman, she also serves as ex-officio on all committees. From 2005-2014, Melissa worked in the Office of the President at the Central Council Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. Currently, she is employed as a Legislative Aide for the Alaska State Legislature. Melissa holds an Associate of Arts and Sciences and certification in Tribal Management from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Melissa is the daughter of Lena Woods and the late Floyd M. Kookesh and is the granddaughter of the late Matthew and Ramona Kookesh. Melissa is Raven Dog Salmon from the Central House in Angoon, and her Tlingit name is X’eetoow.

Alec Mesdag

Alec Mesdag grew up in Juneau and holds a degree in environmental science from Oregon State University.  Prior to returning to Juneau in 2012, he worked as a project manager for a large electrical contractor in Portland, OR, managing healthcare, high tech, and solar construction projects, as well as developing non-regulated energy projects for tax equity investors.  As vice president and director of energy services at AEL&P, Alec works to influence how customers consume energy in order to maximize the value of electric infrastructure. Alec serves as the Co-Chair of JEDC’s Renewable Energy Cluster Working Group, focused on finding applications of renewable energy in our region’s economy. He spends his time away from work explaining how he is related to the other Mesdags in town.

Chris Dimond

Chris Dimond is a Juneau-Douglas High School graduate and has lived in Juneau most of his life. He’s worked as a carpenter for the local carpenter’s union, working on projects including renovations to the Treadwell Pump House. He is a trained journeyman and has been a regular figure in the Capitol, lobbying lawmakers and legislators on behalf of the union. In addition to serving on the JEDC Board, Chris also serves on the Docks and Harbors board.

Marc Guevarra

Marc Guevarra is a lifelong Alaskan who grew up in Kodiak and originally moved to Juneau in 2004.  In 2011, he moved to Ketchikan to pursue additional career opportunities, but eventually found his way back to Juneau in 2017.  

Guevarra has worked as a banker in Alaska since 2001 and he has spent the larger part of his banking career in commercial lending.  The banking industry has taken him all over Alaska, including Anchorage, Petersburg, Ketchikan, Juneau, and other communities.  Currently, he is Vice President and Branch Manager Lending at the Valley Centre branch of First National Bank Alaska.

He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration Accounting degree from the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Guevarra is an active member of the Rotary Club of Juneau Glacier Valley and he has served on a variety of other volunteer boards in both Juneau and Ketchikan.  In his free time, he enjoys fishing, camping, and other outdoor activities with family and friends.  


Alexander Kotlarov

Alexander Kotlarov grew up in Southeast Alaska where he spent summers commercial fishing throughout high school and college years. Alexander holds a bachelor’s degree in Pre-Law Criminal Justice from Northeastern University and a master’s degree in Sea Use Law and Policy from the London School of Economics. Recently, he completed his PhD in Natural Resources and Sustainability through the University of Alaska Fairbanks, in Natural Resources and Environmental Economics. He has worked for Trident Seafoods Corporations in Seattle for several years as their Operations Manager for the Far East Region in Russian before returning to Alaska. In Valdez, he worked as a Maritime Operations Project manager for Prince William Sound Regional Citizens Advisory Council. After returning to Southeast Alaska he worked for the State of Alaska as an Economist for the Department of Labor Research and Analysis section. For the past 16 years he has been working in the Restricted Access Management division as an Operation Research Analyst for NOAA Fisheries.

Alexander had the opportunity to have a work assignment in Rome, Italy for six months with his family which was an amazing experience and which the family all fell in love with Italy. His son, as a boy scout developed a business plan for an entrepreneur merit badge to start a wood-fired pizza business. The family decided to start, a wood-fired pizza truck business and have been running it for the past 4 years. This past summer their business was profiled on Food Network.

Alexander spends his spare time with his family working the pizza truck, skiing, fishing and hiking.

Jill Weitz

Jill Weitz works in habitat conservation for SalmonState as the director of the Salmon Beyond Borders campaign. Jill first moved to Juneau for "just nine months" in 2007 to complete a national term of service through AmeriCorps at SAGA's Eagle Valley Center. During a brief hiatus to the lower-48, Jill earned her graduate degree in natural resources law and policy from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in 2010, and promptly returned to Juneau to serve as a Compliance and Enforcement Officer with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. Since 2013, Jill has been working alongside tribes, local communities, fishermen, and business owners to defend and sustain Southeast Alaska's largest salmon producing rivers and the livelihoods dependent upon them. When she's not working, Jill can be found exploring the offerings of The Tongass National Forest.

Raymond E. Paddock III

Raymond Paddock is the Environmental Coordinator for the Central Council Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, Native Lands and Resources Department, which is a federally recognized tribe. Raymond is responsible for writing, managing, and implementing program grants based off our tribes’ natural resource and environmental concerns that may have an effect on our people’s way of life in Southeast Alaska.

For several years Raymond has coordinated Tlingit & Haida’s environmental program to provide training activities, educational assistance and coordination statewide and regionally on environmental and natural resource concerns.

Raymond is also currently serving on the Region 10 Regional Tribal Operations Committee (RTOC) Chairman. The RTOC’s primary function is a partnership with the US EPA to further tribal environmental objectives and to serve a liaison between the tribes and EPA. 

Mayor Beth Weldon

Beth is a lifelong Juneauite and fourth generation Douglasite on her mother’s side. Beth is a graduate of Juneau Douglas High School and the University of Washington. For seven years she owned and operated the gillnetter F/V Seven Seas. She started with Capital City Fire/Rescue as a volunteer in Douglas and became part of the paid staff in 1992. Beth was the first female officer in the department and retired as a Division Chief. During her career, she received seven awards for service. Beth and her husband Greg and currently co-own Capitol Motor Supply/Glacier Auto Parts and are the proud parents of two very active teenagers. Beth has been very active within the Juneau community, including: CBJ Assembly member (2016 -2018) (Public Works, Lands, Human Resources, Finance committees, and the Mining Subcommittee); Glacier Valley Rotary Immediate Past President; Alaska State Firefighters Association; CBJ Aquatics Board; Juneau Ski Club Board; Juneau Site Council; Volunteer for JDHS Hockey; Volunteer for JDHS Track & Field; Volunteer for JDHS Wrestling; Volunteer for Glacier Swim Club.