The Juneau Economic Development Council annually has openings on its Board of Directors. JEDC Board members are recommended to the CBJ Assembly by the current JEDC Board and then 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, mining, oceans products, tourism, research, banking and finance, engineering and construction, and government.

For an appointment of three years starting on/about December 2020, there are three seats available:  Two open seats and one seat reserved for a person representing a non-profit environmental organization. Preference for one of the two other seats will be given to someone with banking experience, especially commercial banking experience.

The deadline to apply is Wednesday, October 28,2020. Interested parties should send of letter of interest to JEDC Executive Director, Brian Holst,, or call for more information. 523-2333.

Applicants will also need to complete an application form:


Interested Candidates should plan on participating in interviews with current members of the JEDC Board in November or December 2020.


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

Alec Mesdag, Chair

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.

Garrett Schoenberger, Vice President

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.

Jake Carpenter, Secretary

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.

Brandon Cullum, Treasurer

Brandon Cullum and his wife Melissa moved to Southeast Alaska from Houston, Texas, nearly 15 years ago when his wife accepted a teaching position in Angoon. Four years later they moved to Juneau. They have two daughters, both born and raised Alaskans. Brandon is Chief Financial Officer at AEL&P and holds a bachelor’s in political science from University of Houston and a master’s in business administration from University of Alaska Southeast. A huge fan of the outdoors, Brandon spends much of his time running trails or with his family sailing, backpacking, and just generally exploring their Southeast home.

Susan Murray

Susan Murray is Oceana’s Deputy Vice President, Pacific based in Juneau, Alaska office. With more than 25 years of executive experience, Susan oversees Oceana’s US campaigns in the Pacific from Alaska to California. She has worked at Oceana since 2003 in a variety of capacities, and successes include protecting more than a million square miles of seafloor habitat from destructive bottom trawling, securing bycatch caps on salmon in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska trawl fleets, and protecting the forage base of the Pacific by preventing new fisheries from opening on hundreds of species of small food fish. Prior to her work with Oceana, Murray served as the Executive Director for the Alaska Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, the funding and policy agency for the shelters and programs throughout Alaska that serve victims of domestic violence. She also served for six years on the communications team for Governor Tony Knowles of Alaska. Murray holds a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Education from Duke University. She spends her spare time with her two sons and dogs enjoying adventures in Alaska’s wilderness.

Wade Bryson

Wade Bryson moved to Alaska one month after his 21st birthday. He spent his first career as an adventure guide for TEMSCO and ATA. He began working for Subway in 2001 as a clock in employee and his wife and he have been owners since April 2004. Wade and his wife have raised their five children through all levels of the JSD and their oldest is a senior at UAS. Wade has hosted problem corner since 2008. He has also been a host, M.C., and a speaker for numerous fundraisers and events around town like Gold Rush Days and Success Inside and Out.

Dr. Karen Carey

Dr. Karen Carey serves as Interim Chancellor at the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS), located in Juneau, Alaska’s capital city. UAS is a regional university with campuses in Juneau, Ketchikan, and Sitka—coastal communities situated in Alaska’s magnificent Tongass National Forest. As Interim 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. During the interim period, Carey retains many of the duties of her position as UAS Provost.  With the help of Vice Provost Maren Haavig, Carey will continue to ensure that UAS academic programs meet regional and professional accreditation standards and fulfill the university’s mission and core themes.

Chancellor Carey has served as Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies since June of 2016, coming to UAS from the California State University Channel Islands, in Ventura, California, where she served as the Dean of Arts & Sciences.  She earned her Ph.D. in School Psychology from University of Cincinnati, focusing on the ecological factors influencing young children and their families. She has co-authored two books on early childhood interventions as well as numerous other articles. Karen worked as a school psychologist in Nevada, Kentucky, Ohio, and California working with students with severe disabilities and students enrolled in Juvenile Correctional Facilities.  She also worked at California State University, Fresno where she was tenured and promoted to full professor, and served as Department Chair, Associate Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics, and Dean of Graduate Studies. She also holds a Master of Science in School Psychology from the University of Nevada and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from San Diego State University.

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.

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.

Melissa Kookesh

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.

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.

Lauren MacVay

Lauren M. MacVay has more than 23 years of banking experience and is currently the CEO of True North Federal Credit Union. She has held this position since 2004. Prior to her current role, she held various leadership and management roles after joining True North Federal Credit Union in 1995. Before relocating to Alaska and beginning her banking career, Ms. MacVay was a practicing attorney in Pennsylvania for several years. Ms. MacVay was elected to serve as Alaska’s Member Director on the Board of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines in 2017.  She serves on the Board of the Alaska Credit Union League after being Chair for 10 years, and serves on the Juneau Economic Development Council Board of Directors. Ms. MacVay is an active Rotarian and has been involved in numerous other community associations and endeavors.   

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.