Board of Directors and Staff

Members of AEDC elect the Arcata Economic Development Board of Directors annually. Board members are responsible for managing the corporation, setting goals and vision for the organization and monitoring the scope of programs and services offered by AEDC.

2015 Board of Directors

Board of Director Log-In


Scott Bartlett, President

Mr. Bartlett  was elected to AEDC’s board in 2014. He is the COO and co-owner of Eureka Payments. With work in the underwriting and risk management side of merchant processing for over a decade, he brings a monitoring and compliance eye with him to the board.  Mr. Bartlett is also a volunteer for Special Olympics and, through his business, make many charitable contributions to local organizations.

Walt Geist, Vice President

Mr. Geist was elected to the board in 2014. He is the Associate Vice President of American AgCredit. Having been involved in all levels of banking for over 18 years, Mr. Geist has experience in SBA start up and small businesses as well as standard commercial lending and large scale capital market transactions.

Michael Proulx, Treasurer

Mr. Proulx has served in various capacities on the Board of AEDC since 1983, with a break from 1985-1998. When he began, Mr. Proulx served on the housing committee that resulted in the Co-Op housing program called River Community Homes. Besides treasurer, he has also served as vice-president and president of the board on multiple occasions. Mr. Proulx, a Humboldt State University lecturer, also sits on the board of directors for Making Headway and he is an active volunteer with American Field Service (AFS), hosting exchange students in his home and as an outdoor activity volunteer. Mr. Proulx is currently the treasurer at AEDC and he serves on the executive committee and he is the chair of the finance committee.


Kathy Montagne, Secretary

Ms. Montagne has served on the board at AEDC since 2004. She is the Executive Director of the Northcoast Children’s Services. She also serves on the Eureka Housing Advisory Board, the Local Childcare Planning Council, and the Children’s Oral Health Steering Committee.  She also serves on the executive and audit committees, and has previously served on the program committee.


Stanley E. Elcock, Past President

Mr. Elcock has served on AEDC’s Board of Directors since 2011. He has also served as Vice President. A life-long resident of Humboldt County, Mr. Elcock is a Civil Engineer with over 25 years of experience. He is the owner of SEE Engineering. Mr. Elcock also serves on the Board of Directors for HCAR and Rotary. He is on the City of Arcata Transaction & Use Tax Oversight Committee and the City of Arcata Transportation Safety Committee. He also continues to serve as a member of AEDC’s loan committee, which he has belonged to since 2006, as well as the executive committee.


Janet DePace


Ms. DePace has been serving on the AEDC board since 2000, where she has served as President and Vice President.  For a short time, she served as interim executive director of AEDC.  She also served on the former Foodworks Management Committee.   She currently serves on the Finance, Loan and Program Committees. Ms. DePace was co-founder of two local manufacturing companies, Yakima and Fire & Light Originals, and is currently a certified business advisor at the North Coast Small Business Development Center.

Antoinette "T" Highsmith

Ms. Highsmith has served as a member of AEDC’s Board of Directors since 2012. She is the controller for Wildberries Marketplace and she is involved in Beekeeping. Ms. Highsmith also serves on AEDC’s finance committee, a role she’s had since 2010 as well as the executive committee.


Mr. Geist was elected to the board in 2014. He is the Associate Vice President of American AgCredit. Having been involved in all levels of banking for over 18 years, Mr. Geist has experience in SBA start up and small businesses as well as standard commercial lending and large scale capital market transactions.

Laurie Mark

Ms. Mark was elected to return to AEDC’s board of directors after taking a hiatus to be an AEDC Client and move her business “The Mill Yard” to a new space in Arcata. She was a Soroptomist of Arcata for five years, and has volunteered with CASA for over 20 years, where she also served on the board of directors. Ms. Mark serves on the AEDC Loan Committee, which she has been on since 2005.

Mandy Marquez 

Mandy Marques has been serving on the AEDC board since 2012. She is the US Bank Team Lead and North Coast Marketing President. Ms. Marquez currently serves on the City of Fortuna Redevelopment Oversight Committee, she is a board member at the North Coast Regional Land Trust and she is a member of Soroptomist International of Eureka. At AEDC, Ms. Marquez serves on the loan committee, where she has served since 2005.

Becky Price-Hall   

Ms. Price-Hall was elected to the board and was made treasurer in January 2007. She is the watershed & grant coordinator for the City of Trinidad, and was a previous AEDC client. Ms. Price Hall also serves on the Coastal Ecosystems Institute of Northern California and Bayside Pride. She is also a volunteer for the Arcata Night Shelter (Arcata House Partnership.)  Ms. Price Hall serves on the Program Committee. 

Tina Susmilch

Ms. Susmilch has served on the Board since 2003. She has spent a majority of those years as the chair of the loan committee.  Ms. Susmilch is a vice president commercial loan officer for Redwood Capital Bank in Eureka.


AEDC Staff

Ross Welch
Executive Director, since May 2008

Mr. Welch comes to AEDC with thirty years of lending experience in Humboldt, Del Norte and Mendocino Counties. For the past eight years, Ross has worked in Humboldt County, most recently for Redwood Capital Bank where he worked in commercial lending and as branch manager. Besides lending experience, Ross has also served on various community organizations such as the Crescent City JayCees and Rotary Clubs in Eureka, Fortuna and Fort Bragg. He is currently a member of the Arcata Rotary Club and the Arcata Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

Kelli Sterling

Loan Manager, since September 1999

Ms. Sterling is responsible for the review of all AEDC loan requests. She manages revolving loan funds that include SBA Microloans, USDA IRPs and three local revolving loan funds. She has produced $17 million in 504 loans for AEDC since 1999. Kelli has over 20 years of commercial banking experience.

Jayne Lovig
Associate Loan Officer, since January 2008

Ms. Lovig has over twenty years experience in lending and auditing for banks, lenders and mortgage insurance companies. At AEDC, Jayne prepares SBA microloans, as well as those from USDA, the Headwaters Fund and the AEDC revolving loan funds. Her position allows more loans to be processed in a shorter time -- a real benefit for entrepreneurs seeking funding for their business.

Susan Seaman
Program Director, since March 2007



Ms. Seaman has over twenty years of community outreach experience in Humboldt County.  As the program director for AEDC, Ms. Seaman is responsible for building AEDC’s reputation as a community leader through promotional efforts and special programs, like Lemonade Day and the Prosperity IDA program. She is active in Humboldt County’s Prosperity Network. She serves on the City of Eureka’s Economic Development Commission and serves as a 2016 Ambassador for the California Association of Local Economic Development. She has two college aged children, and is a Big Sister through Big Brother Big Sisters of the North Coast.


Teri Paterson

Controller, since October 2010

Teri comes to AEDC with almost thirty years experience in the retail environment. For the past nine years she was the Controller/Finance Manager at Redwood Harley-Davidson.  Teri has had business dealings with AEDC over the years and was already acquainted with several members of our team. She is excited to be part of the small business lending community. 

Tony Rodrigues

Loan Servicing, since June 2004

Mr. Rodrigues is responsible for AEDC's loan servicing, collections and annual site visits. He also works closely with the City of Arcata on their Home Rehabilitation Program. Prior to working at AEDC, Mr. Rodrigues worked for Humboldt Bank (now Umpqua Bank)in the Collections Department, the Records Management Department, and as their Construction Dispersement Specialist.

Keif Chavera

Office Manager, since August 2006

Ms. Chavera, the voice of AEDC for all incoming  calls, is the office manager and the accounts  payable/receivable bookkeeper. She has worked in  the administrative field since her service in the  United States Air Force as an Office Assistant. She  also worked for the Paralyzed Veterans of America  and the Department of Justice, Attorney General's  Office Registry of Charitable Trust Section. During  her time in the military, she assisted the liasion  between the Government of Japan and the  Controller for Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan.

AEDC Mission

Arcata Economic Development Corporation provides loans and support to entrepreneurial, innovative and community endeavors.