Walt Geist, President
Ray Litchfield, Vice President
Michael Proulx, Treasurer
of directors for Making Headway and Humboldt Trails Council. He is an active volunteer with American Field Service (AFS) since 1995, hosting exchange students in his home and as an outdoor activity volunteer.
Janet DePace, Secretary
We’d like to introduce our newest board member, Larry Oetker. Currently the Executive Director at the Harbor District, Larry has worked with AEDC for over a decade—mostly through his former role as Community Development Director for the City of Arcata. We’re looking forward to having Larry’s expertise and experience on our board.
Mr. Jermyn was elected to the AEDC board for the 2017 year after serving on the Loan Committee since 2011 and previously serving on the Program Committee for three years from 2008-2009. He has been involved in small business in this region for over four decades and has watched lots of great ideas come to fruition. He believes in the strength of our local economy and understand some of the requirements for it to continue to grow. One of the fundamentals of prosperity is the access to capital. AEDC has provided our local economy with that capital. Another foundation of economic progress is a well informed market place for both producers and consumers. Again AEDC has been providing guidance in that endeavor for a long time. He hopes to use the knowledge I've gained from my business experiences to help AEDC sustain its missions. It has a professional staff and a well developed leadership team, which I will support as member of the Board of Directors.
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.
Ms. Marquez has been serving on the AEDC board since 2012. Ms. Marquez is the Senior Commercial Lending Officer at Coast Central Credit Union. She currently serves as President for the Humboldt County Fair Association, is a Trustee for the Hydesville Elementary School Board, 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. .
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.
Ms. Scheer begain her board term in 2018 after serving on the Program Committee for four years. Ms. Scheer was also a member of the City of Arcata's Economic Development Committee from 2012-2017 and she was actively involved in the efforts to develop an arts district in the Creamery District in Arcata, which she believes is an interesting model for grassroots economic development. Sheer grew up in Northern Arizona and "bounced around a bit" before moving to Humboldt over ten years ago.She is currently the Operations and Project Manager at Greenway Partners in Arcata.
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 underwriter for Redwood Capital Bank in Eureka.
Executive Director, since May 2008
Mr. Welch joined AEDC after thirty years of lending experience in Humboldt, Del Norte and Mendocino Counties. Since starting at AEDC, Mr. Welch has seen the increase of AEDC’s net assets from just under $270,000 to over $2.1 million. He remains committed to local small businesses, but has also focused on working with local investors to impact economic development through community facilities projects. He is a founding member of the California Finance Consortium, a collaboration of EDCs reaching 21 rural Northern California communities to expand capital access for businesses and non-profit organizations. Besides lending experience, Ross serves on various community organizations including the Yurok Economic Development Corporation Board, the Redwood Parks Conservancy Board and the Arcata Rotary Club.
Loan Manager, since September 1999
Ms. Sterling is responsible for the review of all AEDC loan requests, and the management of the AEDC loan team. She manages revolving loan funds that include SBA Microloans, USDA IRPs and three local revolving loan funds. Kelli has over 20 years of commercial banking experience.
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 works with loan clients from starting the paperwork through funding. Her position allows more loans to be processed in a shorter time -- a real benefit for entrepreneurs seeking funding for their business.
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 is a member of the California Stewardship Network Leadership Program, and has previously served on the City of Eureka's Economic Development Commission and as an 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. Ms. Seaman is currently the Mayor of Eureka.
Controller, since October 2019
Ms Downs returned to AEDC after serving 12 years, ending her term as CFO at the Humboldt Area Foundation. After arriving in Humboldt in 1988, Ms. Downs worked for Aalfs & Evans, the Carrington Company and she served as the Controller at AEDC from 2006 to 2008. During her time at HAF, she worked with AEDC and HAF on their first investment partnership with Open Door, which provided a new trajectory for community investment for both entities.
Loan Servicing, since June 2004
Mr. Rodrigues is responsible for AEDC's loan servicing, collections and annual site visits. 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 Disbursement Specialist.
We are excited to welcome Brandi Easter to AEDC as our new Office Manager! Brandi is a local commercial advertising photographer and has been our go-to photographer for AEDC and Lemonade Day over the past 10 years. She has photographed for clients since 1989, shooting for websites, product packaging, point of purchase, postcard mailers, billboards and more. While she’ll continue doing her photography business, we’re glad she’s here to help keep our office running smoothly.