Walt Geist, President
Mr. Geist was elected to the board in 2014. He is the 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.
Mandy Marquez, Vice President
Ms. Marquez 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, 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.
Michael Proulx, Treasurer
Michael Proulx, a lecturer and academic advisor at Humboldt State University, has served in various capacities at AEDC since 1983. He has served on the Board of Directors from 1983-98 and 2000 - present; on the Loan Committee from 1983 - 2003; on the Finance Committee from 2004- present. He is currently the treasurer at AEDC, serves on the executive committee and is the chair of the finance committee
Michael sits on the board 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
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 the interim Executive Director at the North Coast Small Business Development Center.
Scott Bartlett, Past 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.
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. 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. 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. 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 serves on the City of Eureka’s Economic Development Commission and served 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.
Controller, since October 2010
Ms. Paterson 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. Ms. Paterson has had business dealings with AEDC over the years and was already acquainted with several members of our team when she came on board.
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 Dispersement Specialist.
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.