Board of Directors
Board Meeting Calendar:
Board meetings are held every other month at the KPEDD facility.
President - KPEDD Appointee: Kenai
Todd was born and raised on the Kenai, and manages a local small business. He studied Business and Economics at Eastern Oregon University and also fishes commercially with his family in Cook Inlet.
Vice-President - KPEDD Appointee: Soldotna
Bruce was raised on the Kenai Peninsula after moving here in 1969. He began working in the family construction business in high school operating heavy equipment while paving many of the roads we drive on today. He attended Boise State University and transitioned into public service after the passing of his father. Bruce has seined in the lower Cook Inlet, worked in the Alaska State Legislature, Alaska Department of Corrections, Municipality of Anchorage, Kenai Peninsula Borough and has been the External Affairs Director for Central Peninsula Hospital for the past nine years. He has two lovely daughters and lives in Kenai.
Secretary - KPEDD Appointee: Under/Unemployed
Rachel O͛Brien is the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Gulf Coast and Southwest Regional Job Center Operations Manager (Seward, Kenai, Homer, Kodiak, Valdez, Bristol Bay and YK Delta areas). Her role is to promote DOLWD job center services and workforce development in our regional area. This includes promoting Alaska hire, addressing training and development, workforce barriers to employment, and supporting employers and workers in ‘Rapid Response’ services when businesses are experiencing decline or closure.
Treasurer: KPB At Large
Tim has a bachelor’s degree in economics and a minor in accounting from South Dakota State University.
Tim has helped Wells Fargo customers succeed financially for 13 years. He currently serves as the Business Banking Manager for the Kenai Peninsula, Kodiak and southwest Alaska.
Tim currently serves as President of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Kenai Peninsula. He also volunteers for Junior Achievement and supports the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District’s Student in Transition Program that supports homeless teens. Tim serves as co-chair of the Wells Fargo Alaska volunteer chapter. Tim, his wife Mandy, and their two children enjoy hiking, gardening, fishing, skiing, camping, and family movie nights.
City Official: Soldotna
John Czarnezki is the Director of Economic Development and Planning for the City of Soldotna. Prior to working for the City, John worked for the Kenai Peninsula Borough and the University of Wisconsin-Extension. He has a bachelor’s degree in natural resource management and a master’s degree in urban planning. John joined the KPEDD board in 2018.
City Official: Kenai
Elizabeth Appleby is the City Planner for Kenai. She joined the KPEDD board in 2018. Prior to her work in Kenai, Elizabeth was an Environmental Planner with a consulting firm in Anchorage for 4 years. She has also worked for the Matanuska-Susitna Borough and Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge.
Elizabeth holds certification as a planner with the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). She has a Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree from the University of Minnesota and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She enjoys decorating and is an avid hiker, biker, skier, paddler, country dancer, and dabbler of various outdoor activities.
City Official: Seward
Sue was born in Seward and holds a Masters in Chemistry from UAF, and is happily retired from a teaching career. Sue is a pro-active volunteer and is enjoying having her Mom, son and wife, and grandson all living in Seward.
Sue was first appointed to the Planning & Zoning Commission in 2007, and became KPB Planning Commissioner. She remained on the Commission until 2009 when she resigned and was elected to the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly until her term limit ended in 2015. Sue has been serving on the Seward City Council since 2015 and was appointed to the KPEDD Board in 2017.
City Official: Seldovia
I was born and raised in Idaho and attended Eastern Oregon University and Oregon State University. After visiting a former classmate from Seldovia, I fell in love with all things Alaska and moved up here shortly after with a dog and suitcase. Having lived in Seldovia for 10 years, I feel it is so important to be part of the solution and part of the change. Seldovia is an amazing place to live, raise a family and be a part of a close knit community. Living here with my husband and three kids has instilled the principals of living intentionally and making positive contributions to our community. I am excited to be involved in KPEDD and looking forward to be involved in creating opportunities for Seldovia to thrive.
Our family moved to the Kenai Peninsula 1974. I am a retired Alaskan educator of 30+ years and served as an elected official for 24+ years on the Kenai City Council, Alaska State House of Representatives and on the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly. I have served on the KPEDD Board of Directors for 6+ years.
City Official: Homer
Homer Mayor Bryan Zak is a retired Air Force Officer and has lived in Alaska for 18 years, 11 of which were spent on the Kenai Peninsula. He chose to become a member to maintain a strong but separate relationship between the Alaska Small Business Development Center and the Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District. Bryan also wished to advocate for, remain award of, and encourage economic development within the State of Alaska. He holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Eastern Washington University, a B.A. in Youth Agency Administration from Pepperdine University and an ABD in Educational Administration from Texas Tech. Bryan Zak also owns Alaska Adventure Cabins and Zak’s Realty, and is a licensed Alaska Real Estate Broker.
Chris was born and raised on the Kenai Peninsula. He and his wife, Sarah, are small business owners with offices in Homer and Soldotna. They enjoy spending their time attending community events and exploring the outdoors with their two small children. Chris has a BS from Montana State University in Bozeman, MT and an MBA from the University of Washington in Seattle, WA.
KPEDD Appointee: Homer
Karin Marks has lived on the Kenai Peninsula for 28 years. She joined the KPEDD Board to encourage economic growth and share information from the Homer Economic Development Council. Karin earned a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Northern Iowa and a Master’s Degree in Administration from Troy University.