AEDC has a small staff of ten personnel. Although each position is structured to provide a specialized function, the staff interacts closely on projects, combining their expertise to see a project to fruition. Listed below is a brief description of each person’s background and the major focus of his or her position.
President & CEO
Bill Popp has spent more than 40 years in both the Alaska private and public sectors. As President & CEO of the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation since 2007, he sets the strategic direction in marketing Anchorage and Alaska to companies and global industries considering Anchorage as a place in which to do business and assists local businesses looking to expand both within Anchorage and Alaska as well as Lower 48 and international markets.
Prior to joining AEDC, Popp was a special assistant in the Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor’s office focused on oil and gas and mining policy. Popp was also an elected municipal government official for the Kenai Peninsula Borough (KPB) and presided over the KPB Assembly as president in 2000. Popp has over 25 years’ of private industry experience working for large national and regional businesses and as a small business owner. His also served as project coordinator of the Challenger Learning Center for Alaska.
Popp is currently Chair of the 49th State Angel Fund Business Advisory Committee, He is a board member of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, Visit Anchorage, Anchorage Downtown Partnership, Alaska Public Media, Anchorage Concert Association, and membership development committee of the International Economic Development Council. Popp also serves as a member of the Alaskan Command Civilian Advisory Board, and is chair of the Mayor’s Base Economic Analysis Research (BEAR) Working Group.
He has previously served as a member of Governor Bill Walker’s Transition Committee and member of Mayor-Elect Ethan Berkowitz’s Transition Committee. He has also served as chair of the Governor’s Broadband Task Force, the UAA College of Business and Public Policy Advisory Board, and is a member of the Alaska Film Group, Municipality of Anchorage Energy Policy Task Force.
Other past service includes serving on the Legislative Energy Policy Stakeholders Group; chairman of the KPB Economic Development Criteria Task Force; chair of the Economic Development Committee for the Municipality of Anchorage; vice chairman of the Alaska Stranded Gas Act Municipal Advisory Group; co-chair of Governor Murkowski’s Agrium Task Force; chair of the Kenai Peninsula Development Coalition; consultant for the British Columbia Provincial Government’s Offshore Oil and Gas Team; member of the Tri-borough Commission Energy Task Force; Board member of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Economic Development District; Fundraising Chairman of the 2006 Arctic Winter Games; Fundraising Chair for the USS Anchorage Commissioning Ceremony; and a member of the Cook Inlet Natural Gas Pipeline Terminus Group.
Airport Business Development Director
As the Airport Business Development Director, Will is responsible for air cargo-related business development projects on behalf of Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC). Will leads AEDC’s efforts to attract investment from existing and out-of-state businesses, focused on ANC’s competitive advantages. This is a new position at AEDC, formed in June 2015.
Will joined AEDC in June 2012 as the Business and Economic Development Assistant Director. He was promoted to Business and Economic Development Director in January 2013. Prior to AEDC, Will served as Prospect Manager with the Iowa Economic Development Authority. He earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in English, with Distinction, as well as a Certificate in Entrepreneurial Management from The University of Iowa.
Will served on the 2013 ANC Airport Master Plan Update Committee, Anchorage Industrial Lands Assessment Committee, recently served as an ex-officio Board member for the Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce, and is a founder and past Co-Chair of Engage Anchorage, a young professional organization within the Live. Work. Play. initiative. In the spring of 2015, Will was selected as the Young Professional of the quarter by the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce Young Professional Group.
A third-generation Alaskan, Will was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska.
Live. Work. Play. Director
As Live. Work. Play. Director, Moira spearheads the AEDC initiative to make Anchorage the #1 city in America to Live, Work and Play. Her responsibilities include bringing together partners for the initiative, enhancing community participation and providing sound advocacy to achieve this very important goal for our city.
Before joining AEDC, Moira was with the U.S. Treasury Department in Washington DC, focusing primarily on issues of community development and access to capital for small businesses, first as a policy adviser in the Office of Capital Markets and most recently as the Communications Manager for the Small Business Lending Fund and State Small Business Credit Initiative programs. Her prior experience includes working for Fortune 500 companies as a strategy consultant for Oliver Wyman and she was later engaged in the financial services sector advocating for national and international financial regulatory reform to help bring economic stability and capital options to main street businesses after the global financial crisis.
Moira is a fifth-generation Alaskan, born in Fairbanks and raised in Anchorage where she graduated from A.J. Dimond High School in 2003. She has a BA in History from Dartmouth College and a Masters in Finance degree from Trinity College, Dublin. She is a member of the Board of Directors of Bridge Builders of Anchorage, the Alaska Statewide Bike and Pedestrian Master Plan Steering Committee, the 1+1 Alaska Advisory Board, and the Welcoming Anchorage Steering Committee. She is deeply passionate about economic development and community engagement in her hometown, loves Arctic Roadrunner cheeseburgers, camping in the Susitna Valley, and running, skiing, or biking on Anchorage’s amazing trails system.
As Communications Director, Sean works with the Communications Coordinator and is responsible for developing and implementing all external communications at AEDC including marketing, public relations, social media, and online presence.
Sean was born and raised in Anchorage. He graduated from UAA with a degree in Journalism and Public Communications and began working at Alaska Public Media, where he was an intern during his undergrad. Sean was the marketing manager and was responsible for communications and marketing for an NPR radio station, a PBS television station, and a thriving online news site.
In his spare time Sean shoots photos, and spends time with lifelong friends that he’s made over the years living in Alaska.
As Communications Coordinator, Natasha works with the AEDC Communications Director to develop and implement all communications, advertising, marketing, public relations, external communications, social media and online presence for AEDC.
Prior to AEDC she was program associate at Spirit of Youth where she was responsible for social media and communications. She serves on the Anchorage Youth Development Coalition Leadership Team, the 90% By 2020 Community Will-building team and was central in organizing the LovAlaska Youth Pick.Click.Give. campaign in 2014 and 2015. Natasha was born and raised in Anchorage and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in languages and journalism from the University of Alaska Anchorage in 2006. On her spare time she is a blogger and florist. She loves foraging in Anchorage forests, cooking with Alaska ingredients and Tommy’s Burger Stop. She is passionate about building strong connections with her community and raising her family in her favorite city in the world.
As Operations Coordinator, Allison provides the core support to AEDC leadership to assure the highest levels of organizational success. Allison executes the day-to-day operations of the AEDC offices and assists the Vice President with human resources and accounting duties as well as plays a support role to division directors in driving AEDC’s key strategic initiatives and visions.
Allison is a lifelong Alaskan from Bethel. She graduated from UAA with a degree in Investment Finance and spent three years at BP in Procurement and Supply Chain Management before moving on to restaurant management and joining AEDC in spring 2016. Allison comes from a family of entrepreneurs and owned her first business at 17; she continues to own a role in family businesses as well as personal ventures.
Allison is an outdoor and travel enthusiast. She has lived in Australia and has spent time in Indonesia, New Zealand, Costa Rica and Europe. She has traveled all over the U.S. and parts of Canada exploring national parks and going to concerts. She now lives in Anchorage with her dog, two cats, four chickens and two beehives.