Our staff is small, but accomplishes much.
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
At AEDC, Jenna is responsible for managing and supporting the successful deployment of strategies, programs and initiatives that promote the growth of the Anchorage economy. She works in collaboration with staff, partner organizations and the Board of Directors to accomplish initiatives and projects including business retention and expansion, workforce development, and economic research, so that by 2030, Anchorages becomes the #1 mid-sized city in America to live, work and play.
Wright is currently a board member of the UAA College of Business and Public Policy Business Advisory Board, the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, Visit Anchorage, the Anchorage Downtown Partnership and the Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce. Wright also serves as vice-chair on the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce’s Young Professionals Group.
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Jenna earned her bachelor’s degrees in Marketing and Investment Finance from the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) in 2010. Jenna returned to UAA four years later in pursuit of a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA), which she earned in 2015 with an emphasis in Business Intelligence and Data Analytics.
After graduating with her MBA, Jenna worked as the Director of Business Operations for a satellite communications company where she was responsible for operational leadership of staff and regional contractors and optimizing satellite installation strategies across Alaska and Hawaii. In 2018, Jenna joined the State of Alaska leadership team as the Deputy Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles where she was responsible for managing statewide operations, modernizing service delivery methods to optimize Alaskan’s experiences, legislative affairs, and budget management. Jenna also formed a small tourism business in Anchorage that she co-owned with her husband from 2016 to 2018.
Outside of the office, Jenna enjoys cooking, travelling, and above all else, is an avid outdoorswoman. She loves to spend her time mountain running, biking, and hiking. She has trained for and participated in several historic Alaskan races like Seward’s Mt. Marathon and Anchorage’s Golden Nugget Triathlon, in addition to many other road running and mountain races across Alaska. Jenna was born in Anchorage, and expects to always call Anchorage home, where she lives with her husband Dana and their three dogs.
Director of Marketing & Development
Ashley is responsible for supporting AEDC’s members, as well as new revenue generation, membership expansion, and event functions. She works closely with AEDC members, staff, and board members to develop strategies for annual fundraising, including corporate memberships, sponsorships, and in-kind support. In addition, she plans and executes all of AEDC’s events, including our premier Economic Forecast and 3-Year Outlook luncheons.
Ashley holds a bachelor’s degree in business management and marketing from Capella University and is a lifelong Alaska. When she’s not at work, you can find her outdoors exploring, fishing & camping with her family!
Ashley serves on the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce Gold Plan Awards Planning Committee, as well as on the American Marketing Association’s Alaska Chapter 2023-2024 Board of Directors.
Workforce Development Program Manager
At AEDC, Natalie creates and executes a comprehensive workforce development program that attracts, retains, and grows a skilled workforce in the city of Anchorage.
Natalie was born and raised in Anchorage, AK and comes to AEDC with a wide range of experiences across many industries, including public education, philanthropic non-profit foundations, and as a small business owner.
Natalie grew up immersed in the operations of small businesses, first behind the counter of her parent’s restaurants in Palmer, AK, for twenty-five years working and managing her family’s food vendor booth at the Alaska State Fair, and three years making and selling her mother’s famous salsa locally.
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Natalie has completed a diversity of internships including work at University of Alaska Anchorage’s Business Administration program as a New York Rangers marketing representative, University of Alaska Southeast Education Department with focus on secondary education, and Center for Behavioral Health in Las Vegas, Nevada as an addiction counselor.
Natalie graduated from University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a Bachelor of Science in Human Service Counseling, with minors in Addictions Prevention and Treatment. She has a passion for education, and has worked in Anchorage as a teacher, educational grant-funded program counselor, youth advocate, and instructional expert, with employment history at the Anchorage School District Paideia Program, Cook Inlet Tribal Council Education Department, and the University of Alaska Anchorage TRIO program.
Natalie currently serves as a board member of the Scotty Gomez Foundation, where she also coordinates fundraising events, and is a member of the Alaska Vendor Association.
When not at work, Natalie first attends to her precious English Lab Ollie, enjoys cooking and exploring local restaurants, traveling, listening to live music, and playing in her 2 hockey teams, volleyball team, and soccer team.