Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

HEDC hires new part-time director


August 6, 2020

The Haines Economic Development Corporation hired David Simmons, 30, as its new, part-time executive director on Aug. 1.

Simmons will work on an interim basis through the end of the year. A former Fullbright scholar, Simmons holds a masters of science degree in international business studies.

“He is knowledgeable about federal, state, and local economic recovery programs, and is already in a great position to support and assist local businesses,” HEDC board president Heather Shade said.

Simmons closed his business, Hinterland Express, a shuttle service for passengers from Haines to Whitehorse, shortly after the pandemic began and the border closed. He said in the short term he hopes to help local businesses mitigate COVID-19 impacts.

“There’s a lot of relief opportunities out there,” Simmons said. “I’ll look to help businesses and individuals get through this. At the same time, I hope to secure some of the grants out there for HEDC and fulfill the initiatives we have in progress.”

HEDC is funding the position part time. The Haines Borough Assembly cut the corporation’s funding this year. HEDC is seeking grants to fund its operations. Simmons’ employment agreement ends Dec. 31, 2020. The board may negotiate a new employment agreement at that time depending on a satisfactory evaluation and future funding availability, Shade said.

Simmons employment began Aug. 1 and his office hours are Wednesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. He can be reached at or by phone at 766-3130.

HEDC’s former executive director, Margaret Friedenauer, moved to Wisconsin in June.


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