/ About Us / Our Team

Our Team

PEDC is led by a seven-member Board of Directors.  Our Board of Directors is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the Pearland City Council for two-year terms.

Board of Directors

Jerry Koza Jr.

Chair

Jerry Koza Jr. joined the PEDC Board in 2021. He is the co-owner of Profax/Lenco. He is also a board director for the Northern Brazoria County Education Alliance. A former City of Pearland Planning and Zoning Commission board member, Jerry also previously served twice on the Pearland Charter Review Committee, the Pearland Citizens Drainage Committee and as a board director for the American Welding Society Houston Section.

Jerry Koza Jr. joined the PEDC Board in 2021. He is the co-owner of Profax/Lenco. He is also a board director for the Northern Brazoria County Education Alliance. A former City of Pearland Planning and Zoning Commission board member, Jerry also previously served twice on the Pearland Charter Review Committee, the Pearland Citizens Drainage Committee and as a board director for the American Welding Society Houston Section.

Michi Bruns Clay

Vice Chair

Michi Bruns Clay joined the PEDC Board in 2022. Michi is the Founder of Encompass Healthcare Management, Inc. Michi is one of the founding members of the Greater Pearland Area Chapter of The Links Inc., where she serves as the Services to Youth Chair. Michi also serves on the Pearland Prosperity Implementation Committee, is a facilitator in the Brazoria County focused STEMulation Academy, and contributes to Keep Pearland Beautiful. She has previously served with the Pearland Chamber of Commerce.

Michi Bruns Clay joined the PEDC Board in 2022. Michi is the Founder of Encompass Healthcare Management, Inc. Michi is one of the founding members of the Greater Pearland Area Chapter of The Links Inc., where she serves as the Services to Youth Chair. Michi also serves on the Pearland Prosperity Implementation Committee, is a facilitator in the Brazoria County focused STEMulation Academy, and contributes to Keep Pearland Beautiful. She has previously served with the Pearland Chamber of Commerce.

Dena Hanks

Secretary

Dena Hanks joined the PEDC Board in 2023. She is an interior designer and owner of Hanks Design Group. A founding board member of the Pearland Leadership Foundation, she also serves as vice-chair. Other board service includes the Pearland ISD Education Foundation, where she previously served as president, and the Pearland High School Academic Decathlon Booster Club. She also served on multiple committees of the Pearland Chamber of Commerce and other previous service includes Pearland Library Advisory Board, Brazoria County Library and Foundation Board, Adult Education Center, Pearland ISD Long Range Planning Committee and Women in Leadership in Pearland.

Dena Hanks joined the PEDC Board in 2023. She is an interior designer and owner of Hanks Design Group. A founding board member of the Pearland Leadership Foundation, she also serves as vice-chair. Other board service includes the Pearland ISD Education Foundation, where she previously served as president, and the Pearland High School Academic Decathlon Booster Club. She also served on multiple committees of the Pearland Chamber of Commerce and other previous service includes Pearland Library Advisory Board, Brazoria County Library and Foundation Board, Adult Education Center, Pearland ISD Long Range Planning Committee and Women in Leadership in Pearland.

JW Washington

Director

JW Washington joined the PEDC board in 2023. He is currently Senior Director, Product & Training – RapidCare for AriensCo. He serves on the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Houston Metro Go Texan Committee, the National Association of Landscape Professionals National Collegiate Landscape Competition, Pearland High Theater Booster Club, and Robert Turner High School PTA. JW has also volunteered his time on the Houston Community College Advisory Board: Agricultural & Horticultural Academic Programs, as a coach and mentor for Pearland ISD junior high & middle school robotics teams, certified United States Youth Soccer (USYS) trainer for area youth soccer clubs, and Game Day Soccer League team manager.

JW Washington joined the PEDC board in 2023. He is currently Senior Director, Product & Training – RapidCare for AriensCo. He serves on the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Houston Metro Go Texan Committee, the National Association of Landscape Professionals National Collegiate Landscape Competition, Pearland High Theater Booster Club, and Robert Turner High School PTA. JW has also volunteered his time on the Houston Community College Advisory Board: Agricultural & Horticultural Academic Programs, as a coach and mentor for Pearland ISD junior high & middle school robotics teams, certified United States Youth Soccer (USYS) trainer for area youth soccer clubs, and Game Day Soccer League team manager.

Craig Slater

Director

Craig Slater joined the PEDC board in 2023. He is the owner of Craig Slater Insurance Agency. Currently a Pearland Chamber of Commerce Ambassador, Craig previously served as Chair for the Pearland Charter Review Committee and is a past president of the Pearland Rotary Club.

Craig Slater joined the PEDC board in 2023. He is the owner of Craig Slater Insurance Agency. Currently a Pearland Chamber of Commerce Ambassador, Craig previously served as Chair for the Pearland Charter Review Committee and is a past president of the Pearland Rotary Club.

Deenadayalan Bakthavatsalam

Director

Deenadayalan Bakthavatsalam joined the PEDC board in 2023. He is currently Chief Scientific Officer of rBIO – an early-stage biopharma company. He also serves as Director/Advisor of Life Sciences for Cubio Innovation and CEO of Caren mHealth. Deen serves on judging panels for Medtech Innovator – a nonprofit global accelerator for medical device, digital health, and diagnostic companies, and DECA – an organization for students in high schools and colleges around the globe who want to learn business and entrepreneurship.

Deenadayalan Bakthavatsalam joined the PEDC board in 2023. He is currently Chief Scientific Officer of rBIO – an early-stage biopharma company. He also serves as Director/Advisor of Life Sciences for Cubio Innovation and CEO of Caren mHealth. Deen serves on judging panels for Medtech Innovator – a nonprofit global accelerator for medical device, digital health, and diagnostic companies, and DECA – an organization for students in high schools and colleges around the globe who want to learn business and entrepreneurship.

Rick Fernandez

Director

Rick Fernandez joined the PEDC board in 2024.  Rick is the President and CEO of Cop Stop. Rick also served with the Pearland Police Department in the Patrol Division, Honor Guard, and as a Public Information Officer. He volunteered for the Pearland Fire Department before the department went to a paid full-time organization. Rick volunteered at Grace Church Houston on their Safety Team for 15 years.

Rick Fernandez joined the PEDC board in 2024.  Rick is the President and CEO of Cop Stop. Rick also served with the Pearland Police Department in the Patrol Division, Honor Guard, and as a Public Information Officer. He volunteered for the Pearland Fire Department before the department went to a paid full-time organization. Rick volunteered at Grace Church Houston on their Safety Team for 15 years.

Ex-Officio Members

Kevin Cole

Mayor, City of Pearland

Kevin Cole was sworn in as Mayor for the City of Pearland in November 2020. Prior to becoming mayor, Cole has a combined nine years of prior City Council service. Cole has also served on various committees and boards for local economic development, including serving with the Greater 288 Partnership, the Northern Brazoria County Education Alliance, and the Pearland Chamber of Commerce. He has also volunteered his time with local nonprofits, including the Vic Coppinger Family YMCA and various private schools. In his professional career, Cole spent 20 years developing real estate, currently serving as the principal for Cove Matrix Development.

Kevin Cole was sworn in as Mayor for the City of Pearland in November 2020. Prior to becoming mayor, Cole has a combined nine years of prior City Council service. Cole has also served on various committees and boards for local economic development, including serving with the Greater 288 Partnership, the Northern Brazoria County Education Alliance, and the Pearland Chamber of Commerce. He has also volunteered his time with local nonprofits, including the Vic Coppinger Family YMCA and various private schools. In his professional career, Cole spent 20 years developing real estate, currently serving as the principal for Cove Matrix Development.

Trent Epperson

City Manager, City of Pearland

Trent Epperson was named City Manager for the City of Pearland in May 2023. Prior to this role, he has a combined sixteen years of service with the City, previously serving as Interim City Manager, Deputy City Manager, Assistant City Manager, Director of Engineering & Capital Projects and Director of Project Management. During his time with the City, he successfully developed projects that have been awarded $162 million in federal/state transportation funds and has overseen the delivery of over $900 million in capital projects. As the Deputy City Manager, he oversaw the Parks & Recreation Department, Information Technology Department, and Engineering & Public Works Department. Epperson also serves as on the Transportation Policy Council (TPC), Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), and Transportation Improvement Program Sub-committee (TIP) for the Houston-Galveston Area Council and is a past chair for both the TAC and TIP.

Trent Epperson was named City Manager for the City of Pearland in May 2023. Prior to this role, he has a combined sixteen years of service with the City, previously serving as Interim City Manager, Deputy City Manager, Assistant City Manager, Director of Engineering & Capital Projects and Director of Project Management. During his time with the City, he successfully developed projects that have been awarded $162 million in federal/state transportation funds and has overseen the delivery of over $900 million in capital projects. As the Deputy City Manager, he oversaw the Parks & Recreation Department, Information Technology Department, and Engineering & Public Works Department. Epperson also serves as on the Transportation Policy Council (TPC), Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), and Transportation Improvement Program Sub-committee (TIP) for the Houston-Galveston Area Council and is a past chair for both the TAC and TIP.

Jim Johnson

President/CEO, Pearland Chamber of Commerce

Jim Johnson was named President/CEO of the Pearland Chamber in July 2021. Johnson comes to Pearland from his role as President and CEO of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce. He also previously served as President and CEO of the Lufkin/Angelina Chamber of Commerce. Prior to his tenure in Lufkin, he served as Vice President with the Pearland Chamber.

Jim Johnson was named President/CEO of the Pearland Chamber in July 2021. Johnson comes to Pearland from his role as President and CEO of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce. He also previously served as President and CEO of the Lufkin/Angelina Chamber of Commerce. Prior to his tenure in Lufkin, he served as Vice President with the Pearland Chamber.

Staff

Matt Buchanan

President

Matt directs all business attraction and retention activities for Pearland and is responsible for the overall operations for the Corporation, including business attraction, retention and marketing, transportation, mobility and infrastructure, Lower Kirby Urban Center, and corridors and beautification.

Matt directs all business attraction and retention activities for Pearland and is responsible for the overall operations for the Corporation, including business attraction, retention and marketing, transportation, mobility and infrastructure, Lower Kirby Urban Center, and corridors and beautification.

Brian Malone

Vice President

Brian oversees the implementation of strategies to attract new jobs and new investment in Pearland. His primary responsibilities include generating new business prospect leads and facilitating the attraction of new companies, along with coordinating business retention and expansion efforts.

Brian oversees the implementation of strategies to attract new jobs and new investment in Pearland. His primary responsibilities include generating new business prospect leads and facilitating the attraction of new companies, along with coordinating business retention and expansion efforts.

Mou Sarkar

Workforce Director

Mou leads the implementation of workforce-related initiatives on behalf of PEDC to build and strengthen connections between Pearland’s talent pipeline and business community. She works with community partners to align and improve education and training services in the region and serves to develop connections among these providers and regional businesses to ensure Pearland is maintaining and enhancing its competitive edge in workforce and talent.

Mou leads the implementation of workforce-related initiatives on behalf of PEDC to build and strengthen connections between Pearland’s talent pipeline and business community. She works with community partners to align and improve education and training services in the region and serves to develop connections among these providers and regional businesses to ensure Pearland is maintaining and enhancing its competitive edge in workforce and talent.

Valerie Marvin

Senior Development Manager

Valerie leads the implementation of PEDC’s efforts on new development, redevelopment, and beautification projects, with focuses on Lower Kirby and the city’s major thoroughfares. She works with property owners, businesses, appraisers, attorneys, engineering, planning and environmental consultants and contractors to complete infrastructure improvements and beautification enhancements.

Valerie leads the implementation of PEDC’s efforts on new development, redevelopment, and beautification projects, with focuses on Lower Kirby and the city’s major thoroughfares. She works with property owners, businesses, appraisers, attorneys, engineering, planning and environmental consultants and contractors to complete infrastructure improvements and beautification enhancements.

Jessica Byerly

Development Manager

Jessica assists with the implementation of development and beautification projects and supports strategic planning, business attraction, retention, and marketing. She works with city departments, contractors and consultants to carry out the PEDC’s efforts on redevelopment projects and beautification areas through research, communication, and project management.

Jessica assists with the implementation of development and beautification projects and supports strategic planning, business attraction, retention, and marketing. She works with city departments, contractors and consultants to carry out the PEDC’s efforts on redevelopment projects and beautification areas through research, communication, and project management.

Melissa Cook

Director of Marketing

Melissa oversees the implementation and management of the PEDC marketing plan, and the design, development and direction of targeted campaigns to recruit new business to Pearland. She is responsible for all printed and electronic communication materials including the PEDC website, community and demographic information, and social media.

Melissa oversees the implementation and management of the PEDC marketing plan, and the design, development and direction of targeted campaigns to recruit new business to Pearland. She is responsible for all printed and electronic communication materials including the PEDC website, community and demographic information, and social media.

Roxanne Luna-Larsen

Office Coordinator

Roxanne coordinates and maintains the administrative support functions for the PEDC.

Roxanne coordinates and maintains the administrative support functions for the PEDC.