Meet The Board
Co-Founder and Board Chair
Beth Rose, MPA
Beth is a life-long Alaskan who brings more than 30 years of non-profit management, fund development, public relations and strategic planning skills to this organization. She has a MPA from the University of Washington.
Prior to launching AKEDA, Beth served as the VP of Philanthropy/External Relations at The Alaska Community Foundation, where she managed an endowment campaign that raised more than $110 million in realized and planned gifts in five years. She has also served Assistant Vice Chancellor for Development for the University of Alaska Anchorage, Executive Director for Alaska Junior Theater, Communications Director of the Alaska Humanities Forum and Account Manager for Northwest Strategies.
She is passionate about her work with AKEDA and is thrilled to work with this board and partners around the state to improve awareness of eating disorders, support for individuals and families, and access to evidence-based treatment.
Beth also serves on the Alaska Public Media Board, is active in the Collaborative of Eating Disorder Organizations and participates in the Eating Disorder Coalition. She enjoys time with her husband, visiting their adult children, exploring Alaska's outdoors, travel, and photography.
Co-Founder and Board Secretary/Treasurer
Jenny Loudon, MPA
Jenny Loudon is a management consultant with over 20 years of experience with Alaskan non-profits working to improve services through grant writing, data analysis and reporting, budget development and monitoring, project management, and group facilitation.
She brings significant training and experience in public health policy and management, and has an MPA from the University of Washington with a focus on health policy and management.
In addition to Jenny's work with AKEDA, she is a member of the Academy of Eating Disorders, where she serves as a member of the Advocacy Committee and the Experts by Experience Committee. Jenny is passionate about improving the lives of those experiencing eating disorders and mental health challenges, and is especially interested in assisting parents who are supporting children with eating disorders.
In her free time, Jenny enjoys cooking, hiking with her Portuguese Water Dog, spending time with family and friends, traveling, reading, and riding a bike.
Board Vice President
Katie Kajdan Bell, LPC, ATR
Katie Kajdan Bell is a lifelong Alaskan who received her MA in Clinical Psychology and Art therapy in 2009 from Antioch University in Seattle. Since then she has received specialized training in somatic therapies, ARC Trauma Treatment, CBT, and specific eating disorders treatment modalities including Exposure Therapy, Emotionally-Focused Family Therapy, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.
She works in private practice in Anchorage with adults and adolescents, providing support for those experiencing anxiety, depression, social pressures, self-harm, PTSD, ADHD, and Eating Disorders. She is a member of the American Counseling Association, American Art Therapy Association, and International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (IAEDP).
Katie is also an active athlete, artist, and parent who particularly enjoys participating in local cycling events.
Grace Schumacher, RD, CEDRD
Grace Schumacher is a graduate of the University of Alaska’s dietetics program and works as a behavioral health dietitian in nutrition therapy for eating disorders, having completed requirements for a board-certified specialty in eating disorders nutrition. She is Alaska’s first board certified eating disorder professional, having achieved the Certified Eating Disorders, Registered Dietitian designation.
In addition, Grace is a passionate advocate for improving awareness and services for Alaskans with eating disorders. She is the founder of the Alaska chapter of the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (IAEDP), the first organization for professional education and networking for the specialty of eating disorders in the state. Grace is also active in the national Eating Disorders Coalition, an advocacy group.
Evelyn Abello, LPC
Evelyn Abello is a 45-year resident of Alaska. An educator in the Philippines, she immigrated to the U.S. in 1976 and immediately started a second career in civil rights enforcement at the Alaska State Human Rights Commission. She retired as Investigations Director for that agency in 2006 to attend graduate school at Alaska Pacific University, earned a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology, and embarked on a third career as a clinical therapist for Southcentral Foundation's Dena A Coy Program, a residential treatment program for women with substance addictions and emotional and psychological disorders. She retired from this position in 2019 but maintains her professional counselor license.
Evelyn facilitates AKEDA's monthly support group for family members and friends who are supporting loved ones with eating disorders.
Evelyn is a 2009 Women of Achievement Award recipient, a member of the American Counseling Association, a life member of the Filipino Community of Anchorage, and a long-time member of Literary Ladies, a women’s book club in Anchorage. She enjoys hiking, reading, cooking, and entertaining family and friends.
Margaret Carlson Cosentino, DO
Dr. Margaret (Meg) Carlson Cosentino has lived and practiced in the state of Alaska since 2015, after graduating from Midwestern University with her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree in 2012.
She is a board certified family physician who has worked within the Alaska Native tribal health system since 2015, first with Tanana Chiefs Conference in Fairbanks, and since 2018, with Southcentral Foundation in Anchorage.
Dr. Carlson Cosentino has a long history of involvement with eating disorder associations. She participated in eating disorder support and awareness organizations while in college as well as during her years in medical school.
She enjoys spending time with her family and participating in outdoor recreation activities such as biking, hiking, and skiing.
Rachel Lescher, MD
Dr. Rachel Lescher has been the pediatric endocrinologist at Alaska Native Medical Center since 2011. She completed both her undergraduate degree in International Studies and her medical degree at the University of Missouri-Columbia, in central Missouri. Dr. Lescher completed her residency in pediatrics at University of California-Irvine in Southern California and her pediatric endocrinology fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis. She provides care for Alaskan children with endocrinologic diseases and diabetes in her role as the only pediatric endocrinologist within the Alaska tribal health care system.
She is a member of the Alaska Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and currently serves as one of the Chapter Champions, who serve as conduits for disseminating best policies and practices through the chapter on pediatric health issues. She enjoys running with Sadie, her Siberian Husky, and spending time at her cabin with her husband and dogs.
Jason Lessard is the Executive Director of NAMI Anchorage and serves as a board member for the Alaska Psychiatric Institute (API). He is also the adult advisor for the Mental Health Advocacy through Storytelling (MHATS) program, a youth-led program in Anchorage, which seeks to end mental health stigma through live storytelling.
Prior to this role, Jason was the Director of Operations for Food Bank of Alaska.
Melissa Marconi Wentzel
Melissa Marconi Wentzel is completing her Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling through UAF. She has been providing clinical mental health counseling to individuals across the lifespan since 2016, under supervision at a small private practice. She has a background in non-profit development and management, community engagement, and intercultural and organizational communication.
Melissa has supported individuals around issues related to body image and self-esteem since the late 1990s. As a clinician, she works with clients with eating disorders, and more frequently maladaptive eating behaviors. A focus of her recent and current community work has been around health equity. She sees eating disorders as a health equity issue, noting they are particularly hidden in under-resourced immigrant, rural, and Alaska Native communities.
Melissa lives in Sitka, Alaska with her partner, three children, one dog, and five fish.