Metro’s Metropolitan Exposition Recreation Commission, or MERC, recently approved its new board of officers. The commission appointed Elisa J. Dozono, partner at the law firm of Miller Nash Graham & Dunn LLP, as chair. Karis Stoudamire-Phillips, community relations and corporate responsibility supervisor at Moda Health, will serve as vice chair. Deidra Krys-Rusoff, vice president at Ferguson-Wellman, will serve as secretary-treasurer.
Charged with advising three of Metro’s four visitor venues – the Oregon Convention Center, Portland’5 Centers for the Arts and Portland Expo Center – in areas such as business strategy and new market development, as well as planning and approving each venue budget, MERC shares the role of venue oversight and management with Metro’s chief operating officer and Metro’s general manager of visitor venues.
“The real story of government is about working together in ways that benefit all of us. MERC’s volunteers are an excellent example of government by and for the people. They help ensure our best-in-class convention center, world class performing arts venues and history filled exhibition halls serve everyone in our community,” said Martha Bennett, Metro’s chief operating officer.
“We are fortunate to have a group of outstanding Portland-area residents who help our public venues create good jobs and great experiences for residents and out of town visitors alike. Their leadership helps maintain our competitive advantage over other places and helps build trust with people right here at home,” Bennett said.
Officer terms run one year, coinciding with Metro’s fiscal year which begins July 1 and ends June 30. Commissioners are appointed by the Metro Council through nominations by Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties, the city of Portland and Metro for four-year terms. Other MERC members include DoubleTree Hotel general manager Terry Goldman, local developer Ray Leary, former Lake Oswego mayor Judie Hammerstad, and Ball Janik LLP associate attorney Damien Hall.
Combined, Metro’s visitor venues generated $661.4 million in regional spending which supported 6,500 jobs. Activities at the three venues were estimated to generate approximately $27.4 million in state and local tax revenues in FY 2015.