Matthew Rotchford, a long-time sales and events manager for the Portland Expo Center, has been named facility director after a national industry search, Metro announced today. He replaces former director Chris Bailey, who retired in September after 17 years managing the Expo Center.
Teri Dresler, Metro's general manager of visitor venues, described the decision as one that best supports the facility’s expansion into new markets, a necessary step for remaining competitive within the exhibition and consumer show industry.
“By far, Matthew demonstrated the perfect combination of drive, innovation, flexibility and financial stewardship for this position,” Dresler said. “The selection panel was wowed by his ideas, energy and enthusiasm, in addition to his commitment to staff, clients and the exhibitor industry overall."
Since 2001, Rotchford has served as the primary manager in charge of sales, marketing, promotions and event coordination and is credited for building a solid book of business throughout his tenure and, more recently, maintaining business throughout the recession. Prior to Expo, he worked in the events department for the Oregon Convention Center, also managed under Metro’s visitor venues umbrella, as well as for a number of area nonprofit organizations, including Young Audiences of Oregon.
Named acting director in September, Rotchford led the effort to recruit the internationally-renowned performance group Cirque du Soleil to the Portland Expo Center for its exclusive 2012 debut of "Ovo," which runs April 5 – May 20.
Judie Hammerstad, chair of the Metro Exposition Recreation Commission, which provides strategic business direction to Expo, explained the decision as a win-win for the region. “It’s always rewarding to promote one of our own employees after a complex competitive process,” she said. “Matthew has earned this position and the Commission looks forward to an outstanding performance as Expo’s new leader.”
“I’m honored to be chosen and excited to lead a venue with many diverse, successful and long-standing events,” Rotchford said. “The staff here works incredibly hard to ensure our patrons enjoy the very best of experiences.”
He added, “It’s an exciting time for the Portland Expo Center, with our newly-revamped brand identity and website. The opportunity to capitalize on these investments and build new relationships is great.”