The Metropolitan Exposition Recreation Commission, which oversees policies at some of Portland’s most prominent visitor venues, appointed officers at its July commission meeting. Karis Stoudamire-Phillips was elected as chair, John Erickson as vice chair, and Deidra Krys-Rusoff as secretary/treasurer.
Karis Stoudamire-Phillips, serving in her eighth year on the commission, will continue as the chair, representing the Metro regional government. She serves as the venue liaison for Portland’5 Centers for the Arts and will serve a two-year term on Metro’s Committee On Racial Equity. The CORE committee provides input to Metro Council and staff on its strategic plan on racial equity. Karis, a Portland native, directs corporate social responsibility at Moda Health. Previously, she administered the Damon Stoudamire, Inc., Foundation for 10 years, and has worked for Legacy Health Systems Foundation and the American Red Cross Pacific Northwest Regional Blood Services. She has served on numerous boards, and is currently committed to the boards of All Hands Raised, Grantmakers of Oregon and Southwest Washington, St. Mary’s Academy and the Urban League of Portland. Stoudamire-Phillips is also a member of several community organizations and committees serving her community, including the Boise Neighborhood Association, Portland Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and Prosper Portland’s Hill Block Committee.
John Erickson, recently appointed to MERC, has been selected as the vice chair and will serve in the role of venue liaison for the Oregon Convention Center and the liaison representative for MERC during the construction of the Hyatt Regency Portland at the Oregon Convention Center. He represents Clackamas County, where he formerly served as the Chairman of the Clackamas County Tourism Development Council. John also served on the board for the Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association and its Education Foundation. Formerly, he was the Director of the Hospitality Program at Marylhurst University where he earned both his Master of Business Administration degree as well as a Bachelor of Science degree. He has experience with the Destination Marketing Organizations for Clackamas, Portland and Oregon. Mr. Erickson is a past President of the Georgia chapter for the International Association of Convention & Visitor Bureaus. He also supported the development of the Cobb County Convention Bureau and Convention Center in Cobb County. His vast experience and expertise will be a tremendous asset in preparation for the increased number of city-wide conventions already being booked following the Hyatt Regency Portland’s groundbreaking last August.
Deidra Krys-Rusoff, serving in her third year on the commission, will continue to serve as the secretary-treasurer, representing Metro. As a Fixed Income Portfolio Manager for Becker Capital Management, she co-manages corporate, treasury and municipal bond portfolios and provides input on macro-economic issues and trends. Krys-Rusoff has previously worked in investment roles as a fixed income analyst, trader and portfolio manager at Ferguson Wellman Capital Management and US Bancorp. She has served as Chair of the Oregon Zoo Bond Citizens' Oversight Committee, is a member of Metro's Investment Advisory Board, and has worked with the YMCA’s Childcare Volunteer board and local Portland PTA’s. Krys-Rusoff, a native of Idaho, earned her Bachelor of Arts in Zoology from the College of Idaho.