Steve Faulstick has been named interim general manager of visitor venues for Portland Metro, the regional government. In this role, announced less than two weeks after Broadway shows returned to area theaters and conference attendees gathered again for the first time since the onset of the pandemic, Faulstick will oversee the region’s portfolio of venues, including the Oregon Convention Center, Portland’5 Centers for the Arts and Portland Expo Center. He has agreed to serve until a permanent general manager of visitor venues is in place.

A veteran of Oregon’s travel industry, Faulstick served as general manager of several Portland-area hotels before becoming the chief sales officer for Travel Portland in 2016, a position he held for four years. 

“Steve brings the creativity and experience to build back tourism at our beloved Portland Metro area venues,” says Metro chief operating officer Marissa Madrigal. “To compete for tourism, demands the industry relationships and sales knowledge that have made Steve a household name in Oregon tourism. We can’t wait to see people filling our venues once again as we rise out of the pandemic economy.”  

Faulstick is ready for the challenge.  “Portland has often been an underdog when competing for business. Today’s moment is no different,” he says. “Our world-class venues, exceptional hotels, natural beauty, and welcoming spirit of hospitality has found a way to compete before, and I am happy to be part of the team that will get us there once again,” says Faulstick.

Metro’s visitor venues are all currently open and welcoming visitors with recent multi-million- dollar upgrades, popular national touring acts, and new nearby hotels. Highlights include:

·       The Oregon Convention Center recently underwent a $40 million renovation with flexible, state-of-the-art meeting space technology upgrades, a new outdoor pavilion and increased accessibility. 

·       The Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, part of the Portland’5 Centers for the Arts, unveiled $5 million in acoustical upgrades for the home of the Oregon Symphony this September.

·       The Portland Expo Center – home to regional favorites like the Portland Bridal Show and international shows like Cirque de Soleil – is undergoing a study aimed to maximize the venue’s ability to attract high-attendance events and expand its regional impact.

For more information about these and other venues, visit

After a hiatus, the Washington County Visitors Association is back in the meetings business. Wendy Popkin will be joining the organization as vice president of destinations on November 1, 2021, to lead the organization’s direct group sales efforts to meeting professional, sports, organizers and travel professionals.

“We are extremely excited to have a leader of Wendy’s caliber joining our organization and are confident that she will bring measurable success to our destination,” says Dave Parulo, president and CEO of the WCVA.


Michael Grande has been named executive chef at Four Seasons Hotel Seattle, the city’s only Forbes Five-Star property. In this new role, Grande will direct all culinary at the downtown hotel, including catering at the property’s 10,570 square feet of event space, in-room dining for the 147 guest rooms and suites, helming day-to-day operations at signature restaurant Goldfinch Tavern and overseeing seasonal pop-up restaurant and private cabana dining at the outdoor infinity-edge pool.


These interviews are part of a series that highlights new hires within the industry. Have you recently started a new role or do you know someone who has? Submit your ideas to

Nigel Boschetti was recently hired as the executive chef of New York Marriott Marquis.

1. What are you looking forward to the most in your new role?