Metro has announced that Craig Stroud will serve as the new executive director of the Oregon Convention Center (OCC), marking the end of an extensive search and community stakeholder evaluation process.
“The Oregon Convention Center is looking toward the future now that the Hyatt hotel construction is underway. Craig Stroud is the best person to lead that team going forward,” said Scott Cruickshank, general manager of visitor venues for Metro. “Craig emerged as the top candidate during the selection process because of his impressive venue management and operations experience, and his proven financial expertise.”
Stroud’s priorities include supporting completion of the Hyatt Regency Portland, now under construction across from the convention center campus, and a $35 million facility renovation project that will include a number of exterior and interior improvements.
“It’s an exciting time to join the OCC team,” said Stroud. “The new hotel will attract more conventions and tradeshows to Portland, and that means more jobs and economic benefits for the entire region. Many great people worked long and hard to make this happen, and they inspire me to drive the center to even greater success in the future.”
Stroud has been with Metro for 11 years. He previously served as deputy director of the Oregon Zoo, where he was in charge of business operations since 2012. Prior to that, Stroud served as bond program director for the zoo and was responsible for its $125 million infrastructure and animal welfare bond capital program. He also managed the zoo’s annual operating and capital budgets in his earlier role as budget and finance manager.
During his time at the Oregon Zoo, Stroud achieved substantial revenue growth by implementing innovative food and beverage programs, enhancing visitor experiences, and focusing on management and staff development. He oversaw major events such as ZooLights, one of Portland’s favorite winter festivals, as well as the zoo’s highly popular summer concert series.
“I’m a native Oregonian and I want our whole community to continue to grow and thrive – both economically and culturally,” said Stroud. “I’m honored to work with the teams at Oregon Convention Center and our great partners in the region.”
About Oregon Convention Center
The Oregon Convention Center is owned by Metro and managed by the Metro Exposition and Recreation Commission. OCC is a LEED Platinum certified facility hosting groups from around the world and bringing millions of dollars into the Portland and Oregon economy.