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Staff & Board

Portland Rose Festival Foundation Staff

The Portland Rose Festival Foundation retains a year-round professional staff, supported by seasonal and intern positions. Many of us are active on Facebook and social media — we welcome YOU adding us as Friends!


Marilyn Clint

Chief Executive Officer

Nick Brodnicki

Chief Operating Officer

Tanya Wilkins

Chief Financial Officer

Katie Meyer

Director of Events

Kara Landen

Business Development Manager

Emma Emch

Office Manager & Executive Assistant

Steven Bledsoe

Senior Event Strategist

Danielle Hammond

Events & Communications Manager

Eryn Hommel

Rose Garden Store Manager

Angel Ocasio

Artistic Director

Lynn Weigand

Special Projects Coordinator

Yacita Simonsen

Float Building
Project Manager

Lainne Wilkins

Live Entertainment Coordinator

Arial Muesing

Special Events Intern

Haley Lawson

Seasonal Events Assistant

Mia Keeler

Waterfront Activities Intern

Portland Rose Festival Foundation Board of Directors

The Portland Rose Festival Foundation Board of Directors is the governing body of Portland’s Official Festival, the Best Festival in the World. This is a year-round commitment that peaks each spring as all of the parades, events and programs of the Portland Rose Festival are produced under the leadership of these volunteers. The Portland Rose Festival Foundation Board of Directors is made up of up to 75 local leaders who implement the Foundation’s mission, work on committees for Rose Festival events, and fulfill assigned roles at these events. Many of these hard-working volunteers even use their own vacation time to work on their assigned events. The Rose Festival truly could not happen without their dedication and commitment.

Are you interested in joining the Rose Festival Board? LEARN MORE about the commitment and the process HERE.

Mission Statement

The Portland Rose Festival Foundation is a non-profit that serves families and individuals with programs and events that promote the arts, education and volunteerism. We value environmental responsibility, diversity, patriotism and our historic & floral heritage.

2023 Officers

Contesa Diaz-Nicolaidis


Jeremy Emerson


Dayna Kirk


Dave Cohen


Melissa Damm


JJ Spriet

Assistant Treasurer

Message from the Rose Festival President

We each have 20,000 opportunities of interaction every day.

20,000 opportunities to affect change through our interactions.

A smile.

A wave on the parade route.

The laugh shared with a parade go-er as the clown corps passes by.

A pat on the back when you needed a bit of encouragement.

A touch on the shoulder.

A wink.

The Rose Festival board and its volunteers have the unique opportunity to interact with those in our community. Opportunities to spread our world of festival fun with those near and far. From mentoring high school young women, to bringing three parades to the streets of Portland, we do this work because we know the importance of positivity and joy in our community.

One of my favorite books is How Full is Your Bucket, by Tom Wrath, and Dr. Robert Clifton, This book studies the effects of positivity and negativity within our society, finding a direct and clear correlation throughout relationships, marriages, offices, and overall success.

It is the powerful, yet simple, metaphor of a bucket and a dipper. We each have an invisible bucket representing our mental state, productivity, and motivation. When our bucket is full, we feel incredible. With this bucket, we have an invisible dipper, which allows us to fill or dip from other people's buckets through positive and negative interactions. The most interesting part of this concept is that when we fill other people's buckets, we in turn fill our own bucket. We feel better and most fulfilled because we made a positive effect on another person.

Bucket Filling has been the Rose Festival’s business for over 100 years, filling buckets through positive experiences and interactions in the communities we serve each and every year. This concept, although maybe surprising to some, has been the secret sauce to the magic, joy and positivity the Festival brings to the City of Portland.

This Rose Festival has been woven into my life from my earliest years, growing up in the 80’s in the NE and Mt. Tabor areas of Portland. I can remember my Cuban-American father, Alberto and his mother, Maria bringing me to the Waterfront “Festival Center” to enjoy the rides and games together as a family. In high school, my Rose Festival memories continued as I ran for the title of Rose Festival Princess with my best friend Teri, in hopes of being the next Ambassador selected for St. Mary’s Academy. I can remember like yesterday, the feeling of not being chosen, as if I had encountered the most devastating day of my short lifetime.

My first introduction to Festival volunteering was a full-circle-moment, when my high school friend Teri invited me to a Rose Festival Court wardrobe meeting. With this invite, Teri used a little humor: “Well, we weren’t selected as a Rose Festival Princess, but we can certainly insert ourselves in the organization by volunteering our time.”

As I look back on my Rose Festival journey, I reflect on the ways the Rose Festival has filled my bucket with joyful memories and life lessons, steadily preparing me for what was to come. The memories I hold will carry me into these next two years, with tremendous gratitude. The opportunity to lead an organization that has been woven into the fabric of who I am today, feels awesome.

Thank you for this opportunity!

Contesa Diaz-Nicolaidis

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