Merchants Exchange Executive Director to Retire

Image: Merchants Exchange

Longtime leader Elizabeth “Liz” Wainwright is expected to retire from her position as executive director of the Columbia River District Merchants Exchange this summer, the organization’s Board of Directors announced Feb. 13. 

Wainwright, whose retirement becomes official July 31, has been the executive director since 1996 and is only the fifth director in the agency’s history.

During her tenure, the Merchants Exchange said, it began an “organization-wide strategic planning program, leading the organization through two successful five-year strategic planning cycles where 90-100% of all action items were accomplished.”

Also under her leadership, the Merchants Exchange Scholarship Fund was founded in 2004 and has awarded more than $80,000 to students pursuing higher learning in the maritime industry.

Before working for the Portland-based Merchants Exchange, Wainwright served in a number of roles within a ship management firm and local vessel agent. The Oregon State University alum is an honorary member of the California State University Maritime Academy Alumni Association.

“The Merchants Exchange Board of Directors would like to thank Liz for the 27 years of dedicated service to the Merchants Exchange,” the Board of Directors said. “Her leadership has set the Exchange on a course for success well into the future.”

The board is planning to assemble an external search committee and has hired Cascade Employers Association for recruitment help in the coming months.

By Karen Robes Meeks