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Wanted: EOTEC general manager to ‘build from the ground up’

The Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center board met Friday.
Jade McDowell

East Oregonian

Published on June 9, 2017 4:05PM

Last changed on June 9, 2017 4:22PM

An aerial view of construction of EOTEC taken on May 15.

Contributed photo by Thaddeus Fickel of Infrared Baron, Inc

An aerial view of construction of EOTEC taken on May 15.

The hunt for a general manager for the Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center is officially on after the EOTEC board approved a job advertisement Friday.

“Have you ever wanted to build something from the ground-up?” the advertisement asks. “Have you ever wanted to lead an organization through its formative years?”

The manager will run the EOTEC facility, market it and supervise an administrative assistant and maintenance position. Applicants are asked to have a bachelor’s degree in marketing or business administration and five years of experience in tourism or facility management, or “a satisfactory combination of education and experience.”

The board plans to run the advertisement for two weeks before interviewing applicants.

Ed Brookshier, who served as Hermiston’s city manager for 25 years before retirement, said one thing he learned was “just because you have a field of candidates doesn’t mean you have to fill.”

“My only caution would be that we not settle,” he said.

On Friday the board also met with the EOTEC budget committee to review the 2017-2018 budget, which they plan to approve on June 21 at 7 a.m. at EOTEC.

The budget includes an increase in the contribution from the city of Hermiston and Umatilla County for operations, up from $45,000 apiece this year to $75,000 each. The money will help pay for the three personnel, including $70,000 to $85,000 a year for the general manager.

According to the budget document, event revenue for 2016-2017 has been about $13,000 higher than projected. The anticipated event revenue for 2017-2018 is $132,000 and the anticipated tourism promotion assessment revenue for marketing is $115,000. There is still $1.2 million in the construction fund.

The bulk of construction on EOTEC is expected to be finished by July 15, but board members and contractors acknowledged Friday there will still be many small items such as painting and setting up pens and panels that will still be needed. Volunteers are planning a large work day on July 29, with smaller groups on July 15 and July 22.

The board discussed having a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the facility and tentatively settled on the Saturday before the Umatilla County Fair. They also discussed progress on construction and discussed what signs, barriers or other measures can be put in place to address a problem with partygoers at the event center wandering through the construction zones.

Umatilla County emergency manager Tom Roberts suggested that the board consider marketing EOTEC as a place where people can park RVs ahead of the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21. Since camping opportunities in the path of totality farther south are full, Roberts said other Umatilla County venues have also filled up with people planning to stage from there and then head father south that morning.

“If you haven’t thought about that, it might be an opportunity to fill a void and bring in some revenue,” he said.


Contact Jade McDowell at or 541-564-4536.


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