Melinda Merrill has more than 20 years of experience managing issues and crises for clients throughout the Pacific Northwest and provides Eiguren Ellis clients with media, reputational and crisis communications counseling.
Prior to joining Eiguren Ellis, Merrill was director of Public Affairs for Fred Meyer Stores, a division of The Kroger Co., for more than a decade, where she was media spokesperson and managed government affairs for the company’s more than 200 stores in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. She also developed strategy for and implemented Fred Meyer’s multi-million dollar donations, sponsorship, community relations, and employee volunteer programs in the four states.
Merrill is adept at assisting clients in developing and implementing media, community relations, and crisis communications plans. She has provided reputational and media management for clients facing issues ranging from labor strikes, shipwrecks, oil spills, local government and real estate siting and planning issues, product recalls and importation of goods.
Merrill spent eight years in the Portland office of the international public relations and public affairs firm Hill & Knowlton. There she provided reputation and crisis management counseling for clients including grocers, cell phone service providers, economic development organizations, convention and visitors bureaus, electric utilities and the owners of the New Carissa, a ship that wrecked on the Oregon Coast spilling tens of thousands of gallons of oil.
Merrill earned her M.A. in Journalism and Mass Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations from Kent State University, and a B.A. in Journalism with a broadcast emphasis from the University of Montana. She served on the Association of Washington Business Executive Committee; the board of Oregon Food Bank and as chair of its Advocacy Committee; and as president of the Board of the Oregon/SW Washington Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. She was named to Progressive Grocer’s Top Women in Grocery list in 2014. She and her husband live in Meridian.