The Merchants Exchange Productions team brings more than 50 years of combined experience hosting and producing special events in San Francisco. From planning and logistics to production, management and in-house gourmet catering, Merchants Exchange Productions is the only fully-verticalized event production service tied exclusively to three of the city’s finest venues: the Merchants Exchange Club, the Julia Morgan Ballroom and One Leidesdorff.
TEAM MEMBER BIOS
Philip Spiegel, General Manager, VP Sales
Philip Spiegel joined Clinton Reilly Holdings with more than a decade of experience in the hospitality and food and service industry in San Francisco. A third-generation native San Franciscan, Philip began his hospitality career by buying small San Francisco-based restaurants and developing them through superior service and dedication. A graduate of the University of San Francisco’s McClaren School of Business, Philip applies his combination of practical and academic experience to the wonderful and ever changing world of hospitality. He is active in a variety of civic and cultural organizations including the Guardsmen, Symphonix and the Salesian’s Boys and Girls Club of San Francisco.
Lillian Phan, Social Events Manager
Lillian Phan has the unique combination of real-estate savvy and high-profile event-planning know-how. Professionally, she has worked as a Director of Sales for the commercial real estate arm of Coldwell Banker for nearly a decade. Philanthropically, she was recently honored as co-chair of the American Red Cross’ 2014 Annual Gala, which has raised millions of dollars for disaster relief efforts year over year; she has handled logistics, décor and planned special events for the Red Cross Gala for the past 4 years. As an active member on the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Junior League, Lillian has also led the organization’s Home Tour events and upcoming Fashion Show fundraisers. Her involvement was pivotal in the creation of Elle Decor and Dwell magazines’ first showhouse and design lab. Lillian holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business. Her passions include dining, art, fashion and creating floral arrangements–perfect for ensuring your special event is memorable!
Mike Maurer, Senior Corporate Sales Manager
Mike Maurer began his hospitality career working at some of the finest hotels in New York City. Since returning to San Francisco in 1991, Mike has focused his professional attention on bringing corporations from around the world to the City by the Bay. Since joining Merchants Exchange Productions in 2010, Mike has hosted major events for top organizations such as Salesforce, Oracle, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Cisco and Union Bank, among others. Mike is an active member of MPI, the San Francisco Travel Association and the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce.
Linda Hylen, Director of Weddings
After 10 years as Director of Events at the Kohl Mansion and the past eight in the same position at the Julia Morgan Ballroom, Linda Hylen has established herself as one of California’s most sought-after wedding and social event specialists. Linda’s unique background as a national award-winning florist, interior decorator and graphic illustrator allow her to execute every detail of planning and production with style and grace while realizing the creative vision of each individual bride and groom.
Jason Eriksen, Nonprofit Sales Manager
Jason Eriksen’s affinity for hospitality can be traced to his youth in California’s legendary Napa Valley. Jason grew up working in numerous high-end restaurants and hotels in Napa, learning the hospitality industry through first-hand experience. Jason graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a degree in Recreation, Parks and Tourism, further bolstering his hospitality acumen. He returned to Napa’s Silverado Country Club and Resort where he managed a food and beverage department before joining the Merchants Exchange Productions team in early 2010. His main focus within the company is working with associations, social groups and non-profit organizations to book their events.
Ben Rodny, Corporate Sales Manager
Ben Rodny comes to Merchants Exchange Productions after spending 3.5 years with ARAMARK Parks & Destinations at the Mission Bay Conference Center at UCSF. Ben’s experience is in selling and planning highly successful meetings, conferences and special events for companies in the High-tech, Financial, Pharmaceutical, Life Science and Gaming industries. Ben is a Boston native who matriculated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst where he was part of the Division 1 Swimming/Diving Program. Ben’s events were one-and three-meter spring-board diving. Ben currently coaches the St. Ignatius College Prep Diving Team during the spring.