Meet the cast of Merchants Exchange Productions:

Experienced. Local. Professional. Tasteful. Super-Friendly.

Philip Spiegel


Phil Spiegel is a third-generation native San Franciscan with more than a decade of executive experience in the City’s thriving hospitality industry. He oversees all sales and business operations for the Julia Morgan Ballroom, the Merchants Exchange Club, Credo Restaurant and the Nob Hill Gazette. Phil is a graduate of the University of San Francisco’s McClaren School of Business. If you spend much time in San Francisco, you’ve probably met him.

Frank Holland


Frank Holland has spent the better part of a decade steering business, nonprofit and government initiatives in the Bay Area and in Italy. He oversees marketing and strategic initiatives for the Julia Morgan Ballroom, Merchants Exchange Club, Credo Restaurant and the Nob Hill Gazette. Frank holds a B.A. from UC Berkeley and an M.A. from UNC Chapel Hill and University of Siena in Italy. He has three kids and doesn’t sleep much. Forgive him.

Vicki Tom


Vicki Tom is Director of Operations for the Julia Morgan Ballroom, the Merchants Exchange Club and Credo Restaurant. She joined Merchants Exchange Productions after 19 years at the Olympic Club in San Francisco. A graduate of SF State University, Vicki holds a B.S. in Dietetics with a graduate certificate in hotel and restaurant management. Also, in case you’re wondering, she’s a dynamo.

Emilie Lynch


Emilie joined the sales team after a career in luxury hotels, most recently Fairmont San Francisco where she created countless incredible events. An east coast native, Emilie’s heart is now rooted San Francisco where she and her husband are raising two daughters. You can also find her sipping chardonnay or volunteering with various Bay Area organizations including Junior League, Edgewood Center for Children & Families, San Francisco Symphony and Wender Weis Foundation for Children.

Mike Maurer


Mike Maurer grew up in Berkeley, California and 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. Mike loves sports. Like, a lot. Warriors opponents hate him, especially Austin Rivers.

Jason Eriksen


Jason’s affinity for hospitality can be traced to his youth in California’s legendary Napa Valley. Jason grew up working in high-end restaurants and hotels in Napa, graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a degree in Recreation, Parks and Tourism. Like Mike, Jason is a rabid Bay Area sports fan. Unlike Mike, Jason is a soccer wünderkind with Viking ancestors.

Larry Finn


Larry Finn’s star-studded culinary career has included extended stops at legendary establishments such as Café Gray, Morimoto and Danny Meyer’s Union Square Café in New York City. Larry made the trek to California to assume the helm of Scala’s Bistro before bringing his considerable talent to the Julia Morgan Ballroom. Larry holds a B.S. degree in Food Service Management from Johnson & Wales.

Kim Thornton


Originally from Rochester, NY, Kim made a smart life decision and moved to California 15 years ago to attend the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandizing. She joined Merchants Exchange Productions in 2007 and now serves as our tactical guru for events. In her free time you’ll find her hiking throughout the Bay Area and checking out SF’s newest restaurants.

Adam Ryon


Adam is a Bay Area native who has recently returned to the inviting climes of San Francisco. He boasts a wealth of experience with companies like Jack Threads and Dwell Studio, and has conquered both New York City and Abu Dhabi in his travels. Adam focuses on quick-turnaround events in the Merchants Exchange Club and private dining at Credo restaurant.

Walter Ryon


Prior to joining the team at Merchants Exchange Productions, Walter Ryon spent the previous decade directing, designing, and producing theatrical events around the globe and in NYC for Broadway and Off-Broadway productions. He opened the New York University campus in Abu Dhabi, building and outfitting three new state-of-the-art theatrical venues, then came to San Francisco to manage productions for the Conservatory at American Conservatory Theater.

Ian Silva


Ian is nothing if not cosmopolitan. Peruvian-Italian by way of the Bay Area and conversant in six languages, Ian is also charging toward his Advanced Sommelier certification, which puts him in rare air. Part of the Merchants Exchange Productions family since 2010, Ian is a fan of sports, classic cars, his wife Gabriela and their dog Stewei (not in that order).

Christopher Ahr


Born in Savannah, Georgia and trained in the finest restaurants of the East Bay, Chris boasts a portfolio of large-scale event experience as broad as his own shoulders (which are super broad). He has been part of the SF Bay Area dining scene since 1999, including stays at Stanford University and Kimpton hotels. Chris is a cool guy. You’d like him.

Join our team!

We’re always on the lookout for dedicated and passionate individuals who are striving to build their career in the hospitality industry.
If you’d like to be part of our best-in-class team, please inquire via email: [email protected]