Convention Center Team

The Seaside Civic and Convention Center staff is dedicated to providing the highest level of customer service and care, delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, and individual pride. Our fundamental aspiration is to exceed the expectations of our customers. We look forward to working with you soon.

Administrative Staff

Russell Vandenberg, CVE

General Manager

Russ has been involved in the public assembly facility management industry since 1982. He holds a bachelors degree in management from Saint Mary’s College of California, and was awarded the designation of CVE (Certified Venue Executive) from the International Association of Venue Managers. Russ oversees the day to day management of the convention center that includes administration, marketing, sales, operations, fiscal responsibility and approval of facility contracts.

Gretchen Darnell

Director of Sales

Gretchen joined the team at the Seaside Civic and Convention Center in 1997. She is responsible for managing all aspects of marketing, sales, and scheduling. She is a 4th generation Oregonian, who holds a bachelors degree from Whittier College, and has an extensive background in the hospitality industry. Gretchen is a member of Meeting Professionals International, Oregon Chapter, Greater Oregon Society of Government Meeting Professionals, and the Oregon Society of Association Management.

Tina Eilers

Office Coordinator

Tina joined the Seaside Civic & Convention Center staff as the Office Coordinator in the fall of 2015. Prior to that, she worked with college students for 17 years at Ecola Bible College in Cannon Beach, OR. She has an extensive background in office management and working with people. Tina holds a B.S. degree from Washington State University. Tina is responsible for accounting and coordinating the general details of the office. She would love to have you drop by the office to say hello!

Celeste Kenneally

Event Coordinator

Celeste joined the team in December of 2019, but she is no stranger to the Convention Center and the many events that make Seaside its home base. Previously working as an Events Coordinator for a local Seaside nonprofit organization, she gained knowledge and experience working with many different groups planning events. These events ranged from single-day to multi-day and were designed to attract tourism to this beautiful beach town. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Southern New Hampshire University and has an extensive background in Customer Service and Hospitality. She is excited to meet both returning clients and new clients to assist them in whatever they need to ensure that their event runs as smoothly as possible. She is a wife to an active Coast Guardsman, and she is happy to have made the Pacific Northwest her home away from home.

Jennifer Biamont

Office Assistant

Jennifer joined the Seaside Civic & Convention Center staff as the Office Assistant in the fall of 2018. Prior to joining the city, she worked in Special Education for almost 13 years for the Seaside School District as well as in the tourism industry. She has a background in both office administration and tourism. She prides herself in providing excellent customer service, takes great pride in her work and is willing to go above and beyond to meet the needs of customers.

Operation Staff

Andrew Argeris

Operations Supervisor

Andy has worked in the Operations department since 2008 and was promoted to Operations Supervisor in 2010. He is responsible for operations, HVAC, set-ups, maintenance, audio visual and event staffing. Andy is committed to providing outstanding customer service to all of our clients.

Frank Kaim, CTS

Operations / AV Tech

Frank has worked in the Operations department since 2005. He is responsible for audio-visual services, room set-ups, maintenance and HVAC systems. Frank's specialty is providing quality audio, lighting, and video/projection services for both small and large events. Frank is a U.S. Navy veteran and a native of Davenport, Iowa who takes great pride in providing a superior guest experience and exceptional customer service.

Nick McKenzie


Nick has worked in the Operations department since 2017. He is responsible for operations, HVAC, set-ups, maintenance, audiovisual and housekeeping. Nick has extensive knowledge of all phases of event management and prides himself in making sure all details are carried out to satisfaction.

John Stockenberg


John has worked in the Operations department since 1998. He is responsible for operations, HVAC, set-ups, maintenance, audiovisual and housekeeping. His attentiveness to customer service and maintaining cleanliness of the facility during events is exceptional.

Ashlan Simila


Ashlan is responsible for operations, HVAC, set-ups, maintenance, audiovisual and housekeeping. Ashlan is very knowledgeable in all aspects of event management and enjoys assisting clients in making sure all last minute requests are handled to exact specifications. He prides himself in providing superior customer service to ensure client satisfaction.

Walter Mills


Walter has been a member of the Operations staff since April 2019. Walter comes to us from San Francisco where he was the Operations Director for PSAV, a major Audio Visual Provider for hotels and event centers across the country. Walter specializes in creating/operating Lights, Audio and Projection for events. He has extensive background in the event production industry, including touring for many years as a Production Director for a nationally touring Bridal Fashion Show.

Little known fact: Walter has a Country Music Association (CMA) Award for Major Market Personality of the year as a member of the Skip Mahaffey Morning Show and worked many years as a Radio Host in Markets across the US.

Walter is a United States Marine Corps Veteran living with his family in Manzanita. He loves surfing, camping and photography and is happy to be a part of the SCCC family.