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Meet your Salary Commissioners

illustrations of 3 diverse people with title: Meet Your Commissioners
Playing a key role in implementing voter-approved changes to Portland’s election system and form of government, the Salary Commission will set pay for City of Portland’s elected officials.
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Five commissioners and two alternates with human resources expertise were appointed to Portland’s first Salary Commission in March 2023. These human resource professionals with compensation experience will lead the charge to research and establish salaries for 12 elected councilors, mayor, and auditor in the new form of government as approved by voters.


 Abby Engers

Portrait of Abby Engers
“I believe we all have a duty to give back to our communities, and I think my skills align with the City's needs here. I have a lot of experience talking to people in different industries and roles and figuring out areas of consensus and proposing solutions in a way that people can accept them. I am also a very curious and resourceful person, happy to challenge my own beliefs and take on other perspectives.”

Abby Engers (she/her), J.D., SHRM-CP, is an HR Manager & Consultant at Boly:Welch, one of Portland’s leading recruiting agencies. She works internally on engagement and HR processes and externally with a large variety of local businesses and nonprofits to solve their HR, compensation, hiring, and retention pain points. She’s also the creator of two hiring-themed zines, 60+ blogs, and a job search themed workshop series. Abby is a graduate of the University of Oregon’s School of Law and has been working in HR and recruiting in Portland since 2014.

Rosanna Gill

Portrait of Rosanna Guill
“I'm excited to use my HR skills in a civic manner. My current position is all about listening, synthesizing, and taking into consideration all perspectives in terms of the applicant and employee experience.”

Rosanna Gill has been a resident of Multnomah County since 2006. She started her career in functional Human Resources and moved into HR Technology about 15 years ago, working for companies in the Transportation and Logistics field, as well as high tech companies. She has worked on a variety of projects that include talent enablement, recruiting technology, and compensation. In her free time, she fosters kittens for local organizations and dabbles in ceramics.

Rut Martinez-Alicea

Portrait of Rut Martinez Alicea
“As a member of the Portland community, I'm interested in contributing towards a healthy, thriving and inclusive local democracy where our elected officials are fairly compensated with competitive salaries that compensate their labor while also fostering responsible stewardship of public funding.”

Rut is the Director of Equity, People, Culture, and Administration at Oregon Food Bank (OFB) since 2018. Before joining OFB, Rut implemented programs, policies and practices to promote more equitable services for marginalized communities throughout the Portland, OR region, including the design and implementation of Linea UNICA - the first and only statewide 24/7 bilingual (Spanish and English) hotline for survivors of domestic and sexual violence -, Portland Community College’s SAFE program - the first program in the US dedicated to the primary prevention of rape at a community college - and PCC’s SE Multicultural Center. Throughout her journey, Rut has worked to foster supportive, equity-centered environments for individuals and communities at greater risk of violence and marginalization and who are denied access to basic resources such as health, housing and food.

 Joni Marie Johnson

Portrait of Joni Marie Johnson
“Serving on this committee will provide an opportunity to help create a strong, rational compensation structure as the city develops its new positions. Having a transparent process that allows elected and appointed officials to understand the compensation process will both attract strong candidates and inform the public.”

Joni Marie Johnson grew up in Portland and graduated from Portland State University. Her employment career in human resources management included working for the Oregon Historical Society, the Metropolitan Exposition and Recreation Commission, and most recently she held the position of Director of Human Resources at Travel Portland before retiring in 2021.  As part of her civic and community engagement activities she served on the City Arts Advocates Committee and Portland Parks & Recreation’s Vision 2020 Plan.  A strong supporter of public education, she was a member of the Portland Public Schools Citizens Budget Review Committee, campaigned to increase funding for classroom teachers, and helped develop the framework for local school foundations.  

Laura Sampson

Portrait of Laura Sampson
“I am excited about being part of the team that is serving as the first salary commission, much like I did at Washington County. I am interested in learning more about the City structure and taking part in this important new body of work.”

Laura started her Human Resources career in retail management, where she gained foundational knowledge in many areas. In 2015, she joined the Compensation team at Multnomah County. After leaving for a few months in 2022 to work for the Port of Portland in Compensation, she recently returned to Multnomah County for a new opportunity in Compensation. Laura has a PHR certification and has completed 50% of her Certified Compensation Professional (CCP) certification, with plans to finish in the coming year. Laura loves learning and experiencing new compensation practices and looks forward to being on this commission.

Alternate Members

 Maura Cooney

Portrait of Maura Cooney
“The opportunity to work with a diverse group of professionals to determine fair salaries for city officials sounds exciting to me. Diving into data and information, and discussing with the group, would be a unique opportunity to learn from people working in other fields, and to implement meaningful change as a volunteer. One of our missions at OHSU is service, and I would welcome the opportunity to give back to Portland by contributing my time.”

Maura became a resident of Portland in 1979, living in NE and attending Portland Public Schools for grade, middle and high school years. After moving to Maryland for college and living in Baltimore for a few years, she returned to Portland in 2002. She started working at OHSU as a student worker, and over the last 20 years has taken a number of positions within the University, including HR Manager and, currently, Associate Director of Operations, School of Medicine. Maura is drawn to the missions of OHSU, including service, and looks forward to serving as part of this commission

Emily Medress

a picture of emily medress
Having just moved to Portland, I’ve been in awe of the level of civic engagement here. I am thrilled to be joining the Salary Commission to put my experience to use and help the commission uphold its promise of making public office accessible to all.

Emily recently moved to Portland with her family. She just wrapped up 14 years leading a national health equity nonprofit in a variety of roles from founding Los Angeles Executive Director to Bay Area Executive Director and Head of External Affairs. In her time there, she was part of the executive team that brought the organization from 8 staff members to over 70, growing from a $1.5m organization to a $16m org. She has just transitioned to working in philanthropy and is greatly looking forward to applying her experience to this commission.