Clay Merrill is the Director of Advancement for the Child Abuse Prevention Center, where he oversees and directs The Center’s fundraising and development efforts, communications, donor relations, corporate partnerships, and community relations. Previous to working at the Child Abuse Prevention Center, Merill was a Communications Supervisor with Moroch in Sacramento, where he lead the public relations efforts for the McDonald’s franchise owners in the Sacramento and Reno media markets. Merrill’s efforts included providing strategic planning and program implementation in both regions. Since he started working at Moroch, Merrill collaborated with local organizations and the news media to communicate the community activities of the McDonald’s franchisees in Sacramento and Reno. He provided social media, crisis communications and media relations services for his clients, and is extremely active in the community. In July 2014, Merrill was awarded the “Best Marketing/PR Plan” by the McDonald’s Corporation for implementing local farm to fork tours with McDonald’s suppliers in California, highlighting the growing and distribution of locally sourced commodities for McDonald’s restaurants. He also received a Leadership Award in 2014 from the McDonald’s Pacific Sierra Region for his leadership in implementing these tours for the Sacramento community.
Previous to Moroch, Merrill served as the Media Relations Manager at Randle Communications where he supported public and media relations efforts for the University of Phoenix, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the City of Fairfield and Associated Builders and Contractors – California Cooperation Committee. During his tenure at Randle, he served as a media events specialist on the campaign to pass Proposition 9, the Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights Act of 2008, which passed with a 54 percent majority in California. Merrill has also led media relations activities on issues ranging from health care to public safety for a variety of organizations, including the California Association of Mortgage Brokers, California Association for Nurse Practitioners, Chief Probation Officers of California, and the California Building Industry Association.
Merrill began his career at The Home Depot in Atlanta, Georgia, where he served as the Public Relations Coordinator. While there, he was part of the core communications team for national media outreach. Merrill’s responsibilities included media relations, event coordination and the company’s annual shareholders conference – where he coordinated the news media, developed collateral materials and supported senior leadership.
Merrill graduated from Brigham Young University (BYU) in 2002, receiving a degree in Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations. While at BYU, Merrill worked for BYU’s Performing Arts Management as a publicity writer. Serving as the key writing support for the University’s performing ensembles, he was responsible for the publication and distribution of the organization’s bi-annual newsletter to more than 5,000 subscribers with an international circulation.
Fueled by his passion for the arts, Merrill minored in Dance at BYU and performed with the University’s International Folk Dance Ensemble for four years. As part of the ensemble, he traveled extensively throughout the United States and around the world. His crowning moment came when he participated as a member of the performing cast for the Opening Ceremonies of the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympic Games. He continues to support the arts in the communities where he lives.
Merrill serves in the community as a board member for the Sacramento Asian Pacific Islander Chamber of Commerce, Ronald McDonald House Charities Northern California, the American Diabetes Association, and the Junior League of Sacramento. Merrill is also an alumnus of the Leadership Sacramento Class of 2013. Merrill is also a choreographer and dance instructor with Galena Street East, a local performing arts ensemble for young performers from the Sacramento area. In his spare time, Merrill loves to read, watch movies, travel to new places, play the piano and spend time with his wife, Natalie, daughter, Alisha and three sons, Dallin, Blake and Chase.