Jeremy Merz was most recently Department Vice President of State Government Relations for the American Property Casualty Insurance Association. Prior to this position, he was the Western Region’s Vice President of State Affairs for the American Insurance Association for five years and a policy advocate for CalChamber for five years, specializing in workers’ compensation, transportation, local government, and international trade issues. Prior to joining CalChamber in 2011, he was a litigation attorney for Downey Brand LLP.
He cared so much about the issues he worked on, and was extremely well-respected by all who were lucky enough to work with him. But much more than his wealth of policy experience and successes, Jeremy was a good man. He was a devoted husband, father and friend to many. He was a caring and thoughtful soul, with a wit and sense of humor that drew people in.
Jeremy was diagnosed with ALS in March 2022. While the grim diagnosis would have stopped others in their tracks, Jeremy took it in stride. Jeremy immediately began using the skills he honed his entire life to advocate for ALS. He made a huge difference in the lives of so many – fighting for more resources to improve access to care and accelerate the search for effective treatments and cures. He worked closely with the ALS Association’s Golden West Chapter to advance a significant one-time allocation in state funding to support the organization’s wraparound model of care. This funding not only supported essential care services and offset out-of-pocket costs for ALS families, but it established the development of two new Certified Treatment Centers of Excellence and five multidisciplinary satellite ALS clinics.
Our time with Jeremy was limited far more than we wanted it to be – but he made sure it was full of life, love, and joy. He passed away January 24, 2023, surrounded by family and loved ones.