fueled by passion
Merritt is the artist’s atelier. We are innovators. We plan with precision, craft with care and build boldly knowing that our work lives on for generations of tomorrow. We only work with the finest designers, builders and craftsmen, and deliver woodwork that is unparalleled in our industry.
Only the extraordinary is acceptable for the world’s finest estates and superyachts.
TIMELESS CRAFTSMANSHIP, TOMORROW’S TECHNOLOGY
Merritt is changing the definition of woodwork and joinery from the inside out. By constantly innovating, we stay steps ahead of both our competition and our clients to ensure that the future of our craft will be brighter, stronger and more powerful than ever before. As a family run company, Merritt is led by strong ideals that have remained at our core for fifty years. We believe in solid partnerships with our clients. We never miss a detail, a delivery or a deadline. We employ both cutting edge technology and age old techniques in cultivating our craft. Our approach is uncompromising and the result is the perfect alignment of beauty and precision.
A LEGACY OF ART AND VISION
As a young man, George A. Merritt honed his craft as an artisan woodworker in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. In 1967 he founded Merritt Woodwork where he went on to mentor his own team of apprentices. By building a reputation for perfectionism and artistry, Merritt honed a niche delivering the highest-quality cabinetry and woodwork in the region. Today, his sons Michael and Keith not only continue their father’s legacy of extraordinary craftsmanship, premium materials and hands-on management, but have also grown the company in unexpected directions with exceptional results.
Through constant innovation and an obsession with perfection, Merritt moves the definition of woodwork and joinery forward.
G. Michael Merritt
PRESIDENT & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
“Because we never accept the status quo, we are constantly innovating, identifying new ways to meet old challenges. We have never been afraid of going against the grain in pursuit of perfection.”
G. Michael Merritt has a singular vision for Merritt, the company his father, George A. Merritt, founded in 1967: to be the best, most forward thinking and in-demand provider of ultra-high-end architectural millwork and joinery for residential estates and super yachts. Through his strategic leadership and a collaborative executive team, Merritt has become one of the world’s leading luxury interior solutions firms.
Throughout his tenure, Michael has practiced every trade and held nearly every key position in the company from cabinetry to operations. Today Michael provides strategic and practical support of Merritt’s many teams, departments and divisions, while focusing on human capital, team results, mentoring and ensuring controlled company growth.
Michael’s goals for Merritt today and in the future are clear: generate flawless results for our clients, mentor and motivate our company team and provide security and future opportunities to our employees, vendors, consultants and friends.
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT & TREASURER
“Taking an architect’s dream and turning it into reality is a daily joy for my team. The challenges we face in the process become fuel driving us to exceed what we thought were limitations.”
Keith Merritt, younger son of founder George A. Merritt, has a long history within the company. Like his brother Michael, Keith has worked in nearly every position he now oversees from production, manufacturing and logistics to plant management, engineering management and project management. Today, in addition to his roles as executive vice president and treasurer, he also functions as day to day director of operations.
Early on, Keith pledged himself to mastering old-world craftsmanship techniques to further Merritt’s foundation in the art of woodwork and joinery. Along with his team, he continues to research the world’s finest materials and technological advancements, fusing them together with the industry’s most advanced equipment and creative people to create exquisite monumental architectural millwork.
vp of sales & marketing
“Serving the world’s most discerning home and yacht owners, architects and builders is an art. Merritt is a family of fine artisans.”
As vice president of sales and marketing, Mark brings his own background as a luxury residential builder and as an entrepreneur to his role of expanding awareness and opportunities for Merritt. A master networker and relationship builder, Mark has built a powerful contact database of designers, architects, general contractors, and owner’s representatives both domestically and internationally.
Mark’s personal understanding of the demands on both the architect/designer side, as well as on the millworking team, enable him to be both connector and problem solver at the critical stage of project inception. He knows no limits to ensuring that both client and company are served and that all expectations are exceeded. He sees his role not solely as sales and marketing but one that always keeps the entire project cycle in focus.
“We work on some of the most monumental projects in the country. Collaborating with our industry’s top professionals, including our own Merritt team, is deeply rewarding.”
A nine-year veteran of Merritt, Don Alexander brings a passion for design and architecture to work every day. Prior to joining Merritt, Don owned and operated Falls Lumber and Millwork, a high-end architectural millwork firm. His personal knowledge of both the craft and business side of woodworking make him an ideal ally for both his clients and Merritt.
Don oversees an exceptional team of project managers, project engineers, field installation managers and project coordinating staff. Together they provide comprehensive project direction and solutions for Merritt’s clients who include the most discerning general contractors, architects, designers and homeowners anywhere.
Don sits on the Advisory Board for the University of Akron’s Interior School of Design and is also a guest lecturer for the school’s Design and Project Management courses.
“At Merritt I have been able to bring my experience as a professional yacht builder to bear on both Merritt’s heritage of residential work, as well as its super yacht category. Finding new challenges in both continually drives me and my team to new levels of success.”
Albert Peetoom has been a project principal with Merritt’s residential and super yacht divisions since 2013. He brings more than 20 years of experience as a professional yacht builder specializing in leading interior fit-out. His team leadership includes oversight of residential and yacht projects from start to finish including all aspects of engineering, budgets, communication and procurement. His deep experience in the yachting industry, particularly interior outfitting, informs his work at Merritt every day, both residential and nautical. Delivering extraordinary results to Merritt clients continually drives Albert and his team to excellence.
Albert lives in Savannah, Georgia and is a member of the Historic Savannah Foundation.
PROJECT PRINCIPAL & GENERAL MANAGER
“I am driven by working with the very best – in materials, colleagues and clients.”
Since 2015 Jochen Schröcker has led Merritt’s Germany-based team of highly skilled craftsmen, integrating their work, heritage and operations with Merritt’s U.S.-based headquarters.
Jochen is at heart a schreinermeister, German for master cabinetmaker. A third generation cabinetmaker, Jochen has been a master craftsman since 1994 and has worked in the yacht and international premium residential business for 18 years.
His remarkable career experience includes working on some of the world’s most extraordinary mega yachts including the Maltese Falcon, Royal Romance and Nourah of Riyadh. Ultra-luxury penthouses in St. Petersburg, Russia, Istanbul, Turkey and San Francisco, California confirm an experience delivering unparalleled millwork to clients for whom the best is the only option.
Prior to joining Merritt, Jochen was a project manager, head of estimating and general manager for Sinnex Steinheimer Innenausbau, the prestigious German millwork firm. Germany is highly regarded for the value it places on craft, attention to detail and precision in execution. Jochen embodies these values and it informs his work and his team at Merritt every day.
“Producing some of the highest quality, most complex work on either coast has earned us a reputation for excellence.”
A woodworker by trade, Stefan Sekula’s background includes hands-on experience in carpentry, framing, shop drawing, fabrication, finishing and installation of architectural millwork. In 1989 he partnered with Design Woodworking founder David Worfolk and together they grew the Lodi, California-based company to $9 million in annual revenue. Stefan and Design Woodworking joined Merritt in 2016 sharing very similar clients, projects and philosophies. Stefan and team have become valuable assets to the Merritt family and together they are approaching great new opportunities to grow, learn and problem-solve as one. Stefan continues in his role as a senior project principal and now oversees Merritt’s west coast operations.
“I have never wanted to live or work in a mediocre manner and have always sought to challenge myself to achieve the next level of quality, beauty and perfection.”
In 1972, with a degree in history, David Worfolk took a summer job in Connecticut helping to convert an old foundry into a full residence and immediately fell for the craft of carpentry. Ten years later, he started Design Woodworking in Lodi, California providing high-end custom architectural woodworking to Bay Area homeowners. In 1989, Stefan Sekula joined David and together they consistently grew DWW to lead the market until they merged with Merritt in 2016.
In his role at DWW, David managed the financial, personnel and plant operations, as well as shared in project responsibilities regarding contracts, communications and project oversight. David takes great pride in nurturing and supporting a loyal workforce who share his commitment to quality, service and cooperation.
jeff sessions, AIA
“I am proud to have the opportunity to work within a company that holds craftsmanship, quality and customer satisfaction to the highest standards in the industry.”
As team leader of the Utah office, Jeff is responsible for providing project management and engineering leadership on multiple simultaneous projects from inception through completion. He brings years of experience with him to Merritt, previously serving as CEO & Vice President at Wavell-Huber Wood Products, Inc. where he developed the company from a regional Southern California firm into a national architectural woodworking organization.
Jeff holds a Master of Architecture, California Polytechnic University and a Bachelor of Arts, with emphasis in Environmental Design from San Diego State University.
“My role overseeing complex installations from start to finish is uniquely rewarding. Managing each step, I have an opportunity to witness up-close the end result of all our collective efforts.”
Alex Segura manages Merritt’s carpentry and installation group, overseeing a team of some of the finest craftsmen in North America. With a thorough background in the millworking industry, he brings a trifecta of experience as a master carpenter, carpentry supervisor and millwork business owner to his position with Merritt. Today, he supervises the entire department of field operations managers, field installation managers, field superintendents and carpenters. From start to finish, from build to installation, he accepts and delivers only flawless craftsmanship and perfect results.
Director of Classical Decoration
“The current resurgence of interest in, and respect for, carved ornamentation is inspiring. I look forward to continuing to develop this extraordinary art.”
Ian Agrell began modeling clay as a child at the encouragement of his parents. This love of working in three dimensions led him to first study woodcarving in 1961. Twenty years later, Ian was elected to the Master Carvers Association, a prestigious society of wood and stone carvers in the United Kingdom.
In 1986, Ian moved to the United States to take on larger residential projects and to teach classical carving. Since then he and his team have been honored with commissions including Fulham Palace, Hampton Court, the United Kingdom Houses of Parliament, the Utah Governor’s Mansion and a throne for Pope Saint John Paul.
After twenty years of partnering with Merritt on large high-end residential projects, Agrell Architectural Carving was acquired and now operates as Merritt’s in-house classical decoration team. Ian oversees all classical decoration operations for Merritt as well as staff training and program development.
Ian is passionate about maintaining the art of classical woodcarving and to ensure the future of these unique skills, thirty years ago he founded the School of Classical Woodcarving where he teaches several classes each year.
Director of Classical Decoration
“Woodworking is not only my job, but my passion. I am proud of the work that we do and for the opportunity to be a part of Merritt’s extraordinary team.”
Adam started woodcarving at an early age in his father’s home workshop in England. He apprenticed with British Master Carver Ian Agrell, and went on to study at the City and Guilds of London Art School. Since moving to the United States in 1992, he has worked on carving, restoration, and ornamental design for private residences, museums and furniture manufacturers. He was elected a member of the UK’s Master Carver’s Association in 1992.
Adam joined Merritt in March of 2017 to lead the promotion and execution of design development for decorative and ornamental schemes. His responsibilities include ensuring effective communication of design intent through the manufacturing process, as well as internal and external education, and the marketing and promotion of classical decoration.
One of Adam’s recently honored commissions includes the production of a replica Louis XVI console table for the Salon Doré installation at the Museum of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco. The project won the prestigious Julia Morgan Award for Craftsmanship and Artisanship in 2016. Adam serves as Merritt’s representative to the Institute of Classical Art & Architecture (ICAA).
“I take pride in adding value to the organization through innovation in all aspects of my role. I am always in search of the most efficient and effective financial and operational processes.”
Nick leads the finance and accounting function for Merritt, which also includes purchasing, legal and the general administrative functions of the organization. He serves as a strategic partner to the CEO, as well as other project and department leaders. Nick also has responsibility for aligning Merritt’s systems to support growth and driving the seamless integration of newly acquired businesses.
Prior to joining Merritt, Nick served in several senior level financial roles, including serving as business unit finance director and director of accounting operations for the private equity backed sports, entertainment and media conglomerate IMG, finance director of the Cleveland Cavaliers, as well as having led the internal audit and corporate accounting functions at Anthony & Sylvan Pools, America’s largest in ground pool construction company. Nick has had key roles in multiple business acquisitions ranging from $1M to $110M, multiple ERP system integrations and also brings strong financial reporting and strategic financial planning experience. Nick started his career in public accounting with the big four firm Ernst & Young.
Nick holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a MBA from John Carroll University and is a certified public accountant. Nick stays active out of the office playing soccer and softball, while also volunteering as a youth league soccer and baseball coach. Nick and his wife Lynn live in Chagrin Falls, Ohio with their two sons, Nicky and Sam.
“The sense of teamwork and family at Merritt is key to our success as a company. We aim to engage and motivate our staff and ensure each employee knows how vital their contribution is individually and to the entire Merritt process.”
Patricia Hays is Merritt’s human resource director and plays a critical role in maintaining and enhancing the organization’s team and structure. Pat has been with Merritt for three years and brings with her more than 25 years of experience as an HR professional.
Pat oversees the planning, implementation and evaluation of employee relations, policies, programs and practices. Pat is responsible for the breadth of HR functions within Merritt including compliance, orientation programs, management training, interviews, hiring, exit practices, pay structure recommendations, benefits programs and day-to-day employee relations. She brings insight and understanding to her role and embraces the daily challenge of helping employees meet their personal and professional goals in the workplace.
Pat is a member of the Society of Human Resource Management and Certified Professional Human Resources.