Ph.D., Cornell University
MBA, Pepperdine University
B.S. University of Alabama
Dr. Merritt is a professor management at California State University (Cal Poly Pomona), where he also serves as chair of graduate studies and editor-in-chief of the Collins School's Management Journal. Prior to entering academe, he spent twenty-five years in the hospitality industry where his primary focus was hotel and resort club development and management.
He has held senior management positions in a well-rounded variety of hospitality settings. As Vice President and General Manager of Coto de Caza Golf & Racquet Club, the largest gated community in Southern California, he oversaw the planning, development, and management of the 36-hole residential resort club development from start-up to mature. As Vice President and General Manager of Sawgrass, he managed an equity conversion and transition of the world-famous destination resort from developer-owned to member-owned. As Vice President and Managing Director of Ponte Vedra Inn & Club, he directed operations for an oceanfront resort hotel, spa, and club community of over 4,000 member families. As President of Merritt & Goodloe Hospitality, Inc., he founded and managed operations for the firm's locations, served as principal real estate broker, as well as provided integrated turnkey services to client hospitality companies opening in Florida.
Professor Merritt teaches management courses at Cal Poly Pomona and has served as a faculty member for the Club Managers Association of America's executive education programs at Cal Poly Pomona and Cornell University, and the Certification Review Course. Additionally, he has taught hospitality management at the University of California, Irvine, research seminar and leadership at Pepperdine, and management at Cornell. He has presented a number of industry conferences including the CMAA World Conference, the AH&LA International Convention and Exposition, and the FH&MA Hotel Show and Convention.
Associations and Publications
Merritt is past president and Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary, has served multiple terms as a Chamber of Commerce board member, is a past board member of the Southern Innkeepers Association, a founding council member of the Tourist Development Board, and a member of Club Managers Association of America (CMAA), the Academy of Management, and the Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education (CHRIE).
Dr. Merritt is the author of Leading Clubs Effectively: An Anthology of Current Thinking in Organizational Behavior as Applied to Hospitality Management (May 2003), Leading Teams (July 2004), and Leading the Strategic Process (January 2005), as well as a number of academic journal and industry publication articles. Research and consulting interests include management issues in groups and executive teams, leadership, and strategic planning in organizations located throughout the U.S.