J. Al Merritt
Executive Board Member, Miami Community Board Vice Chair
In business and philanthropy, James “Al” Merritt has built a reputation as a successful entrepreneur, leader and facilitator.
After working in the U.S. and Latin America for Welch Allyn, he founded MD International Inc. (MDI) in 1987. Based in Miami, MDI soon became the leading manufacturers’ representative and independent distributor of medical equipment to doctor’s offices and hospitals in Latin America and the Caribbean, with distribution companies established throughout the region. As President and CEO of MDI, Merritt established lasting relationships with hundreds of business executives worldwide, from Fortune 500 companies to small entrepreneurial businesses. He sold MDI to Welch Allyn in 2009.
Merritt has spent many years leading and participating in mission work around the world. Shortly after exiting MDI, he formed Social Entrepreneurial Enterprises (SEE), Inc. Among its many goals, SEE takes on projects that teach people how to improve their lives through education and training. One key initiative is the Portland Arts and Vocational Education (PAVE) Centre which creates customized training classes that provide Jamaican students with the training, mentoring and hands-on experience needed to succeed. Another is a project in South Florida where Merritt and SEE have teamed with the Manfred Memorial Foundation to develop a retreat center in the Redlands area of South Miami-Dade County.
Merritt’s most important core value is mentoring. Throughout his professional career, he has sponsored, organized, facilitated or served as a featured speaker at many business conferences and seminars both in the U.S. and internationally.
Since 1986, he has been active with the Young Presidents Organization (YPO), a global network of business leaders. He currently serves as regional board member and an economic summit chair. Aside from his current business interests, he also oversees the mission office for Kendall United Methodist Church in Miami.