Merritt Family Enterprise
Location: Fort Lupton, Colorado
Industry: Manufacturing, Real Estate
Taylor Merritt is the third-generation leader of Merritt Family Enterprises and Merritt Aluminum Products, a legacy he takes seriously.
“Bearing the family name that exists on every product our company produces makes me want to ensure that not only can I be proud of what we’ve made, but every team member also feels that same sense of pride,” he said. “I have been humbled and inspired by the fortitude of my grandfather and the business acumen of my father. I have been able to apply elements of their skills and experience to develop a leadership style unique to my personality and entrepreneurial spirit. I firmly believe all strong leaders should first lead by example.”
Merritt Aluminum Products is North America’s leading manufacturer of aluminum accessories for the heavy duty and light-duty trucking industries. The company’s focus is to build a great company, with great people and great results. The company’s five core values, which include integrity, trust, excellence, respect and teamwork, are the foundation on which the company accomplishes its goals.
After graduating from the University of Denver’s College of Business in 2008, Merritt took on the role of CFO for what was then Merritt Equipment Company. As the years progressed, so did the increased production and revenue from the heavy-duty aluminum accessories division of the company.
Merritt saw once-passive aluminum truck accessories as an opportunity to flex his entrepreneurial muscles, and developed a business case and strategy to recommend breaking the accessories division into its own business entity. Merritt enrolled in the Harvard Business school in 2014 for the Owner President Management Program to better equip him to take his idea and make it a reality. Upon graduation from the program in 2016, Merritt launched Merritt Aluminum Products as its own independent business, with him serving as CEO and chairman of the board.
The business grew, and under Merritt’s leadership the company won a 2019 Colorado Manufacturer of the Year Award, Best Companies to Work for in Colorado, Top 50 Family Owned Businesses in Colorado and accolades for being one of the top Colorado Companies to Watch. Merritt also made headlines when he was recognized by Colorado Business Magazine as one of Colorado’s Top 25 Most Influential Young Professionals.
The pandemic created challenges in 2020, but Merritt did not allow the supply chain issues, alterations to business functions due to COVID-19 protocol or limited workforce availability hinder the goal to push innovation. March 2021 was the launch of the Merritt Aluminum Products’ light truck accessories line, making its formal debut at the 2021 SEMA show. “A business leader with genuine integrity, mindfulness and strength of character will show their true abilities not in the moments of prosperity but in times of crisis,” Merritt’s staff said. “Taylor Merritt is an exemplary illustration of those characteristics.”
In three years, the company aims to report $40 million in annual revenue, with an enhanced product offering in heavy-duty accessories and a fully developed product line for the medium-duty and light-duty markets. The company aims to continue to invest in technology to drive further automation and commit time and energy to further process improvement initiatives to help achieve the three-year goal. The company aims to put additional focus on research and development and enhancements in the digital marketing department in the coming years to ensure Merritt Aluminum Products remains at the top in quality, design and durability.
“I’m very focused on ensuring that our companies are industry leaders in their respective markets,” Merritt said. “The thing that really matters to me is leading our companies to the best of my abilities.”
"I have been humbled and inspired by the fortitude of my grandfather and the business acumen of my father. I have been able to apply elements of their skills and experience to develop a leadership style unique to my personality and entrepreneurial spirit. I firmly believe all strong leaders should first lead by example."