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Cheryl Merchant made waves in the industry at the beginning of the year when she was named president of TACO Comfort Solutions North America. Upon announcing Merchant’s role, TACO CEO and Owner John Hazen White, Jr. noted that her track record as a senior leader speaks for itself. For more than two decades, Merchant has built her career from shop floors to operations working with global automotive brands including General Motors, Mazda and Ford.
Merchant is a recognized industry and community leader and sought after lecturer. Her specialties include mergers and acquisitions, general operations, lean manufacturing, supply chain management, production consolidation, and more. In this spotlight, PHCPPros highlights Merchant’s career and her experiences that have equipped her for her latest role!
Prior to her current role with TACO, Merchant was the president and CEO of Hope Global from 1999 until 2018. Headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, Hope Global provides innovative manufacturing solutions and processes including braiding, weaving, knitting and wire draw, cut, sew and assemblies for the Automotive, Apparel, Construction, Government, Industrial, Marine, and Military industries. Under her leadership, the company’s sales more than tripled and operations expanded to include manufacturing facilities in Mexico, China, and the Czech Republic, as well as sales offices in Detroit, Brazil and Asia and a distribution facility in Texas.
Merchant’s leadership experience also includes serving as director of VAVE for the Lear Corporations’ North America Operations and being a Production Supervisor for both Mazda and General Motors.
For her leadership, Merchant has received various honors. In 2014, The Bryant University Women’s Summit of New England named her the Businesswoman of the Year. The award recognizes excellence in leadership by a business or professional woman who is either the founder, president or CEO of a multimillion dollar business or organization in New England. That same year, she the Providence Business News honored her as Rhode Island Leader.
Merchant brings the educational training and background to support her work. In 2014, the New England Institute of Technology awarded her an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters. In 2012, Bryant University awarded her an Honorary Doctorate of Business in the field of International Business. Additionally, she earned her B.A. in Business Administration with minors in Computers, Mathematics and Spanish.