meet our team

We realize that great company is made up of dedicated, passionate people who share the core values of the organization. Merida is comprised of many such people working in all areas of the company. Listed below are a few of the teams you are likely to work with directly when you work with Merida.

Leadership Team

Catherine Forster Connolly - CEO read bio

Joined Merida in 2007

What I do at Merida
I came to Merida almost three years ago after leading a market research company for six years and working as an analyst and economist before that. My interest has always been on sustainable economic development and emerging markets in particular. I grew up surrounded by art and beautiful environments, as both my mother and grandmother are artists. At Merida, I have been able to combine my background in sustainable economic development and my interest creative arts.

I have the privilege of leading an incredibly talented team at Merida at a very interesting crossroad for Merida as we aim to really grow our brand and develop our leadership in sustainable design. I really enjoy working with our team to grow and transform our business in this challenging time. I also really enjoying working with our customers and learning from them. Though this market is certainly challenging, I love problem solving and I think we are at an interesting turning point in our market and I believe there are very interesting opportunities for us and for our customers.

My Favorite Merida Area Rug
My favorite Merida Rug is a pink and green tufted rug that Maegan (our Creative Director) designed for my three-year old daughter’s room. The rug is beautiful and it was made in Fall River and is 100% wool. My daughter absolutely loves it and it looks fantastic in her room.

One thing that everyone should know about Merida
Before I joined Merida I thought it was a neat company with beautiful products. Now, I know that what makes Merida special is deeper than the beautiful products. Merida is a company with deep passion for design, sustainability and for making a difference in the world and I am excited to be leading the team as we work to carry out this mission.

Personal Info
I grew up in Alabama and managed to end up in Boston after spending several years in North Carolina and Washington D.C. I live in Newton Ma with my husband and three kids. My interests include running, reading, cooking and spending as much time outdoors as possible.

Paul Rizzo - Vice President of Sales read bio

Joined Merida in 1983

What I do at Merida
I lead a team that specifically caters to our retail customer channel. My focus is helping floor covering retailers, furniture stores, lifestyle stores, and mail order companies promote our products and educate their customers about the many benefits – global, local, and personal – of choosing Merida products for their home. 

I also work closely with our overseas suppliers to ensure that our company values are reflected in every product we make.

My Favorite Merida Area Rug
We have a wall-to-wall application of Merida's Grand Tournai Honey throughout our second floor bedrooms. It offers a clean, architecturally neutral look that looks great with every décor – from our teen son’s room to our master bedroom – is soft underfoot, and is easy to clean and maintain. 

One thing that everyone should know about Merida
We are a family-owned business that has been around for over 30 years. From the beginning, we have always cared about people, the environment, and creating innovative, well-designed, high quality products.

Roxanne Hanna - Director of Sales for Trade and Hospitality read bio

Joined Merida in 1999

What I do at Merida
My role at Merida consists of leading the trade sales team, participating in product development, merchandising, licensing programs and new business development. I also manage the Southern California market and special accounts in New York. I am very fortunate to have incredible clients and supportive colleagues. Each day is a new adventure that I find extremely rewarding and fun.

I enjoy connecting with people, being part of the creative process and working with sustainable products that enhance the beauty of our surroundings. My passion for textiles began when I started knitting at the tender age of six. My interest blossomed into studying textiles in college and now it is my career and I love it!

Personal Info
I live in Massachusetts with my husband and son. I enjoy traveling, cooking, spinning, dancing, and spending quality time with my family and friends.

My Favorite Merida Area Rug
My favorite rug is Bora Bora Volcano with linen binding in my living room. On my wish list is the Cable rug in ivory from our new Sweater Collection.

One thing that everyone should know about Merida
We are the first rug manufacturer to make bound area rugs out of sisal broadloom.

Maegan Fee - Creative Director read bio

Joined Merida in 2001

What I do at Merida
As Creative Director, I spend a lot of time thinking about innovative ideas for new products, researching color and design trends, and strategizing the best ways to present and merchandise our collections. What I love most about my role is the opportunity to work collaboratively with different departments to make new products and ideas come to life! I also love traveling the world to gain inspiration and product knowledge from all sorts of people and cultures.

My Favorite Merida Area Rug
With my many years at Merida, I have come to own a few of our products. From a fun tufted Glow rug, to a classic sisal jacquard, to a vibrant Viewpoint, the quality constructions and timeless patterns allows each room of my home to feel fresh and stylish throughout the years.

One thing that everyone should know about Merida
  • We are committed to making this world a better place for future generations by providing sustainable home accessories that are not only beautiful, but good to you and to the environment. I also want people to know that we are one of the last operating textile mills in Fall River, Massachusetts, which has historically been an important textile town in New England.
  • That we are one of the last standing textile mills in New England and we’re actually producing products out of Fall River, MA.
  • Even though Merida has been around for over 30yrs, we’re the new generation expanding on the beliefs the company started with (natural fibers) to fit in today’s world.
  • We’re a young, hip company (people wise) that is bridging the fashion world more closely to home interiors and juxtaposing those ideas with sustainable design.
Personal Info
With a degree in Textile Design from RISD, I’m fluent in a variety of design skills and very knowledgeable about fabric constructions. From creating computer graphics and drawings for surface designs, to hand weaving new constructions, I’m able to actually develop prototypes of my ideas at our Design Studio in Fall River. Working closely with our weaving technicians, my prototypes can easily be translated onto our mechanical looms. I’ve learned many different software programs that help us design for our Robotic Tufting Machine and Jacquard Looms.

Robert Segal - Director of Finance and Operations read bio

Joined Merida in 2005

What I do at Merida
My role at Merida is to ensure the financial well being of the Company while supporting the needs of our customers, employees and business partners. This can take on many forms such as appropriate balancing of inventory levels to meet customer demand, managing the customer credit approval process and allocating production staff to enable timely fulfillment of orders or ensuring the appropriate infrastructure to best service our customers and provide a positive work environment for our employees.

In addition to the inspiring work environment at Merida, I find the most enjoyment in the challenge of solving this puzzle of balancing the needs of the company, our customers and employees.

My Favorite Merida Area Rug
I am always excited to share my experience with the Viewpoint Chiaroscuro Truffle rug I’ve had on my stairs for the past 3 years. It still looks brand new after the daily wear and tear from 2 adults, 2 kids and 2 dogs. This installation was the first to be done with redesigned Viewpoint product with the nylon warp and it has performed perfectly.

One thing that everyone should know about Merida
At Merida we are always concerned about doing the right thing whether it is related to our customers, employees or business partners. We unequivocally subscribe to the motto, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.

Zairo Cheibub - Director of Sustainability and Supply Chain read bio

Joined Merida in 2007

What I do at Merida
My work at Merida entails integrating sustainability efforts, product development and supply chain management issues. I am responsible for leading our sustainability initiatives such as mobilizing and educating the company; making our operations more efficient and less wasteful; understanding the components of our products as well as the processes of making them – with a view on a future life cycle analysis; working with our partners overseas to make sure they align with our values regarding the environment, labor standards and community development.

I work with our team in Fall River, MA, in developing prototypes for new products and in source new materials that are sustainable and produced by sustainable companies. I also work closely with our partners overseas to manufacture products that we design. Building long-lasting and trusting relationships with these overseas partners is another important aspect of my job.

My Favorite Merida Area Rug
I have a beautiful Mayon abaca rug, the most sustainable among our sustainable rugs. I also intend to acquire a Mandacaru rug, an unbacked sisal design. I love the beauty of the design as well as its story of innovation. It is our first un-backed sisal, and was developed by Merida designers in Fall River and woven in a non-profit farming coop in Brazil. 

One thing that everyone should know about Merida
It is a fun place to work: relaxed and creative environment even in tough times. Our struggle to make a difference through our commitment with sustainability is deep and authentic. We never loose site of the larger goal even when, sometimes, in the short run we must compromise for a less than optimal outcome.

Personal Info
For many years I was a Political Science professor and the General Director of an applied social science research institute in Brazil. I came to the US to attend the MIT Sloan Fellows Program. During this program I acquired great insights into sustainability and business, especially through a class called Sustainability Laboratory (S-Lab), where we worked with companies on sustainability strategy.

Merida was the company my S-Lab student team worked with, and we researched how Merida’s customers perceived sustainability and what business opportunities existed for the company in this emerging space. Working on the project was a great experience; I was impressed by Merida’s commitment to sustainability and the synergy between their values and my own. At the end of the project I actively pursued a job at this company that had so inspired me.

Sales Team

Sandi Hammond – Sales Executive read bio

Joined Merida in 2008

What I do at Merida
I am responsible for Merida’s sales territories for the trade in multiple markets including Houston, Dallas, Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia, Denver and more.

I love working for a company that creates beautiful art in a sustainable way. I enjoy being part of the textile industry and seeing what our Creative Director is working on. I enjoy knowing that we support artisans all over the world. I enjoy the balance required for sales- use of the left and right brain; to be successful at Merida, I have to use analytical skills to develop strategies and research a given market; and, I have to use a totally different skill set to talk with customers and appreciate the aesthetic attributes of our products. It is the constant integrating of skills and learning that makes work exciting.

My Favorite Merida Area Rug
Appari Pearl, Halo custom color (round shape), Madagascar African Teak

One thing that everyone should know about Merida
Merida is a stand-out when it comes to sustainability; the “green” movement is starting to experience message fatigue, but Merida is truly sustainable on many levels and has been sustainable since its inception 31 years ago. While it thrills me that many customers know us solely for the beauty of our products, what I want every customer to know is how deeply sustainable we are, and that we always have been. For Merida, sustainability is not a fad; it’s a permanent way of doing business, an inherent identity. My wish is for every customer to understand the many levels at which Merida manifests sustainability.

Pauline King – Sales Executive read bio

Joined Merida in 2009

What I do at Merida
I work with carpet dealers and lifestyle stores in different markets in the US that sell Merida rugs to consumers (as well as designers). I set them up with merchandising, provide product knowledge about our natural fiber rugs and assist them in any way possible to help their clients when purchasing a Merida rug. I love our products and know they are the best in natural fibers so I get excited when working with our dealers. I also love to travel and see their showrooms.

My Favorite Merida Area Rug
I have several favorites. I own a beautiful Luxe Silver Topaz sisal, a Viewpoint Stephanotis wool rug, and a Tufted wool Pavo rug from the Thrive Collection. 

One thing that everyone should know about Merida
Everyone at Merida plays an important role in the quality, production and story of Merida and embraces our goals in sustainability and design. We all meet regularly to find innovative ways to improve the sustainability of our company and product. It is team effort!

Tara McLarney – Sales Executive read bio

Joined Merida in 2009

What I do at Merida
I oversee sales in the east coast market, with a few other states scattered in. I love connecting with customers, and learning about how they integrate natural fibers into there projects, or how they work with there clients to understand that to be sustainable you don’t have to sacrifice beauty, and gorgeous design!

My Favorite Merida Area Rug
I am absolutely thrilled with my custom color Tufted Halo rug in Kasha and Chiffon. If you are one of my clients you probably know that I also have an unhealthy obsession with Cortina Platinum. I love it and it will be my next purchase! 

One thing that everyone should know about Merida
At the core of Merida are people who care about doing the right thing for the environment, for our future, and for our clients; all while focusing on beautiful designs.

Siobhan Kelley – Sales Executive read bio

Joined Merida in 2009

What I do at Merida
I work as a Sales Executive in the Direct to Consumer Channel (DTC). My clients include Lifestyle Stores, Home Furnishings Retailers, and Flooring Retailers in several states, including Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Texas, and Virginia. I work with these clients to get them Merida products suitable for their space and end-user (everyday consumers and designers).

My Favorite Merida Area Rug
I am working with our Fall River, MA, manufacturing facility to create a custom tufted rug from our Glow Collection or new Thrive Collection. This will be my first Merida rug!

One thing that everyone should know about Merida
I think people should know about Merida’s focus on Sustainability and educating their team about this process. They are committed to being innovative with the design and manufacturing of their products. This includes being on trend with design and sustainable with creation. They focus on a closed-loop process; taking from the earth and giving back. The team’s collaborative efforts make Merida and its products truly beautiful.

Customer Solutions Team

Dale Mushlin - Customer Solutions Representative read bio

Joined Merida in 1996

What I do at Merida
As a customer solutions representative, besides maintaining the day to day work load, I provide assistance in the more intricate orders and quotes, inspect materials customers send to us for fabrication, am a liason contact with some of the larger accounts and help with claims questions.

My Favorite Merida Area Rug
I own a Grand Tournai Honey and Madagasgar Glacier rug. Guests always compliment me on these rugs and want to know where to purchase them! I look forward to having one of the newer tufted rugs.

One thing that everyone should know about Merida
Merida, a long standing company in the industry, is committed to customer satisfaction, it's "team" of employees and in producing creative, innovative, environmentally friendly rugs .That's why I love working here.

Johanne Thomas - Customer Solutions Team Lead read bio

Joined Merida in 2005

What I do at Merida
I provide solutions to customers who are seeking product advice, or need to place a quote or order. I also manage the overall workflow of the Customer Solutions team and provide training for new employees. 

My Favorite Merida Area Rug
I love all of the fantastic Tufted area rugs that we design and weave in our Fall River, MA mill.

One thing that everyone should know about Merida
Merida is very committed to its employees!

Michael McGreal - Customer Solutions Concierge read bio

Joined Merida in 2007

What I do at Merida
My role as Customer Solutions Concierge is to assist current and potential customers with information regarding our products and services. My job also includes sending out sample cuttings to clients and managing the day-to-day functions that keep the Customer Solutions department running in a smooth and timely manner.

My job also includes the day-to-day functions of keeping the Customer Solutions department running in a smooth and timely manner.

My Favorite Merida Area Rug
I own a Bengal Beach Dune area rug, and it looks great in my home office.

One thing that everyone should know about Merida
It is well known that Merida is committed to the environment through our sustainability efforts. But I am always impressed with Merida’s efforts to help citizens of countries who have been affected by natural disasters.

Personal Info
My previous work experience as a Customer Service Representative for a major airline has helped me provide superior customer service to both my external customers and also my internal customers (my coworkers).