Sharon Merchant’s career of over 30 years of public and private sector experience has enabled her to provide a unique perspective. Ms. Merchant has served as a Member of the Florida House of Representatives and is the President of her own business, The Merchant Strategy, Inc. At The Merchant Strategy, Ms. Merchant leads government and community relations with great skill in guiding clients through the maze of government red tape. She also spearheads public involvement services for a wide variety of engineering and construction endeavors. Throughout her career, Ms. Merchant has worked with local, county, state and Federal governmental entities and associations, building relationships with elected officials and key staff members. As a Legislative Assistant and then Member of the Florida House of Representatives, she learned the intricacies of state and local government. In her award-winning legislative career, Ms. Merchant served as Chair of the Appropriations Committee on Transportation and Economic Development, the Juvenile Justice Committee and the Palm Beach County Legislative Delegation. She was Vice Chair of the Utilities and Telecommunication Committee and the Republican Caucus.
As a fifth generation Floridian, Ms. Merchant is committed to her community and has served on the boards of the Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center, Grassy Waters Preserve, South Florida Fair, Palm Beach County Historical Society, Florida Tax Watch, The ARC of Palm Beach County, Pine Jog, Discover the Palm Beaches and is the founder of the Council of Community Leaders. Ms. Merchant has been honored with awards and recognitions from diverse groups such as the Florida Chamber of Commerce, six-time winner of the Roll Call Award given to Florida’s Top 40 Legislators, Nature Conservancy Legislator of the Year, Association of General Contractors of America for Outstanding Service, Executive Women of the Palm Beaches Foundation Women in Leadership Award, and she was the first recipient of the Gulfstream Goodwill Industries Award for Dedication.
What do you love most about your city?
The friendships I have made here in my community. I am a fifth generation Floridian from West Palm Beach. My father was also born here, and his mother was one of the area’s first school teachers.
Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?
For breakfast, you cannot beat the food at the Berry Fresh Café in Jupiter. I also really like the bagels and eggs at The Boulevard Restaurant and Deli in Palm Beach Gardens. For dinner, my favorite is Morton’s Steakhouse, New York strip medium rare, salad and a great red wine.
What are you doing at:
6:00 AM - Heading to the gym to lift weights with my trainer. I try to resist, but he is unfailingly charming and smells good.
10:00 AM - Working at my office.
12:00 PM - Favorite Power Lunch spot/meal?
City Cellar in Downtown West Palm Beach is perfect for company and client lunches.
7:00 PM - Entertaining a client or potential client.
11:00 PM - Sound asleep!
What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?
Water – lots!
Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?
Uber is my go-to app whether at home or traveling.
What should everyone try at least once?
Help a young person succeed. Interestingly, I have found that age doesn’t make you smarter, you just know more about life. Sometimes we can steer a younger person in the right direction.
Where do you enjoy getting lost?
Each summer my girlfriends and I stay in Keystone, Colorado and hike in all the surrounding areas, like Silverthorne, Frisco and Breckenridge to name a few. I have an elderly Aunt in Grand Junction, so we make an overnight trip there to visit her. Next door to Grand Junction is Palisades, where Colorado grows its best wine and fruit. Yum!