Jose L. Rodriguez
President of M.E.R.I.T., Inc.
Eleven years ago, Jose L. Rodriguez left behind a successful career in law enforcement to start his own business.
The president of M.E.R.I.T., Inc., a Newark-based contracting company that provides its clients with construction and security services was named the U.S. Small Business Administration’s2011 New Jersey Small Business Person of the Year.
Mr. Rodriguez was selected for the award based on criteria that include: Staying Power; Growth in Number of Employees; Increase in Sales; Financial Strength of the Company; Innovation of Product or Service Offered; Response to Adversity and Contributions to Aid Community Oriented Projects.
The former Newark Police detective and retired captain from the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office took the experience he gained there and set off to start a company that provided security services. However, that all changed in 2003 when Joe turned to the SBA for assistance in becoming a certified SBA 8(a) company. The certification helps small disadvantaged businesses compete for contracts from the federal government.
The combination of being an SBA 8(a) company and having Service Disabled Veteran status helped propel M.E.R.I.T., Inc. to the next level. Having familiarity with construction didn’t hurt either. Joe was confident in his ability and changed the focus of the company to construction-based services. That was the turning point and Joe hasn’t looked back since. Today, M.E.R.I.T., Inc. has grown to 40 employees with multi-million dollar annual sales returns.
Mr. Franklin is a proven manager and technologist with over 40 years of experience in the Public, Private and Non-Profit sectors. Mr. Franklin spent 15 years on Wall Street, during which time he was Vice President of computer systems for a major Investment Bank, managing their national and global technology infrastructure. He is responsible for M.E.R.I.T. INC’s global technology operations, with emphasis on providing technology solutions for Government agencies.
Mr. Colin Crosby
Director, Government/Corporate Programs
Colin joined the M.E.R.I.T. Management Team in January 2014 and is expected to become involved in every aspect of the business, including product development, administration, recruitment, client relationships, and helping spearhead the organization’s strategic plan for global expansion.
Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Colin was schooled in Bridgeport, CT during his formative years, received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in 1994 and a Master’s from Regis University in 2006. This year he is scheduled to receive his PhD in Business Administration: Computer and Information Systems Security.
In 1996 Colin received his commission in the U. S. Marine Corps as a Communications and Information Systems Officer and spent 8 years on active duty before transferring into the USMC Reserves in 2004. After completing his Master’s Degree in 2006, Colin developed and managed his own business in New York City for a number of years before being mobilized by the USMC to support Operation Enduring Freedom in 2009. While on active duty, he was selected by the Corps to represent the United States in the United Nations peacekeeping operations in Haiti after their massive earthquake in 2010. Upon completion of this assignment in 2013, Colin received the Defense Meritorious Service Medal.