Why Jerry Merriman Wanted to Rename His Dallas Architecture Firm After 30 Years

May 26, 2016

Dallas Business Journal

By: Candace Carlisle

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After 30 years, longtime Dallas architect Jerry Merriman is changing the name of his namesake firm to Merriman Anderson/Architects Int. to reflect an upcoming leadership transition that will help ensure the Dallas-based firm's future.

The name reflects a longtime partner at the architecture firm: Milton Anderson, who is also the firm's director of design.

"As I get closer to the end of my career, we wanted to set this up for the next generation and we felt like this was the perfect time to do it," said Merriman, co-founder and partner of the firm.

The new firm name - which will interestingly still have the MAA acronym (previously the firm was called Merriman Associates/Architects Inc.) - will go into affect immediately. Merriman co-founded the firm with his wife, Deby, in 1987.

Even though retirement is years away, Merriman said he wanted to get ahead of the curve on the ownership transition to maintain the longevity of the firm, which has more than 90 employees.

The name of the firm will be showcased on projects, which include: The Statler Hilton Hotel & Residences, the redevelopment of 1401 Elm St. in downtown Dallas and Entrada Town Center in Westlake. The company also has offices in Austin and Charlotte, North Carolina.

Anderson, who has been working at the architecture firm for two decades, said he was honored by the official name change to Merriman Anderson/Architects and is looking to bring in other partners within the firm.

We chatting with Merriman and Anderson about the name change and the firm's plans for the future:

Why change the name of the architecture firm now? JM: I've seen some firms not do an ownership transition in the best way and it hasn't allowed the firm to continue as good as they could have. With Milton's last name being in the firm's title, it shows people he is a key individual and someone that can represent me in meetings. There's a lot in a name.

Why now? JM: We've been together a long time and we knew the time was coming and it just made sense to make a transition.

What does the future hold for Merriman Anderson/Architects Int.? MA: and prudent owner knows how fast the last 20 years have gone and if you want the firm to continue on for 50-plus years, you want to have people in line to continue the company. We have great loyalty among our staff right now and we are fortunate to have a lot of talented people. JM: We have people who have been here 10 to 20 years that really formed the nucleus of the firm for the next generation.