Catherine Forster Connolly is the owner and CEO of Merida,—an American textile design house based in Fall River, MA. Catherine has been the CEO of Merida for 15 years and purchased the company seven years ago. During her tenure, Catherine has led the transformation of the company from an importer of high-end sisal to a design-driven textile company reimagining textile manufacturing in the United States. Prior to Merida, Catherine ran a market research company, Pyramid Research, in the high-tech space for 6 years and worked as head of Research and as an analyst for six years prior to taking over the company’s leadership. Catherine got her MA in International Relations and Economics from Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in 1995 and graduated with an AB in Comparative Area Studies from Duke University in 1991. Catherine lives in Newton, MA with her husband and her three children.