Clark Merritt is the Economic Development manager of the Port of Pensacola, Florida, directing the Mayor’s economic development activities for one of only 15 deepwater ports in Florida. Clark, a native of Pensacola, graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and concurrently was commissioned an ensign in the United States Navy through the NROTC program. He was an Aviation Maintenance Duty Officer on active duty serving multiple tours in tactical aviation squadrons including combat operations during the first Gulf War and as the maintenance officer of the Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron (Blue Angels) during the 1996-97 show seasons. He retired as a Commander in 2010 after 22 years of active and reserve service.
Sea duty assignments included Strike Fighter Squadron EIGHTY TWO, “Marauders” home based out of NAS Cecil Field and deployed with Carrier Air Wing ONE for three cruises on USS AMERICA–including Operations Desert Shield and Storm.
His additional tours included Air Test and Evaluation squadron FOUR “The Evaluators”, NAS Pt. Mugu; Maintenance Officer, The Blue Angels; and Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department NAS Jacksonville. Leaving active duty in 2000 his reserve command assignments were with VFA-203 “Blue Dolphins” NAS Atlanta; VFA-204 “River Rattlers” JRB Belle Chase; Naval Education Training Command, NAS Pensacola; and Center for Naval Leadership Dam Neck, Virginia.
Retuning to Pensacola in 2002, Clark was a project and business development lead with Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Solutions developing and fielding classified and unclassified training systems for the Department of Defense and international military forces. Leaving Lockheed in 2007, he was the Chief Operating Officer for a commercial real estate company and formed his own consulting firm dedicated to assisting small and medium size businesses with identification, capture and performance of federal, state and local government contracts.
More recently, Clark served as a senior staff member with US Congressman Jeff Miller of Florida’s First District responsible for Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs (VA) liaison efforts in addition to providing district constituent support and other operational duties for the Congressman.
He is married to the former Perry Duncan of Pensacola and has three children.