Michael Rafael Merino founded the firm in Orange County, California in 1996. His education includes graduation from California State
Polytechnic University, Pomona, in 1986 with a Bachelor of Architecture, and graduation “with distinction” from the United States Naval War
College in Newport, Rhode Island with a Master of Arts Degree in National Security & Strategic Studies in 2004. Most recently, he has been
accepted to the Political Science Ph.D. program at Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California. He is also a commissioned officer in
the United States Naval Reserve, Civil Engineer Corps and currently holds the rank of Captain. Mr. Merino is a licensed architect in California
and holds registration with the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB).
Mr. Merino established his firm after working as a project architect/manager with several firms, both large and small, for over twenty-five years in
the southern California area. His experience during this period covered a wide variety of projects but focused on public facilities such as
educational, civic/governmental, recreational, and other institutional buildings. Now, as principal and chief executive officer of Michael Merino
Architects, he has complete authority for management of the firm including responsibility for business policy, contract negotiation, client relations,
and supervision of the design/production process for the various clients of the firm.
Mr. Merino is also an active member of the community and serves in various capacities at both the local, county and state levels. In 2007, Mr.
Merino was initially appointed and then served until 2011 on the City of Orange Planning Commission. In 2006, Mr. Merino was appointed and
then re-appointed to the California Architects Board by Governor Arnold Scharzenegger and continues to serve on that governing board within the
CA State Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA). He was also appointed and served for one year on the governing board of the Orange County
Vector Control District. He is a member of Rotary International, the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, and the American Legion.
Mr. Merino currently serves on the Broadly Experienced Architect (BEA) Committee of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards
(NCARB) and has also served on the Architectural Registration Examination (ARE) Examination Sub-Committee responsible for writing, editing
and pre-testing the national architect registration examination. For his community sservice and charitible works, he has received numerous
awards and citations including a Special Commendation by the American Institute of Architects, California Council. Michael Merino Architects is
also a two-time recipient of the Woodwork Institute of California’s Wilbur Johnston Award for Outstanding Specifications and was awarded a
citation by Fire Chief Magazine in 2005 for the design of a City of Victorville fire station.
Mr. Merino is also a U.S. Navy veteran and has served in Operation Desert Shield/Storm, with the United Nations in the Western Sahara in
support of Operation Southern Watch, in Kuwait/Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom and, most recently, in Guantanamo Bay for Operation Enduring