Our Founders

Sam Merchant

Co-Founder, Chairman of the Board

Mr. Merchant is the founder of The Merchants Financial Group, Ltd. ("MFG"), a privately held capital investment company founded in 1986 and headquartered in Atlanta.  MFG focuses on identifying and developing international growth opportunities in multiple business sectors including healthcare, biotech, banking, commercial real estate, manufacturing, franchising and underwriting of traditional and alternative financial products.

 

Mr. Merchant is Chairman of his family’s Capital Trust and Fund, a position he has successfully served since 1982. Mr. Merchant has developed a meaningful network that includes Fortune 500 companies and businesses local to each region of the world.  He has partnered with global companies in complex business transactions and been instrumental in the growth of major franchise brands in multiple regions of the world.

 

As an active resident of Atlanta for many years, Mr. Merchant served on the Atlanta Regional Commission Board for seven years and was a founding member of Atlanta Vision 20/20. Each experience and position held, expanded Mr. Merchants knowledge and understanding, thus allowing him to easily adapt and prosper in all industries across the spectrum, including his key advisory roles resolving matters for his local governments and municipalities, on a political level.

 

Mr. Merchant, recognized for his effectiveness in Atlanta, served on President George W. Bush’s Advisory Board for Economic Development and the Small Business Sub-committee, for an outstanding 6 year tenure. Mr. Merchant has interacted with governments throughout the world at the highest levels and is a well-recognized and respected businessman, internationally.

 

Mr. Merchant also serves on the executive financial board for the World Stem Cell Summit (WSCS), which is regarded as one of the largest stem cell and regenerative medicine conferences, worldwide.

 

In recent news, the Board of Directors for the Regenerative Medicine Foundation (RMF) elected Mr. Merchant to serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors for RMF.

Cheryl Baker, PhD

Co-Founder, Chief Scientific Research Officer

Dr. Baker received her B.S. summa cum laude, in Chemistry from Rollins College (Winter Park, Florida) in 1994. In 1999, she received her PhD in Biochemistry from Texas Tech University. She then completed her post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Cancer Biology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

 

From 2001-2003, she conducted research as an Instructor of Surgery at the Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Subsequently, she was an Assistant Professor at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

 

She holds an Adjunct Professor position at the University of Central Florida Medical School. From 2005-2010, Dr. Baker served as Director of the Cancer Research Institute of MD Anderson Cancer Center Orlando (formerly affiliated with Orlando Health). During her time at MD Anderson-Orlando, she established and led a team of master and doctoral students, research scientists, physician-scientists and professors in multi-disciplinary cancer research projects.

 

Dr. Baker has conducted cancer related research for over 20 years and is the recipient of research funding from local, state, and government agencies. Dr. Baker has published over 45 peer-reviewed manuscripts, book chapters and articles.

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