Technology is responsible for evolving Baltimore’s society faster than the blink of an eye.

Phillip Merrick is the CEO of Message Systems, an international, web-messaging company headquartered in Baltimore. A well-known tech guru, Merrick surged on radar as co-founder of webMethods – once the fastest growing software company nationwide.

(Photo Courtesy of Phillip Merrick)

(Photo Courtesy of Phillip Merrick)

Merrick’s leadership exemplifies a fearless trailblazer unafraid to reach beyond the realm of reality and into a land of vast possibilities.

Where did you receive your higher education? 

“I received a B.S. in computer science from the University of Melbourne in Australia, where I grew up.”

How has your educational background contributed to your career accomplishments thus far?

“I was fortunate to attend a college with a world-class computer science program that provided me with a very strong technical foundation in software engineering. Earlier in my career I was a software developer, and this background equipped me to develop new software technology, some of which is patented and still used widely on the Internet today. Later, as I moved into managerial and leadership positions, this foundation helped me look at business situations in a more logical and analytical way.”

In your opinion, how important is community service to leadership?

“Being involved in community service is an important aspect of being a leader. Aside from making your time, talents and money available to help others in need, it provides an example to your staff. Currently, I volunteer at our local church and serve on the vestry there. When running a business, you do need to be careful though not to over-commit, since your first responsibility is to your employees, customers and shareholders.”

Do you have any advice that you would like to share with others?

“I’ve found there are few limits to what we can accomplish beyond those we impose on ourselves. For instance, when I was a software engineer, I used to think that I wasn’t able to do public speaking or make sales calls. Once I became an entrepreneur and technology company executive, I needed to do both of those things, and over time became fairly capable at them.”

Keisha Oduor is a professional writer and entrepreneur who resides in Baltimore, Maryland. She has a degree in Communications and French from New York University with work experience in publishing, nonprofits, healthcare administration and program management. Her work can be found on


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