Award-winning National Speaker, Teamwork Expert, Executive Coach, and Author
Topics: Business, Change, Communication, Corporate Culture, Customer Service, Human Resource Speaker, Inspiration, Leadership, Motivation, Personal & Professional Development, Team Building, Thought Leader
To say Merikay is a bundle of energy is an understatement, and her effervescent spirit is captivating. She's also a giving, caring, and committed caregiver who has helped professionals grow and improve for over 15 years. Merikay Hunt, M.S. is the founder of COACH MKay Companies, LLC—an organization excelling in transforming teams from dysfunction to dynamic. She serves as a catalyst, inspiring people to create powerful connections and improve relationships and business results.
Merikay's first love was Healthcare, and when she was in middle school and high school, she helped out whenever needed in her father's periodontal practice. Glen Hunt, DDS (her father) hailed from a coal-mining town in West Virginia... you know where that leads. At 17 she realized she needed to have work experience outside the "family" business, so she became the youngest lead hostess working for Chi Chi's Mexican Restaurant in Greensboro, NC. During college at UNC-Chapel Hill, she worked in the school cafeteria and as a waitress and cook at Tijuana Fats, but she also studied and coached soccer for the Chapel Hill Recreation League.
After receiving her undergraduate degree, she became the youngest female assistant manager for Apple South Inc. and was fired within one year. That blast provided a needed wake-up call to the importance of communication, people skills, and leadership—components not taught during management training or her 4 ½ year university degree. Following her restaurant career, she worked for eight years as a dental assistant, office manager, and dental consultant. When her first marriage took a turn for the worse, she found the resolve to create an action plan that would launch herself and her daughter into a positive, inviting, loving environment for healing and regrouping.
During this time as a single mom, working two jobs and going to school, she took additional classes for four years to pursue a career in dentistry. After being rejected three years in a row to dental school, she realized that practicing dentistry every day wasn't her calling; however, helping dentists run their practices more efficiently and manage people more effectively was what God wanted her to do. This led Merikay to work as a consultant for two healthcare firms helping dental practices and physician groups build their teams and business results. In 2003, her father encouraged her to do more speaking and told her, "That is your gift."
Currently, Merikay is known as Ms. Happy, inspiring audiences to make positive change in their lives and careers. She speaks to organizations and associations nationally about the power of teams, communication, and success strategies. Merikay is featured in the book series Stepping Stones to Success with other experts including Deepak Chopra, Jack Canfield, and Dr. Denis Waitley. She's released her first audio book titled: "99 StressBusters, How to Conquer Stress in Your Personal and Professional Life," and she has created several professional development programs.
Merikay's educational background includes a B.A. from UNC-Chapel Hill and an M.S. from NC A&T State University in human resource counseling. She is former multi-course certified instructor for Dale Carnegie Training and a recipient of the Spotlight on Speaking Award with the Speakers Consultant Network.