Giving Back to the Community
Bruce Merino is a native Californian, but for many years he was bicoastal, commuting between his home on the West Coast and his job as an executive with The Home Depot in Atlanta. His career in the hardware industry started after college, working for Handyman of California. Merino joined The Home Depot in 1984, when the company had only 16 stores nationwide. By the time he retired in 2009 as president of the Western Division, he was leading 440 stores and 70,000 associates across nine states.
“Supporting City of Hope through the Hardware/Homebuilding Industry was always a key part of our merchandising strategy,” says Merino. “Over the years I got more involved, including sitting on the Industry Leadership Council and founding the industry’s golf tournament to benefit City of Hope.”
Merino also has a more personal reason for his support of City of Hope. “I’m a diabetic patient of City of Hope,” he explains. “I’m able to experience the commitment of the doctors and researchers from a patient’s point of view. I’ve also had the privilege of referring industry colleagues and their family members to City of Hope for treatment.”
When Merino learned of the Industry Challenge to secure City of Hope’s next 100 years, he and his wife, Marielena, quickly decided to participate. “We had already planned to include City of Hope as a beneficiary of our trust, but it was only after the Campaign started that we finally made it happen,” says Merino. “I’ve had a satisfying and successful career, and I can’t say enough about the care I’ve received as a City of Hope patient. I see how City of Hope has grown, with industry support, from a small hospital to a world-class institution, and I know our money will be put to good use. Our children and grandchildren are also beneficiaries of our trust, but we wanted to give back and have our estate plan send a message to our children about our values.”