Merrill WEINGROD has more than three decades of experience in the manufacturing sector. In 1972 he founded Leather Shop, which grew rapidly into one of the largest fashion accessory companies in the United States. Beginning in the late 1970s, Weingrod developed Leather Shop’s Asian manufacturing operations, forming strong, collaborative relationships with producers in Taiwan. The company was one of the largest fashion accessory importers from Taiwan throughout the 1980s. Operations included numerous fully occupied subcontractors engaged in original equipment manufacturing, several joint venture partnerships, and extensive sourcing operations throughout Asia. He launched Westport Trading Company, a subsidiary, in the 1990s to provide sourcing, product development, and production management services to U.S. companies importing from China and followed that with the creation of China Strategies/Sunland (the CSSL Group), which works with global companies to improve their results in China’s rapidly growing marketplace.