Born May 22, 1965 in Lincoln Nebraska; Merlyn Otto Vandervort II is the eldest son to Merlyn Vandervort Sr. and Patricia Vandervort. The third of five siblings, Merlyn has two older sisters; Kathy and Gloria, a younger brother Jerry, and youngest sister; Valerie.

Merlyn's father was a career Air Force sergeant, and in 1971 was stationed at Richards Gebauer Air Force Base just outside of Kansas City Missouri. Merlyn's father retired from the Air Force a few years later; and the Vandervort family settled in to a middle class neighborhood and made Kansas City their home town.

Shortly after Merlyn's father retired from the Air Force, his parents purchased a small motel style apartment complex in Belton Missouri. It was this property that began Merlyn's construction, remodeling, and business experiences at a very young age. The property was a fixer upper property, and Merlyn spent many afternoons and weekends of his youth renovating and working on this property. As he got older Merlyn was actively involved in managing this, and other rental properties for his family.

In 1974; Merlyn's parents, 19 year marriage ended in divorce. At about that same time, Merlyn's two older sisters were graduating from high school and getting married. Merlyn's father moved back to his home town of Tomah Wisconsin; while his mother and siblings remained in Kansas City. Merlyn and his younger brother and sister would spend the school year in KC with their mother, and spend the summers with their father in Wisconsin.

Now a single Mother with three children at home; Patricia buried herself in work. In addition to running the family's apartment complex, she accepted a job as a property manager for a company in mid town Kansas City. She later left that company to start her own business, and began managing several mid town apartment buildings. In 1980 Patricia was shot twice in the stomach by a tenant in one of the buildings she managed; fortunately she survived the ordeal with a full recovery. However that tragic event caused Patricia to wind down her mid town Management Company. She then focused her efforts on purchasing other rental properties; years later she eventually sold the majority of those properties to have a retirement facility built in Belton Missouri. Patricia remarried in 1986; to Dean Stiles.

All of these experiences and events had a profound effect on Merlyn's childhood. He was only 9 years old when his parents divorced, and he immediately found himself the man of the house. His two older sisters had moved out, and his mother was working 24/7. Merlyn's childhood was colorful to say the least; when he was 17 years old he was evicting a tenant from their apartment; when he was attacked by the tenant and stabbed with a knife; fortunately he was able to subdue the assailant, and recovered from his injury.

At the age of 12 he took his first "paying job", as a dishwasher at "Reagan's restaurant"; Merlyn distinctly recalls his first interview with the restaurant owner; Mr. Ron Reagan; "he introduced himself as Ronald Reagan, and said; you know, like the actor". Merlyn had no idea at the time who Ronald Reagan the actor was; but he sure did when he voted for him in the 1984 Presidential election.

Some of Merlyn's fondest memories are the summers he spent with his father on their family farm in Wisconsin. His father soon remarried a woman named Mary Day, and together they built a good life. In addition to spending every summer with his father, Merlyn also lived with his father during his sophomore and junior years of high school. Summers with his father were spent traveling around the country side showing horses, and competing in rodeos; this was when Merlyn gained a real appreciation for the great outdoors, and a love for animals.

Merlyn's parents couldn't be more polar opposites; but he admits that he got a lot of his personality and attributes from both of his parents. He gained his business drive from his mother and his love for life from his father. He appreciates the experiences of living in the city, but his heart will always be in the country. "You can take the boy out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the boy".

After graduating high school in 1983, Merlyn attended collage for a couple years at Central Missouri State University, as a business, and criminal justice major. His biggest regret in life is that he didn't graduate from college. Not that it has at all held him back from achieving his professional goals in life, but rather because it is something in life that he didn't finish; and that he has always regretted. Merlyn has however completed numerous industry related schools and has attained every relevant accreditation in his industry.

In 1989 Merlyn met and married Susan Crown; Susan had two children from a previous marriage; Danielle & Bryan Clifton. The marriage ended in a divorce seven years later; but they did have two beautiful children; Malari & Merlyn III (Trey).

After working as the General Manager of a Kansas City based restoration contractor for three years; Merlyn set out to make his mark in the construction industry, and founded Metro Renovators Inc in1989. He started the company in the back of his garage with nothing more than a pickup truck and a box of tools, and a couple thousand dollars he had managed to save. A short time later he purchased and renovated an office building in Raytown Missouri, and a few years after that built a 25,000 sq. ft office & warehouse in Lee's Summit for their business operations. During that time Merlyn also acquired two other restoration companies in Springfield Missouri, and expanded his business operations to include Springfield & Branson Missouri.

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In 1997, Merlyn's construction companies were acquired by Inrecon, LLC; and Merlyn accepted a position as the companies Regional Vice President. His responsibilities included the management of multiple offices, and oversight of large catastrophic disasters around the country. Inrecon was subsequently acquired by Belfor USA, and became the largest restoration company in the world. After fulfilling a four year contract with Inrecon/Belfor; Merlyn declined a lucrative offer to continue his tenure with Belfor, and set out to continue his entrepreneurial endeavors at the Lake of the Ozarks in Central Missouri.In August of 2001, while still working for Belfor, Merlyn had planned to spend the weekend at the Lake; however that plan was cut short when he received a call that he was needed on a large job and he had to head back to Kansas City. While leaving the lake he stopped to fuel up, and as fate would have it, a pickup truck pulled up on the opposite side of the fuel pump, and out stepped the most beautiful woman he had ever seen; her hair was pulled back in a pony tail thru a ball cap; Merlyn was immediately smitten with her wholesome natural beauty, and a smile that captured his heart. The once sworn bachelor knew in an instant that he had met his future wife. In 2004 Merlyn married Christina Dawn Paulsen (Vandervort). They have a son; Gunner, as well as Malari & Merlyn III; Merlyn's two older children from his previous marriage.

Shortly after selling his Kansas City based construction company; Merlyn began buying up a large tract of shoreline along the seven mile marker of the Lake of the Ozarks; and founded the Horny Toad Entertainment Complex, and ultimately the Resort & Yacht Club @ Toad Cove; a fifty million dollar luxury resort development and yacht club marina. The Resort is a condominium hotel with 116 luxury suites, that are all available to purchase. The concept of a condotel is to allow people to purchase a nice suite in a luxury hotel, that they can use while vacationing, and when they are not using their suite, it is rented out on a nightly basis as a hotel suite; and the owner receives a percent of the rental revenue. This was a perfect product for the Lake of the Ozarks. Merlyn's business plan was to pre-sell $15 million dollars worth of condotel suites, which would immediately help reduce the debt once the resort was completed, and it would allow him the additional equity to enable him to draw back funds as needed to cover the debt service and operating capital during the stabilization period. That goal was met, and 47 units were pre-sold, at an average price of $310k; all buyers were required to sign hard contracts, and put down 10% non-refundable deposits to secure their suite.

Unfortunately the Resort was completed in the third quarter of 2008, amidst the worse global economic collapse since the great depression. The recession caused 22 of the 47 buyers to breach their contracts which left the project with a seven million dollar shortfall, and no ability to draw back the funds needed to cover the debt service, or provide any operating capital during the stabilization period. Hopeful of an economic recovery, Merlyn managed to fund the project throughout the following year, but by the end of 2009 the economy had gone from bad to worse, and Merlyn was forced to make the very painful decision to relinquish the quality project he had spent 12 years of his life developing. He gave up over twenty million dollars of equity he had in the project, and negotiated an amicable and cooperative transition with his lenders. The settlement included a full release, and protected his remaining assets.

As hard of a decision as it was, to give up such a quality development that Merlyn had invested a dozen years of blood, sweat, tears and treasure into building; it was a strategic decision that allowed him to survive the perfect economic storm, and the ability to protect and rebuild his other businesses.

Part of Merlyn's contract with Inrecon/Belfor, was a non-compete agreement for a period of time that would prevent Merlyn from conducting business within a hundred miles of any Belfor office. Lake of the Ozarks was just far enough away that it allowed Merlyn to start a new company without violating that agreement. In 2002, Merlyn founded; Millennium Restoration & Construction Services, Inc. Millennium specialized in building very high end luxury homes, and remodeling projects. Other Millennium projects included several high profile commercial construction projects, such as the Tri County YMCA, and the Resort & Yacht Club @ Toad Cove.

In 2010, Merlyn set his mind on expanding his construction company's geography to include Kansas City. He was also able to regain the "Metro Renovators" name, and founded; Metro Renovators & Construction Services, Inc. Metro Renovators continued building the same luxury homes that Millennium had built its reputation on, but combined it with the restoration that Metro Renovators was founded on twenty years earlier.

One of the first construction projects Metro Renovators & Construction Services completed upon its expansion back in to the Kansas City market; was the complete renovation of Rumors Steakhouse in Lee's Summit Missouri. Rumors is a fine dining restaurant that Merlyn founded in January 2010 after winding up his deal with the Resort complex at the lake.  

Today Merlyn continues his business endeavors in construction & development, as well as his other business interests. He still considers the Lake of the Ozarks his home; where he and his family spend as much time as they can on their family ranch.