Melissa began her career in social entrepreneurship at a young age. Back then, when she built “profitable nonprofits”, people thought she was describing tax evasion. Since then, she has launched multiple social enterprises, working with low income communities, at-risk youth and disabled persons in the US, Mexico, Europe, China and Africa. She also has substantial corporate experience leading innovation in product management and has successfully built businesses worth millions of dollars from scratch. In her work, she emphasizes a holistic management style that recognizes the contributions and difficulties of all contributors. You’re just as likely to see her rolling up her sleeves getting knee-deep with her Shenzhen factory workers as seeing her in black-tie events discoursing with executive board members.
She is currently on a sabbatical project to travel the world and write stories about how businesses are transforming communities. The way she came about this opportunity is a funny story in of itself and involves getting yelled at by a silent monk. She is partnered together with the Institute for Innovation, Integration & Impact Inc., a Silicon Valley think tank and conducting due diligence for X-ordinary, a book by the Institute’s founder Brett Johnson. You can read more about this book and its amazing stories as Melissa travels the world in her investigations here.
Not exactly a fashionista, but Melissa loves that her work lets her make use of the full range of her wardrobe, from London black suits to Venice Beach skate gear. Her inspiration for Socient Life came from the desire to demonstrate the flair and aesthetic of social entrepreneurship. She believes in the power of fashion taste-making and consumer markets to inspire and educate people about their consumption choices. Melissa has a degree in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley and MBA from Wharton Business School, double majoring in Marketing and Management. Her resume also includes numerous awards and honors that are too embarrassing for her to take seriously.