Mel brings over 30 years of marketing and new product development skills from the corporate “market-driven” world and advancement skills (marketing and communications, admissions, and development) from the “mission-driven” world of independent schools. Her unique combination of corporate and non-profit experience is an advantage for a school competing within a world of fast-changing market factors and increasing competition. She understands the aspirational and nurturing environment that a high achieving school provides to its learning community. She has developed and managed the multiple advancement systems required for an academic institution to thrive as they support the needs of students, alumni, faculty, parents, and the community. She strives to increase creative and strategic thinking, expand opportunities for new business development, and works diligently to ensure a secure future for the organization.
During her corporate career, Mel worked for A&W Brands, Kraft, Cadbury Schweppes, and finally, the Snapple Beverage Group as their Vice President of Packaging. She left Snapple after it was acquired by Cadbury Schweppes and started her own packaging consultancy Packnology that became a well-recognized creative resource for a multitude of international clients including Fortune 500 companies such as Owens Illinois, Mead Johnson, and Exxon Mobil.
After a successful tenure as a consultant, Mel expanded her career by serving in positions of senior administration with several independent schools and non-profits including St. Johnsbury Academy, Lyndon Institute, King George School, St. Johnsbury Athenaeum, and the Vermont Symphony Orchestra.
Her network extends to many consumer product companies, independent schools, non-profit organizations, packaging suppliers, and design and media service-agencies. Her experience includes, but is not limited to, the development of marketing plans, websites, social media and content management, PR, advertising campaigns, market analysis, competitive analysis, marketing collaterals, development and fundraising strategies, capital campaigns, alumni relations, and new business and new product development.
She has delivered presentations to several corporate industry conventions including: Packaging Strategies, Interbev, the Beverage Forum in Tokyo, the Closure Manufactures Association, and PackExpo. She has been invited to many creative brainstorming sessions to help with the development of innovative ideas for both corporate and independent school clients.
Mel graduated magna cum laude from Marymount College with a B.S. in Business. She lives in Peacham, Vermont with her husband Rod who is a fine arts instructor and professional artist (www.rodneyreis.com).