Melanie grew up in Missoula, Montana. As the daughter of entrepreneurs, she learned what it takes to lead and run several businesses. Her background in leadership includes almost 20 years of business management, marketing, teaching and volunteerism.
As a single mom, she attended school while also working as an Assistant Manager at two Denny’s restaurants.
After receiving her degree in Graphic Design, Melanie spent 2 years working in Seattle at a design firm along with arranging her own subcontracting before moving back to her home state of Montana.
In 2001, she married her life-long love and Melanie and her husband Oli moved to Billings to start their new happy life together.
In Billings, she spent 7 years as a team member in the Graphics department at CTA Architects Engineers. At CTA, Melanie learned about marketing and branding businesses. She worked as a designer of both print and online marketing campaigns and learned about project management and client relationships.
In 2002, Melanie’s husband Oli created Comtech Audio Theater Security. Melanie spent many hours helping Oli brand and market their new company. She learned bookkeeping and accounting and managed Comtechs marketing and finances for the first five years of the company while still working full-time at CTA. The business was located out of their garage.
The business continued to grow and in 2007, Melanie and Oli built an office and showroom for Comtech off Zoo Drive in Billings. That same year, Melanie also quit working for CTA to help manage Comtech full-time. Melanie was key designer and decision maker on the construction this new building.
Today, Comtech has 11 employees and earns 1 million in sales each year. Melanie’s husband Oli works as sales and project manager, while Melanie manages the finances, marketing and human resources.
Melanie and Oli are a team. They have created a culture at Comtech where customer relationship is key. Customers are repeat and life-long customers. The team at Comtech is a tight-knit group of bright, problem-solving individuals. Everyone is treated like family.
Also in 2007 Melanie began offering consulting and training in Business Marketing, Management, Adobe software and Apple products. She has instructed both one-on-one and in group and classroom settings. She has offered consulting and mentoring to several new start-up businesses over the years.
Some of Melnie’s work as a volunteer includes 6 years experience as a Girl Scout leader teaching and mentoring young girls as a Sunday school teacher at her church for 3 years and as a member of Zonta International in Billings. Zonta is a group that works to assist and empower women. Melanie is currently active in planning an event with FREE International and Zonta to bring an Anti-Human Trafficking Conference to Billings.
Melanie’s passions include design and marketing. She loves creating and is not afraid to delve-in and get her hands dirty in any project she takes on. She loves fitness, nutrition and running. Melanie enjoys training for and running half marathons. She was recently a member on a 12-person relay that ran 201 miles in order to raise money to fight human trafficking and plans to run again in 2016. She is active, loves to travel and be adventurous. Next spring, Melanie will test for her black belt in Taekwondo.
Lastly, Melanie is a happy wife and mom to 3 beautiful daughters. She believes empowering women and teaching leadership starts at home. She wants her daughters to be loving and kind in all they do and at the same time- not afraid to step up and be a leader. She teaches them leadership means learning and listening. To lead effectively, you first build a relationship and earn respect from your team. Leadership is not about telling people what to do, but organizing and motivating people to work together towards a common goal.