Melanie was selected for the position following almost a year’s worth of work by the Chamber’s Succession Committee. The Succession Committee was comprised of current and former Board Chairs and Executive Board members; Mike Kramer, Terri Giampetroni, Nate Tallman, Clark Andrews, Jeff Vollmar, Brent Freeman, Dan Felstow, and Jim Gianakopoulos. President Wayne Oehmke also participated on the committee. They worked diligently and spent many hours as volunteers developing a job description, posting the position nationally, reviewing a host of applications from both local and far-reaching applicants, interviewing a number of them by phone and in person, and meeting with the finalists in “one-on-one” personal interviews.
This group brought their recommendation to the full Board of Directors, and they unanimously concurred with the committee’s recommendation that Melanie be offered the position with our Chamber.
In the role as president and CEO, Melanie will be responsible for the organization’s operations and planning/execution of its strategic plan. She will develop the organization’s annual program of work including developing products, programs, services and events that meet member needs. She will also work to enhance the organization’s brand in the community while encouraging membership growth. Melanie will also bring her knowledge and experience to help launch and grow the newly formed Sterling Heights Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation.
“We met with government and community leaders, the Chamber staff, member representatives, and others, to gain their insight and recommendations into the qualities they would recommend as we searched for our new Chamber leader,” said Kramer. “As we worked through the process, we felt that our efforts were not in vain, and we learned much from the meetings with these individuals. When we began our search and vetting process with folks who were interested in pursuing the position, we had a very good idea of the qualities we were looking for in our new President & CEO... We believe we found the perfect person for moving forward in Melanie, and we believe the membership and all those with an interest in our organization will agree, and join us in welcoming her to serve as our next leader.”
Previously, Melanie served as executive director for the Adcraft Club of Detroit, president for Macomb County Chamber and vice president of marketing and communications for the Detroit Regional Chamber. She spent the last 20 years in these roles developing a robust track record of increasing revenue growth, acquiring new memberships and executing an integrated approach to serving the needs of the members she served. In her past roles, she was responsible for developing strategic marketing plans for several programs, products and services as well as assisting with the development of several publications and marketing materials.
“The Sterling Heights Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry has a more than 50-year history of excellence in guiding and caring for the business community in the region it serves,” Melanie shared. “I’m beyond excited for the opportunity to build on this organization’s rich legacy and help guide it and its members to added success.”
Melanie has received many industry acknowledgements and currently serves on the Board Nominating Committee for the Girl Scouts for Southeastern Michigan and the Detroit Creative Corridor Center’s Advisory Board. In the past, she has also served on the boards for the American Red Cross – Southeast Michigan Chapter, the Public Relations Society of America - Detroit Chapter and the Anton Art Center and was a member of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy Communications Committee, the Super Bowl Host Committee Communications Action Team and the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau Image TAG (Tourism Action Group).
A lifelong resident of Sterling Heights, Melanie holds a Bachelor of Arts in public relations and a Master of Arts in public relations and organizational communication relations from Wayne State University in Detroit. She is a graduate of Leadership Detroit XXV, Leadership Macomb X, Institutes for Organization Management (a training program designed specifically for chamber of commerce and association management professionals) and Center for Creative Leadership.
Outgoing President & CEO Wayne Oehmke shared that he “feels very comfortable with Melanie assuming the Chamber’s top leadership position.” He added, “The Chamber is very fortunate to have a dedicated and caring group of volunteers and employees who will serve alongside Melanie to help ensure that our members and communities continue to receive the high level of care, features and benefits they’re so used to receiving from our great organization.”
He continued, “Melanie brings a high degree of knowledge, experience and enthusiasm that will take our Chamber to that all-important next level, and I wish her the very best in all of her endeavors with the Chamber.”
Please join us at Wayne's Farewell Party this Wednesday, April 20th at Villa Penna (43985 Hayes Road, Sterling Heights) from 5 - 9 p.m. where Wayne will be saying farewell to Chamber members and friends. There will also be an opportunity to meet incoming President & CEO Melanie Davis at Wayne's Farewell Party. The cost is $25 and that includes admission, appetizers, soft drinks and a going away gift for Wayne. Click here to register if you haven't done so already!
There will be a second opportunity to meet Melanie on Thursday, May 12th at our Chamber office (12900 Hall Road, Suite 100, Sterling Heights) from 1 - 4 p.m. via an open house. Please stop by and meet our new leader at one, or both, of these upcoming events!
Congratulations to Melanie! Our staff will miss Wayne dearly, but we are excited to work with Melanie and take our Chamber of Commerce to the next level together!