MELISSA DAWN SIMKINS
THE FIRST LADY OF PERSONAL BRANDING
For nearly two decades, Melissa Dawn Simkins has blended human insight with brand-building innovation, to be coined, “The First Lady of Personal Branding.” She is more than a trusted advisor to Fortune 100’s, C-Suite executives and influencers, but she is the personal brand leadership pioneer, redefining and reinventing the leadership development category to harvest the potential of people to lead the future.
Melissa founded Velvet Suite® in 2006, as a leadership innovative firm focused on building future-ready leaders. The She-Suite is the female-focused initiative of Velvet Suite, addressing the persistent pipeline gap for all women and women of color in particular with a proven method to unleash hidden potential.
“Because of the intense volumes of responsibilities both at work and home, working women have little time to develop a roadmap for their own success. So we created The She-Suite Method to help her craft a personal brand around mission, vision and purpose across the various stages of her life to thrive both personally and professionally.”
Today, her understanding of human potential and personal branding make her a highly-sought after keynote speaker on leadership innovation and C-Suite advisor. She is a former contributor to Inc.com and a frequent guest on news and business media, including CNN, HLN, CNBC, Essence, Black Enterprise and more. Melissa is the author of Brand Me. Make Your Mark: The Ultimate Playbook for Personal Branding.
Melissa’s career is replete with notable firsts. The first African American female advisory board member for the World Brand Congress in Mumbai. In partnership with the NFL, Velvet Suite created the NFL Player Brand University, the first personal brand development academy in professional sports. She has served on the Board as Trustees of her alma mater, Otterbein University and currently serves on the Board of Directors for The SHRM Foundation (Society for Human Resource Management).
Melissa holds her Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and Business from Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio and a Masters of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.
Melissa loves people, a good laugh and working out. She is a devoted wife and mother of four sons. Melissa and her husband and purpose-partner, Will Simkins reside in Northern, Virginia.
President & CEO, Velvet Suite
Founder, The She-Suite