Melanie joined WEX in 2018, bringing an almost 20-year track record of leading global talent acquisition, talent management, leadership development, and organizational development for large, multi-billion dollar corporations.
As CHRO of WEX, Melanie is responsible for developing and executing human resources strategy in support of the company’s overall business plan and strategic direction, specifically in the areas of succession planning, talent management, change management, organizational and performance management, training and development, and compensation and benefits.
Prior to joining WEX, Melanie served as Medtronic’s vice president of talent acquisition, talent management, and its chief learning officer and as Hewlett-Packard’s vice president of executive leadership development and organizational development. She also held HR Business Partner, global development, talent acquisition and talent management roles at Walmart, Bank of America and Cigna.
Melanie earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Maine and an MBA with a concentration in finance from the University of Connecticut.
What brought you to WEX?
A few things—first, the position blends my past lives of working in the tech space in Silicon Valley and with the financial services/banking industry, and applies that experience in a totally different environment that’s exciting to me. The second is WEX’s growth trajectory. The opportunity to continue to grow and work at a global organization is extremely intriguing. The people that I met at WEX were also a big component of my decision to move from Minneapolis home to Maine to join the company.
What are your personal passions outside of work?
My family is at the center of what I do outside of work. They tend to monopolize the majority of my time. My daughter is an avid horseback rider, and so a lot of time is spent at the barn and horse shows with her. And my son is a lacrosse player and also does triathlons nationally during the summers, so my husband and I spend a lot of time following our kids around and also just enjoying each other’s company. We have been married for more than 25 years. We love to travel to different parts of the U.S., to camp and ski (we’re excited to be back home and be able to ski at Sugarloaf, the mountain that we know and love). We also spend a lot of time at Disney World with the kids.
What gets you excited about your work in talent?
There’s never been a bigger focus on talent than there is today. The importance of having the right people in the right roles at the right time really impacts the success of an organization. Being able to architect that, whether it be for a large company or a small company, is exciting and intriguing and never the same for any organization.
I get really excited to be able to think through: How do we attract top talent to the organization? How do we accelerate the development and growth of our employees? That’s a personal passion of mine—making sure that our employees are really fulfilled in their own careers.
How do you foster creativity and innovation?
In order to have creativity and innovation, you need to understand what’s going on in the world around you. My inquisitive nature has come in handy—that ability to observe and understand what others are doing and to learn from it. I believe that great ideas come from anywhere. My experience with many of the organizations that I’ve worked with has been that often the best ideas come from the entry-level employees who interface directly with the customers.
I also like to do a lot of possibility thinking. What if? I try to think outside of the boundaries of what’s traditional and what’s tried and true. That brings great innovation. Not everything is a big, radical idea. It’s important to celebrate how some small tweaks in processes or in the way we engage with employees or customers can lead to big successes.