MELISSA ME­D­INA: The Tech Trail­blazer

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Ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of tech ad­vance­ment plat­form emerge Amer­i­cas, pres­i­dent of The Me­d­ina Fam­ily Foun­da­tion, and mother of five, Melissa Me­d­ina is seam­lessly break­ing tech (and stereo­typ­i­cal) bound­aries. What chal­lenges have you had to over­come?

Be­ing a woman, be­ing His­panic, be­ing a mom, be­ing the founder’s [emerge’s Manny Me­d­ina] daugh­ter. But I pre­fer to view them as drivers to prove to my­self that I can push through. I was brought up by par­ents who en­cour­aged me from a very young age to pur­sue what­ever dream or pas­sion I had. I never once thought that, be­cause of these things, I couldn’t pur­sue a ca­reer.

What is one of the most im­por­tant lessons you’ve learned from your fa­ther?

I don’t think I re­al­ized how truly blessed I am to have been raised by such an in­cred­i­ble man un­til later in life. Be­fore that, he was just my dad. I re­al­ize now that I was raised by a men­tor who taught me about sac­ri­fice, de­ter­mi­na­tion, and per­se­ver­ance.

Tell us about the Me­d­ina Fam­ily Foun­da­tion.

Through the Me­d­ina Fam­ily Foun­da­tion, we di­rectly help lo­cal non­prof­its that im­pact our com­mu­nity through ed­u­ca­tion and youth [pro­grams]. I serve on the boards of sev­eral of these or­ga­ni­za­tions, and I [like] to get my chil­dren in­volved, too!

How do you find bal­ance?

I think it is vir­tu­ally im­pos­si­ble to have a per­fectly bal­anced work-life sched­ule. I feel blessed to have such an in­cred­i­ble sup­port sys­tem with an ex­tremely sup­port­ive hus­band, mother, fa­ther, in-laws, and friends who all help me. If it weren’t for them, there would be no way that I could work and be a mom of five chil­dren un­der 10 years old!

For more in­for­ma­tion on emerge Amer­i­cas, visit emergeam­er­i­cas.com.

PHI­LAN­THROPY PHI­LOS­O­PHY: It all goes back to the way my par­ents raised my brother and me; no mat­ter how lit­tle or how much you have, it is im­por­tant to give back what­ever you can.

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