Melanie Polk Senior Consultant

Melanie Polk has over 25 years of senior-level management and leadership experience working with leaders in diverse industries, most notably entertainment, packaged goods, beverage, retail, healthcare, high-tech, and education. Her unique blend of experience as a corporate business leader, executive coach, facilitator and qualitative researcher have helped her clients make transformative shifts. Melanie works with senior-level and mid-level executives, high-potential employees, and teams including leaders at Disney, Dropbox, Rakuten, Sephora, US Foods, Banner Health, and Rice University’s Doerr Institute for New Leaders.

Melanie is a highly effective and insightful communicator whose style is described as creative, energetic, articulate, and collaborative – with a healthy dose of humor thrown in for good measure! She believes a successful coaching engagement comes out of a trusted partnership with clients that provides the right amount of challenge as they seek some type of change or growth. She believes the answers lie within her clients and as their coach, she is there to help uncover insights, gain perspective and ensure accountability.

Career Highlights

As an Entrepreneur: Launched Bright House Marketing in 2000, a successful marketing consultancy that works with consumer-targeted companies to develop cross-platform marketing strategies.

For Apple and Disney theme parks and
others: Designed and executed qualitative research studies using focus groups and one-on-one interviews to gain consumer insights. She is a highly sought after qualitative market researcher.

For major Fortune 500 corporations including Disney, Quaker Oats, and Dr. Pepper/Seven-Up: Melanie worked in marketing. At Disney, Melanie led the U.S. marketing team responsible for character franchises and had direct P&L responsibility for businesses with domestic revenues of over $400 million annually.

Areas of Specialization

• Influencing Others
• Emotional Intelligence
• Building Executive Presence
• Cultivating Trust
• Situational Leadership
• Feedback Skills/Conflict Resolution
• Leader as Coach
• Team-Building
• Partnership & Relationship-Building
• Transition Coaching
• Workshop Facilitation – Creating a Coaching Culture

Unique Attributes

• Certified in the EQ-I 2.0 suite of assessments measuring Emotional Intelligence
• Certified in Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment
• Certified in other 360 instruments
• Instructor at CoachRICE, an 80-hour ICF-accredited coach training program through Rice University that helps develop and expand leadership coaching skills
• Fielding Graduate University, Santa Barbara, CA- Evidenced-Based Coaching Certification
• University of Texas, Austin, TX- MBA, Marketing concentration
• Rice University, Houston, TX- Bachelor of Arts, Psychology/Pre-Law
• Affiliations: Xavier College Preparatory – Communications and Advocacy Committee, Christ, Lutheran School Advisory Board, National Charity League – Camelback Chapter, Philanthropy Chair, Adjunct Professor, Marketing – Pasadena City College; Licensing Industry Manufacturers Association (LIMA); International Coaching
• Federation (ICF); National Charity League, Jr. of San Marino; Partnership for Awareness board member

  • Hobbies

    Photography, hiking anywhere/everywhere, travel, interior design.

  • Favorite Food

    Anything spicy! Mexican, Thai and Indian are true favorites. My last meal would be a huge bowl of guacamole and salty chips!

  • Band

    U2 has an awfully strong catalog of music. Too many great bands to choose!

  • Movie

    When Harry Met Sally.

  • Super Power:

    Connecting people – I seem to know a lot of people across a lot of industries and places. Moving around a bit as a kid probably helped foster that knack for connecting with people to get settled into new communities.

  • TV Show

    Netflix + pandemic has made this very hard to choose. But the last season of “The Crown” and “The Queen’s Gambit” were pretty hard to beat.

  • Book

    The Road Less Traveled. The opening line, “Life is difficult” seems to imply a downer of a read, but it is anything but.

  • Quote

    The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence. (Albert Einstein) now, what would it be?

Consultant Insights

  • My ideal client is someone that:

    Is self-aware, willing to dig deep and put in the time and effort to realize the change they are seeking.

  • The highlight of my career so far has been:

    The incredible diversity and brilliance of the people I have been able to work with, learn from, and be inspired by – from entertainment to education to coaching and beyond.

  • My superpower as a coach is:

    My authentic and positive presence that provides my clients support, challenge and accountability.

  • My philosophy on life is:

    The journey is everything.

  • I hope my legacy is one of:

    Inspiring young and old alike to never stop growing and learning.