About

Melea Seward

Public Speaker, Strategy & Communications Consultant

meleasteward_sketch-1Melea spent the first seven years of her career in academic book publishing: sales, marketing, and editorial. After a year-long writing sabbatical in 2005, she moved into business development for a global consulting firm. In 2008, she combined those two experiences and became a communications and strategy consultant to small business owners, artists, writers, entrepreneurs and large brands. She has worked on content strategy, brainstorming, product naming, and ghost writing for roughly 25 clients per year for the last six years.

As an adjunct professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology from 2005 – 2012, Melea taught classes to budding fashion designers on creating business plans, negotiating licensing deals, creating web content strategy, and more. She has also guest lectured at Sarah Lawrence College, The Kings College, The Rockefeller Brothers Foundation, Fordham University, the Freelancers Union, NY Cares, the American Society of Journalists & Authors (ASJA), the Levin Institute (SUNY), NYU (Tisch), and In Good Company Workplaces.  Additionally, Melea has facilitated trainings for organizations such as HBO and Ameriprise Financial.

Founder, Board of Us

In 2007, as a catalyst to launching her own business, Melea founded Board of Us, a playful facilitation game & group that individuals can use to make (better) decisions, have more accountability, and make more action happen in their lives.

Board of Us : People :: Board of Directors : Organizations

At Board of Us, the agenda is you. And everyone else on the board, too. Boards are run like a game. With rules and a timer. And unlike most “Mastermind Groups”, they have an end. You can keep playing, but you get a new Board of Us each time. :)

board-of-us-animation

Writer, The Age of Accountability

Melea is currently writing a book, which is a solitary activity that only goes well when she has a performance scheduled. The book-in-progress is tentatively called The Age of Accountability about growing up two ways: 

40%
Itinerant Preacher’s Kid

Her parents believed the rapture would happen in August, 1989 and then…

60%
Shady Business Dealings

in the middle of the Texas night, her preacher-wife mom ran away with an insurance salesman named “Wild Bill”.

In the early eighties, her mom and “Wild Bill” created a shady business and ultimately ended up in jail. The business model looked like:

Kaplan Test Prep

Their Company Stole Insurance and Financial Securities Exams

Hooters

Well-Endowed Young Women Taught the Exam Questions & Answers to Men. “Wild Bill” gave them all muscle cars.

Blues Clues

In the Style of A Kindergarten Classroom With Lots of Mneumonic Devices & Innuendo

If Her Childhood Were An Amalgam of TV Shows:

Charlie’s Angels
Shark Tank
Storage Wars
Preacher’s Daugher

FUN FACT: Melea has coined er, *purchased* the domain name of the tongue-in-cheek phrase “non-creative fiction” and is writing The Age of Accountability first as a series of inter-connected “true” stories and second as a series of fallibility experiments that test the nature of memory and [self-] deception.

Maker, The Impulse Experiments

In 2005, after a publishing career at the largest independent, employee-owned publisher, W. W. Norton, Melea quit being an Editor and began following an impulse every day. The Impulse Experiments culminated into a series of playful and public performances in and around New York City that mimicked, creatively imitated and played with her [confusing] childhood.

IMPULSE EXPERIMENT EXAMPLE–The Church Project

Melea turned her full name into an anagram.

donned a wig, and began visiting Baptist churches in Manhattan as Amelia in an attempt to understand… all kinds of things. You can see her TedX talk about that below.

Melea Lisa Seward

Melea Lisa Seward

Amelia S. Leeward

Amelia S. Leeward

What Else?

Melea throws a mean dinner party and has a Boston Terrier named Fig, a pound puppy named Quince, and a partner named Miriam.  She lives in Southeast Portland and still works in New York City (about one week out of every six). She also prefers the first person which commences….now.

Hi. I’m glad you’re here.

Watch Designing for Serendipity - TedX Chichester, New York