Meet Mel, our Mom of the Month! Mel is partner to Ken and mom to Emmett (7) and her 3 kitties. Mel is a full time boss babe as the Chief Field Operations Officer for American Jewish Community. She has been part of F4MLOU since 2019 and has participated in many rounds of Body Well, Body Well Minis, Run Club and Well Between.
Hear what her Body Well coach has to say about her...
“I could go on and on and ON about Mel, as I’m sure most anyone who’s had the privilege of knowing her could. Mel is dedicated and she is strong in all the ways. An amazing partner, amazing mother and one of THE MOST incredible and loyal clients. One of her Body Well friends said it best... Grit. Mel has tremendous Grit. She is one of the busiest boss babes I know. I say this because it would be so easy for her to make excuses of why she couldn’t show up for classes or maintain the healthy lifestyle she's built over the last few years. But she NEVER, not ONCE has. In fact, she’s always one of the first to check in on me when she can tell I need a little extra love or encouragement.
Mel's energy is contagious. Her kind spirit is magnetic. She is the kind of woman who builds up those around her on her way up. If you know her, you’re likely obsessed with her. If you haven’t had the opportunity to meet her you can’t miss that fire red hair and smile that will light up everyone around.
Everyone needs a Mel in their circle!” - Nicole Hennessey, Body Well Coach
Mel, we are so lucky to have you as a part of our village. We love you mama! xoxo
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Tell us about your family. Ken and I met when I was living in Washington, DC and he was a lieutenant in the Anne Arundel County (Maryland) fire department. We got married in 2009 and moved to Louisville in 2013 to be closer to my parents and to reclaim a little sanity and balance. We live in Goshen surrounded by trees and birds and wildlife, and I treasure that looking out the window is like a great big exhale. We are the very proud parents of Emmett (7) and three delightful cats named Little Edie Bouvier Beale Pell (bonus points if you get the reference), Bunny Lebowski and Bagel. If you ever see me on a virtual class, you’ve probably seen my cats because they like to lay inconveniently on my mat while I work out.
Current/Previous career. During my college years at U of L, I worked at ear x-tacy records (RIP) and ran a small record label. In 1998, I moved to Chicago for law school thinking I would pursue entertainment law, but my interest quickly pivoted to civil rights/policy work. I began working at the American Jewish Committee (AJC) right out of law school in 2001 and just celebrated my 20-year anniversary! I am now the Chief Field Operations Officer and oversee our 24 offices across the U.S. In that capacity, I help connect the local to the global through our political advocacy, diplomatic engagement and coalition building. It’s a great privilege to do work that I feel is important and impactful in a very complicated world.
What was your childhood ambition? I either wanted to be Riff Randell from Rock and Roll High School or be a fearless, badass activist and advocate like my grandmother (who got her PhD at the age of 81 in international conflict resolution!). I hope I have managed to squeeze a little of both into my present self.
What does motherhood mean to you? Motherhood means doing absolutely everything to help a little person find their confidence, explore their gifts and navigate a big world while knowing they are safe and loved and respected.
What is the furthest you have been away from home? I’ve been all over Europe and have been to Israel somewhere around 10 times.
How did you find FIT4MOM? My son went to the Temple and had the GREAT fortune of having Amanda Atherton and Nicole Paris as teachers. I started noticing that they were both looking AMAZING and asked what the heck was going on! That led to my first Body Well session in summer of 2019.
How has FIT4MOM changed your life? How HASN’T it changed my life? I just turned 48 and feel like I am stronger and healthier than I’ve ever been, I understand how to make better choices, and I have gained an army of incredible women who support one another and celebrate each other’s successes in the most profoundly beautiful way.
Favorite exercise. All the planks.
Proudest moment. As someone who has never been a runner, it felt great to do the 5K at the F4M birthday party this year!
Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us. I’m an introverted extrovert.
Favorite virtual class. Impossible to answer because ALL of the instructors are so different, so fun and so motivating!
Quick 5 with Emmett (7):
How old is mommy? 48
What is something mom always says to you? I love you.
What is mom really good at? Push ups
What is mom's favorite thing to do? Exercise
What makes you proud of your mom? She works hard.