If Melanie Mack doesn’t know how to do something, she’ll find out — and quick. When she wanted to start her own business in 1998, she had no idea how to create a business plan. So, she got hold of a business plan template and filled it in.
Once Mack figured out what a “VC,” or venture capitalist was, she realized that she had no idea how to get meetings with them. Calling them to schedule meetings failed. So, she started going to cocktail parties to connect with them in person. Lo and behold, she raised $1.5 million for her fledgling companies, Bamflex and Power of the Single Mom.
Sounds easy, right? In fact, Mack had to sit with 30 VCs before she got that funding. But Mack isn’t one to give up, and it shows on her resume. The Los Angeles native is now the first African American to serve as Executive Director of the Culver City Education Foundation. That means a lot in a city which used to be known as a “sundowner” town: where people of color had no police protection after the sun went down.
Now known as a powerhouse fundraiser at the helm of one of this city’s most active non-profit organizations, Mack leads a team whose mission is to support and enhance quality educational programs for all of the area’s students. As a single mom, this mission means a great deal to Mack personally.