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Augusta Melendez

Marketing and Business Development , Gerber Finance


Gussie heads up marketing and business development activities for Gerber Finance, encompassing all lead generation through digital marketing, brand awareness and public relations, as well as client development. Under her marketing leadership, the company has announced several new divisions, including Naturally Gerber, focused on the natural products industry, a substantial growth area for Gerber.  She additionally leads culture for the organization and runs the company’s philanthropic work through the Gerber Finance Foundation, which is committed to supporting communities by providing relief from food insecurity.


With a background in psychology, training and counseling, she brings a unique, purpose-driven and collaborative approach to all she does. She has held various marketing roles throughout her career, and also served as a school counselor.

Gussie holds a BA from Georgetown University, an MSEd from Fordham University and she is a board member for Hope Community Services. A mom of three and a former D1 college lacrosse player, Gussie enjoys being outside with her family and now coaches one of her children’s lacrosse team in her spare time. 

What advice would you offer to women just starting out in the industry? 

This industry is full of amazing women and men who are willing to share their experiences and knowledge. Take advantage of the time you can spend with colleagues and contacts who are eager to share! Ask questions and be open about areas in which you feel you need to learn more and expand your understanding. If you are given an opportunity to try something new, attend an event, or do something out of your comfort zone, take it! You may not feel you are ready but, if someone gives you the opportunity, they likely think you are. 

What role has mentoring played in your career?

I have had the privilege to be mentored at Gerber by outstanding leaders. Jennifer Palmer and Gerald Joseph took a chance on me as I learned the industry. We are a close-knit team at Gerber, and colleagues are always willing to share knowledge and ideas or collaborate to work through a challenge. I am thankful to be part of a supportive culture and learn from mentors who lead by example, and I intend to pay it forward.

What do you enjoy most about your role? Least?

I genuinely love my job. I learn something new every day. As head of marketing, I am involved with clients, deals and networking. My work on company culture and the Gerber Finance Foundation allows me to use my counseling and psychology background to collaborate with co-workers and the community. I am so appreciative of the chances I have to be a part of a group that makes a difference both in finance and in the world. 

How do you balance work/personal time? 

This year has given new meaning to work-life balance! My colleagues and I are fortunate to have had a smooth and supportive transition to working remotely last March. Our senior leadership team decided early on that we should expect to be home at least through March 2021, which allowed us all to settle in and not have the stress of wondering what our next step would be. As a mom of three children, I of course faced the challenge of balancing homeschooling and work commitments during this past year, but Gerber created so many initiatives to support families as we work remotely, and that has made a big difference. Meeting my family’s needs as I fulfill my commitments always requires some give-and-take, but I think this past year has shown that it may be more about a willingness to be flexible than finding a perfect balance.

 

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