SAN FRANCISCO (May 29, 2012) — California Academy of Sciences Executive Director Greg Farrington, Ph.D. has named Melissa Barritt Felder as the Academy's Chief Marketing Officer. Felder joined the organization on April 30 and oversees the Academy's marketing and sales efforts. She aims to attract and engage visitors of all ages, providing critical ongoing financial support to further the institution's mission to explore, explain and protect the natural world. "Melissa comes to the Academy with passion for the organization's mission, and marketing and sales expertise honed at corporations and start-ups," said Farrington. "She looks at the world from a consumer's point of view, and we are thrilled to have her perspective and leadership on board as the Academy continues to evolve."
Most recently, Felder was Vice President of Sales Operations at AAA Northern California, Nevada and Utah, the second-largest of AAA's regional clubs with more than four million members. At AAA, Felder was responsible for the strategy, marketing and sales for their membership, travel, and insurance agency operations. There, she led the transformation of sales and service effectiveness at over 100 retail locations, resulting in growth, improved productivity and customer satisfaction.
Felder has also driven revenue growth for companies in the financial services, packaged goods and technology sectors. She began her career in market research with Kraft and then moved through marketing positions with Nabisco and Tropicana-Dole before becoming a Vice President of Marketing with Del Monte. After Del Monte, she led marketing for successful start-ups Snapfish.com and Posit Science.
A Bay Area resident for more than 17 years, Felder is a long-time Academy supporter and eager to help set a strategic course for the institution's bright future as part of its senior leadership team. She and her family live in Kentfield, CA.