Chief Experience Officer
As Chief Experience Officer, Melissa Felder is responsible for the Academy’s on-site and digital experiences, brand strategy, and earned revenue. She oversees Steinhart Aquarium, Kimball Natural History Museum exhibitions, Morrison Planetarium, design, marketing, communications, sales, membership, rentals, retail, and dining. Melissa leads a dynamic Experience division to create and promote environmental science learning experiences that connect, inspire, and activate diverse communities. From on-site exhibitions, shows, and tours to robust multimedia programming, her team plays a critical role in advancing the institution's mission to regenerate the natural world through science, learning, and collaboration.
Felder joined the Academy in 2012, bringing an extensive background in consumer marketing, sales, and operations with a variety of large corporations and start-ups. She has driven significant revenue and deepened consumer engagement for leading brands in the financial services, packaged goods, and technology sectors. Most recently, Felder was vice president of sales and operations at AAA Northern California, Nevada, and Utah, where she was responsible for the strategy, marketing, and sales for membership, travel, and insurance operations. 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.
Felder earned a bachelor of science degree in sociology and an MBA in marketing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In her spare time, she enjoys mountain biking, hiking, and spending time with her husband and children in Kentfield, California.