Meet Melanie Figueiredo. We're excited to welcome her to URL Media (which stands for Uplift, Respect and Love), as the inaugural VP of Sales and Sponsorships. In that role she will build the ad network to support URL's consortium of Black and Brown-owned media organizations that have joined together to share content, reach and revenue. A seasoned sales exec, Melanie joins us from GBH in Boston, public media's largest station, where she spent the past eight years overseeing sponsorships.
Before that, Melanie was director of member services at the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. She’s also worked for the South Carolina World Trade Center and managed operations at the Global Trading Consortium.
To mix up the traditional press release, we asked Melanie some questions about why URL and why now. Give her a warm welcome and make sure you're following her on LinkedIn (and make sure you’re subscribed to URL’s newsletter!):
Welcome! What’s your happiest place?
I have so many: Big Sur, Patagonia, Varca Beach. My bed, with a notebook and pen—and nothing but time on my hands.
You'll essentially be building URL Media's ad strategy and network. What does this mean?
URL Media is coalescing at such a pivotal moment in history—particularly as it pertains to corporate partnerships. Companies are moving from performative allyship into real investments in BIPOC communities. We'll be working with brands who want to partner in more deeply authentic ways to amplify Brown and Black voices; companies dedicated to equity will have a chance to put their dollars to work, funding media content through sponsorships that reflect a BIPOC lens.
What are you proudest of in your career so far?
Navigating motherhood alongside my own professional growth. Giving my children an opportunity to observe and be curious about my work—to witness my continued evolution, while they grow too.
Your bio mentions a vizsla. What is that?
Nushi is a 13-year-old vizsla. Vizslas are known to be velcro dogs, and they are bred to run 15 miles a day! She's been a wonderful (if not clingy) companion; we still hike on weekends despite her aging knees and hips. If she's not walking or bothering me for treats, she's typically pressed up against me, fast asleep and snoring loudly.
How'd you get into writing poetry?
I have been a secret poet since childhood. I'd write and squirrel away my work, hoping someday to be brave enough to bring it out in the light. During pandemic, I began performing at spoken word/open mic nights via Zoom. Performing from my home gave me the chance to quell my stage fright. Last year, my first published piece came out in Existere, a literary arts journal. I have a poetry book on motherhood that I'm hoping to wrap up and publish soon, and another book of poems right behind it.
What piece of your identity do you bring to URL Media?
Humans are such beautifully complex beings. I don't think we can exist anywhere, without bringing all of the nuanced and layered pieces of ourselves that make us whole. For me, that means I exist as a mother, a first generation Goan, a lover, a daughter of East African immigrants, a patriot, a sister, an activist, a niece, a poet. The list goes on, and I marinate in all of those identities simultaneously.