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Tuesday, August 4, 2020

2020 40 Under 40 Melody Kresser

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Paul Harral
Paul is a lifelong journalist with experience in wire service, newspaper, magazine, local and network television and digital media. He was vice president and editor of the editorial page of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and editor of Fort Worth, Texas magazine before joining the Business Press. What he likes best is writing about people in detail and introducing them to others in the community. Specific areas of passion are homelessness, human trafficking, health care and aerospace.



Melody Kresser has routinely raised the bar in the type of advertising and marketing collateral produced by United Way of Tarrant County with material that is clean and crisp with a defined message and call to action, said Michelle Bleiberg, head of the Communications and Marketing Office.

“She was instrumental in securing LeAnn Rimes as the featured artist of United Way of Tarrant County’s ‘A Night to Live United,’ and was on the ground floor when the KERNEL Live competition featuring social innovation was born,” Bleiberg said.

She started as a senior digital designer and rose to Director of Marketing within four years. Prior to her role at United Way, she worked for the YMCA for eight years, starting as a digital marketing strategist moving up to a communications manager.

“Kresser cares deeply about her community and deeply about her work at United Way of Tarrant County. She understands that the work she does, while not direct services, touches the lives of more than 300,000 people annually and every day helps people in need and the most vulnerable in Tarrant County,” Bleiberg said in her nomination.

She’s a volunteer for the Taste Project and the Salvation Army and is also the mother in a blended family of four children.

– Paul K. Harral

Where did your first paycheck come from?

My grandparents owned a BBQ restaurant named Lone Star BBQ that I would work at after school.

What movie, TV series, play or video game influenced you growing up?

Super Mario Brothers and The Wonder Years.

What other profession would you like to try?

As long as the work I’m doing is meaningful and creative I would be happy to try anything.

Tell us about an influential person in your life, how they influenced you and why he or she was important.

I am blessed to have a family full of strong women, one of whom is my great grandmother Carleen. Last year, when she passed away, I was honored to share at her funeral why she meant so much.

She had a commanding presence, she set the tone, she made the rules and we loved her for it.

She was an empowered, fearless female and a reminder for us all to live in honesty and to speak our own truths. Carleen saw each of our differences and celebrated the unique qualities that make us individuals. She knew we weren’t perfect and that we’d make mistakes, but she believed in us anyway and was always there for advice and guidance.

What is your favorite song?

Anything by Leon Bridges!

Tell us about your photo shoot prop.

My props are a Cowtown Marathon poster from 1989 when I ran my first 5k at 7 and a volleyball because we love to play in competitive volleyball leagues around town. Both items represent my family’s commitment to being active and healthy and how proud we are to live in a city that promotes overall well-being. My “United Way” blue dress is representative of my passion for the organization and also celebrates the Pantone color of the year, Classic Blue!

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