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Meet Melissa

Process Expert * Leadership Coach * Six Sigma Black Belt

Melissa Hess, Founder and Principal of Executive Lift, provides operations consulting and leadership coaching for small-to-midsize companies. Leaders turn to Melissa when they need to unlock efficiency, transformation, and growth but don’t know where to start.


Prior to launching Executive Lift, Melissa spent more than 25 years serving as an operations P&L leader for companies in manufacturing, industry, pharma, and big box retail. No stranger to a hard hat and steel-toe boots, she has served on the shop floor, at headquarters, and in the boardroom. Her employers have included GKN Hoeganaes, Southco, Inc, The Home Depot, and Express Scripts (formerly Medco Health Solutions).


Melissa’s signature approach is to focus on the intersection of people and process. She recognizes that inflicting change upon teams only generates resistance. But when people participate in the process, they feel a personal stake in the outcome and understand what’s in it for them. With employee buy-in, change becomes sustainable. So, Melissa uncovers people’s needs, leverages their strengths, and positions every team member to succeed. As a result, she has a reputation for building high-performing teams that routinely exceeded profitability, capacity, and efficiency targets.


In 2018, Melissa founded Executive Lift to coach other leaders in this skillset. She provides tools and techniques to optimize processes and people and navigate the competing demands of business leaders, customers, and employees. Her goal is to develop leaders who improve continuously and achieve excellence again and again.  


Melissa holds an Sc.B. in Materials Engineering from Brown University and an MBA from The Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania. She is a certified Project Management Professional and a Six Sigma Black Belt. As a certified DISC Personality Styles Coach, Melissa is skilled at addressing the uncomfortable people and culture problems many consultants are afraid to touch.

Outside of Executive Lift, Melissa serves as volunteer faculty for DELTA (NJ State Law Enforcement Leadership Program), provides pro bono coaching for young entrepreneurs, and delivers leadership training for Haiti Outreach Ministries in Haiti. When Melissa isn’t working, you’ll often find her in the gym. As an avid weightlifter, she appreciates the challenge of pursuing goals and the inherent fairness of the gym – the weight is the same for everyone.


Based in New Jersey, Melissa works with clients across the US. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.

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Melissa has served on the Faculty of DELTA since 2016.  She is the only non-law enforcement member of the Faculty, and provides a private sector perspective to Leadership.


MICECC Leadership training class in Terre Noir, Haiti

Training through an interpreter is a whole different game!

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