Melissa Emery is an acute businessperson and passionate conservative, two traits that led her to the Media Research Center. A native of Chicago, Melissa earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business economics from Purdue University and an M.B.A. in marketing and finance from Northwestern University. As an alumna of the Krannert School of Business at Purdue, she served on the Alumni Association Board for six years and was named Alumna of the Year in 2000.
In 1980, Melissa and her husband Jim formed Viewfinder Research, conducting focus groups and marketing research for some of the top brands in America, including Coca-Cola, Pepperidge Farm, and Taylor Made Golf. After a move to Savannah, Georgia, Melissa and Jim met a neighbor, Dick Eckburg, who just happened to be MRC’s Chairman of the Board of Trustees. Dick invited the Emery’s to a meeting, and they were hooked.
And they’ve been supporters ever since.
Melissa was impressed by MRC leadership and the mission, “Brent was clearly a force to be reckoned with, and the bias in the news was just beginning to be noticed by many people.” Since those early days, she has noticed much growth with the MRC:
“It started as keeping track of and spreading the word about bias in the news. It has morphed into being the leader of the entire Conservative movement.”
Melissa’s vibrant support of the organization, coupled with her leadership and marketing savvy, caught the eye of the MRC’s Board of Directors. In 2015, Melissa was elected as the MRC’s Chairman of the Board of Trustees, a position once held by her friend Dick Eckburg. “We are elated that Melissa has decided to join our Board of Trustees as chairman,” said MRC President Brent Bozell at the time. “Her success in business will be invaluable to the continued success of our organization.” And she certainly has excelled.
“My responsibilities include being a conduit between the MRC and our donors, and to help keep everyone informed about what’s happening at MRC,” notes Melissa. And she believes in word-of-mouth advertising, too, as she also encourages MRC trustees to find new donors.
Melissa and Jim financially support the MRC throughout the year with various donations, earmarking a portion of the gifts to the Internship Program, “They get wonderful training, and go on to be great conservatives in newsrooms and organizations all over the country. We’ve loved having interaction with these young people as they have progressed at MRC,” beams Melissa.
Currently, Melissa is most concerned about attacks on freedom of speech and the “edicts” from the Left that are silencing conservatives, and in some cases, “costing people their livelihoods.” Still, she knows that the MRC is well prepared to defend conservatism today and in the future. Melissa and Jim have also designated the MRC as a beneficiary in their wills, “I am so impressed by the flexibility of the organization to change direction and meet new challenges head-on.”
Her confidence has been built through years of good works by the MRC, “Everyone in the country is now aware of media bias due to the MRC’s hard work. Providing information to conservative outlets has allowed those outlets to give the American people information that would otherwise be buried or even undiscovered.” And Melissa quips, “The videos and creative campaigns they have carried out with pointed humor against Democrats have been delightful.”
Melissa, who also founded the Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, loves the southern charm of Georgia and just spending time with Jim, “We play a lot of pickleball, both love photography, and are working at staying healthy.”
All of us at MRC are greatly indebted to Melissa and her husband Jim for their unwavering and generous support. Melissa has also added “Member, MRC Board of Directors” to her philanthropic resume, and we welcome with open arms her steely resolve to fight the good fight and defeat the Left.