SPOTLIGHT: MELISSA FINNEY
Melissa Finney is an entrepreneur, screen writer, real estate whiz, digital sales expert, and innovative revenue generator. She is presently Director of East Coast Sales at Spotify. At Flipboard she worked in advertising partnerships where she was responsible for managing relationships with agencies such as GroupM and IPG Media brands and brought dozens of major clients to the company such as Purina, Lockheed Martin, and NBC Universal A self-starter and relationship builder, Finney hires, motivates, and develops teams driven to succeed. With more than 15 years of experience in native advertising, branded entertainment, and content creation, she has steered record-breaking earnings to start-ups, publishers, broadcasters and more in the digital realm.
Prior to Flipboard, Finney was the East Coast Sales Director for SAY Media, a digital publisher specializing in premium media experiences. Generating impressive double-digit growth, year-over-year sales increases of more than 40%, and over $15-million in revenue, Finney defined and executed the sales strategy across all platforms. She led, trained, and coached teams in the transition from ad network to media entity and content creator while negotiating complex premium sponsorships on mobile, native, and social.
At Zillow.com as a founding member of the sales force, Finney smashed through all advertising targets in her position as Senior Account Executive. Delivering 140% of the budget one year, 110% during another four quarters and exceeding goals by 32%, she initiated the New York agency business growing it from zero to $2-million in short order. This was delivered while working from an entirely new advertising list including Samsung. Lowes, Chase, and other key consumer brands and forming pricing blueprints and marketing collateral.
As Senior Online Account Executive at The Economist, Finney brought in close to a dozen new advertisers and garnered clients in the entertainment category for the first time. She delivered 120% of her budget with advertisers such as Intel, GE, GSK, and Continental and companies in the tech, spirits, luxury, corporate and media categories. While Court TV’s Manager of National Online Accounts, Finney over-indexed on her goals managing others, designing business plans, forecasting revenue, spawning new beyond-the-banner opportunities before it was in vogue, and composing the overall strategic direction. She started a storied sales career at ESPN.com laying the foundation for her meteoric success.
Before earning her proven track record across digital, mobile, and social, Finney graduated cum laude from the University of Southern California where she has been giving back for over a decade sending African American students to study in 15 different countries. She sits on the board of Girls Educational & Mentoring Services (GEMS), founded an ecommerce fashion business, and established a growing real estate practice in Manhattan. Melissa Finney lives in Harlem with her husband.