Our Column Five team is made up of some very unique people, coming from all walks of life. They’re creative, well-rounded, and work extremely hard. Each week, we profile one staff member to introduce you to the people behind the scenes of our work.
Name: Melody MacKeand
Hometown: Fullerton, CA
Started: January 2012
What would you like to tell us about yourself?
I am proud of my biracial heritage (Korean and Canadian), even though it means that strangers approach me to inform me that I look “exotic.” I prefer not to be called “Mel,” because Mel Gibson pretty much ruined that for me. After a few years of soul searching (from working with college students to being a kindergarten-3rd grade PE teacher), I have now landed in the same career that both my parents had, and I couldn’t be happier. (Of course, they’d prefer I were a doctor.) Living on the central coast gave me an affinity for wine (see Question 2), and my DVR is always full of Law and Order: SVU episodes. My humor is dry, dark, and sarcastic, which is probably why my wardrobe consists mostly of black.
What's your favorite wine?
Choosing a favorite wine is like choosing a favorite child. It’s easy because one of them is better than the others. Pinot Noir. Done.
We know you love Josh Groban. Why?
Beyond his obvious good looks and quirky charm, his voice sounds like a chorus of angels. In the time it takes to listen to his rendition of “The Prayer” with Charlotte Church, 1,220 babies were born…into a world with Josh Groban. Just listen:
Need more proof?
What are you most proud of?
It’s a toss-up between my educational background and winning a local free-throw contest in elementary school. I was able to graduate college in three years, and I have received certifications in Business Analysis and Project Management since then. However, when I won that basketball contest, my name was put on the sign in front of the school for a week—although it said “Melanie” instead of “Melody.”
What has had the biggest impact on your life?
Last summer I had the privilege of going to Kenya for two weeks for volunteer work. I spent most of my time in the Mathare Valley, a slum right outside of Nairobi. Beyond the projects that I helped with (such as assisting with a medical clinic, helping build a water bottling factory, and handing out solar-powered lights), I was most impacted by the people. Their gratitude and joy despite their circumstances is inspiring. I fell in love with the children there, and I am still in touch with the people who I met. I definitely have a refreshed perspective on life, wealth, and love.
We asked Melody to share some of her favorite C5 projects:
Some of Melody’s adventures…
Playing with the children at Joska Boarding School in Kenya.
One of the happiest moments of my life.
“If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will
always look lovely.” —Roald Dahl
I got meme’d.