Member Spotlights

Jenny Melick
Jenny Melick Imagery

Current job: Jenny Melick Imagery, LLC

Summary of your role in the company:  Founder, owner, solopreneur; founded Jenny Melick Imagery in 2015, wanted to help other people capture their brands, products, services... and dreams.  I do it all - client experience, customer service, skilled professional photographer who gets the best training each year from internationally renown photographers, editing and digital art, share marketing and branding strategies with my clients, finances & logistics, traveling (usually East Coast but at times nationally) for project, and so much more.

How I chose my occupation: Honestly, it was a fluke.  I ended up being a non-traditional creative who graduated with a BA in biochemistry.  When I graduated from Bryn Mawr, I worked as an analytical chemist - working on and leading many multi-million dollar research and development projects for clients such as Merck, Johnson & Johnson, Questcor Pharmaceuticals (now Mallinckrodt), and Baxter International.  I transitioned into several non-profit roles, including direct care counselor at a youth shelter and Habitat for Humanity.  Because my (now) husband moved us once every year, I needed a home-based job I could take with me anywhere in the world.  With a strong fine arts and marketing background, I took up photography and made it my own!

Years in the business: 3 years.  4 years in Feb 2019.  [But my business started out in lifestyle portraits, and I didn't dive into commercial photography with a focus in interiors and architectural photography until last year.]

My specialization is: interiors and architectural photography; product photography; marketing/branding photography; real estate photography; visual storytelling

A good lead for me is: Businesses who are serious about elevating and transforming their imagery and want to work with a specialist who designs storyboards, captures the essence of services/products, and delivers powerful images for marketing and advertising use.  By reaching their target audiences with more compelling imagery, businesses are able to raise their revenues and profits.  My clients want the full service and depend on my expertise in interiors and architectural photography as well as product photography to produce magazine quality images.

The most satisfying part of my job is: The "wow" reaction I receive when my clients see the delivered images - many of them think I am a magician of some sort; the images are beyond what they expected.  I love creating images that will then help others with their businesses (and sometimes even pursue their dreams).  My recurring clients get that I am much more than "just" a photographer.

Best leadership advice I have been given: Inspire & empower others. Influence with your vision.  Align passion with purpose.  And do the right thing.

Greatest professional achievement: I have many achievements in all current/previous professional roles but the one that comes to mind most happened when I was a direct care counselor at a youth shelter.  Working with kids in both juvenile detention center and child protective services was super rewarding and difficult at the same time.  There were many 12, 16+ hour shifts, door slamming by kids, and even injuries from flying furniture.  It was sad to see many of the kids being labeled "bad" by the school system when all they needed was love, guidance, and stability.  Some of the kids were abused, neglected, and even witnessed suicides of their own family members.  My best moment was when I received a letter from one of the kids right before I left that role.  Without getting to much of her back story, I can share that she was trafficked and, through an accident, made it back to the JDC near home.  She wanted to thank me for helping her turn her life around, inspiring & empowering her, and vowed to finish high school and get into college. 

Number of years with CREW: Less than a year.

Most significant CREW connection: Everyone in CREW I've met has been great.  I hope to continue to meet more folks next year.

Place of birth/hometown: Taipei, Taiwan

Number of years in Charlotte: 4 years soon

Family: Cory, my amazing husband. Two adorable (yappy with HUGE personalities) dogs - Banjo and Cupcake.

My ideal vacation spot: This is a difficult one; I don't like just one spot.  I love traveling around the world to experience food & culture while capturing architecture.

Hobbies/Interests: Saving/tending to pollinators, especially Monarch butterflies (My husband and I just released over 80 Monarch butterflies over the past two months after putting in a waystation.  We have now certified our property as an official Monarch waystation as well as a pollinators garden.  I have dedicated some time to educating the local community about Monarchs and will be partnering with a local nursery to teach classes/workshops in Spring 2019.); cooking & baking; painting and drawing (I was a commissioned artist since elementary school); volunteering at local non-profits (I've built houses, photographed premies at hospitals who may not make it home, worked with several organizations to help cancer patients, developed multiple educational programs in urban settings, served on several non-profit boards and committees, and much more.  My biggest passion grew from my experiences as a direct care counselor, working with children in juvenile detention center and child protective services.  When I first became an entrepreneur, I gave myself a five-year goal to achieve six figures and start or get involved with a mentoring program for at risk youth.  I want to pass on my knowledge as an entrepreneur to the next generation, help navigate through hardships, and help the youth use hobbies such as photography and fine arts as art therapy.  I am happy to say that this goal will be achieved much earlier... by the end of this year!)

Other professional organizations I belong to: Association of Independent Architectural Photographers (AIAP), Real Estate Professionals of America & International (REPAI), Professional Photographers of America (PPA)

Alex Spence
Kimley-Horn and Associates

Current job:  Civil Engineering Analyst at Kimley-Horn and Associates

Summary of your role in the company: I work on our Land Development team in our Charlotte office. Day-to-day, I complete engineering design plans to maximize the value of a property for our clients. Our role as consultants varies significantly from site to site based on environmental factors, site topography, and local jurisdiction requirements. I work on a range of commercial, mixed-use, and residential projects.

How I chose my occupation: I always knew I was interested in math and science and decided to take the engineering path in college. I took a Civil Engineering 101 class and of course bridge design sparked my interest. Fast forward to four years and a few internships later, I came across Land Development and knew it was for me!

Years in the business: 2.5 years

My specialization is:  Land Development

A good lead for me is: A developer who is interested in site design services, entitlement services, due diligence/feasibility analysis, or permitting services.

The most satisfying part of my job is: Seeing the finished product go from plans to reality when a site has completed construction.

Best leadership advice I have been given:  Learn a skill that others you surround yourself with may not possess. Be open to criticism and take it in stride. Don’t doubt yourself and never be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.  

Greatest professional achievement: As I’m young in my career, I take pride in training new employees and taking on tasks and projects as my own. My most significant recent achievement was passing the Professional Engineering exam back in the spring and am now on my way to become a Professional Engineer.

Number of years with CREW: About a year.

Most significant CREW connection: I have met so many wonderful people through CREW. I especially have enjoyed getting to know the women and men in the communications committee which I am on!

Place of birth/hometown: Born in Detroit, MI, raised in Charlotte.

Number of years in Charlotte: 14 years

Family: My husband (and high school sweetheart!), Sam, and our adorable golden retriever, Hazel

My ideal vacation spot: It’s tough to choose just one spot! Our most recent trip was to the Pacific Northwest – Washington and Oregon. The Oregon Coast is absolutely breathtaking!

Hobbies/Interests: My favorite thing to do to unwind is cook, bake, or sit down with a great book. I enjoy spending time outdoors (especially in the fall!), skiing, and hiking with my husband and puppy!

Other professional organizations I belong to: In addition to CREW, I enjoy attending Charlotte Chamber events and networking with other industry professionals.  

I wish I could: A goal of mine is to see every state in the US. Our country is so beautiful and has so much to offer!

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