DeLong has 17 years of industry experience in high-level management
positions. At her last position as CIO for a small telecommunications
manufacturer, Melissa was responsible for finance, IT, and new product
started out her career as a software engineer. Her experience as
a private pilot allowed her to design and code the first moving
map/flight management system for general aviation aircraft. As Melissa
is the type of person to simply do "whatever needs doing"
she soon found herself pulled into all sorts of operational and
product management aspects of the business.
then took a more formal product manager role for a wireless infrastructure
company where she developed strategic relationships with other businesses
that allowed more vertical market focus and penetration.
was then offered a position as a product group manager leading a
team of sales, service, and support personnel. She was responsible
for developing businesses cases for new products and for leading
the cross-functional development teams who designed and built the
products. As the company was in transition at the time outsourcing
manufacturing and shrinking back during the telecom downturn in
2000/2001 the company had numerous operational challenges. The worst
of which came when the only person who knew how to run the company's
ERP system (accounting, purchasing, factory work order processing,
etc) died in his sleep. A business continuity nightmare in the making.
The CEO then asked Melissa to head up the team to replace the system
- and do it in an unheard of 30 days. With Melissa's blend of cross-functional
operations experience, technical know how, and leadership skills
the company successfully implemented the system in record time.
This landed her the job as the company's Chief Information Officer.
Melissa then went on to get her MBA in technology management, and
later took over the financials and accounting responsibilities for
as if that weren't enough to do, Melissa along with her husband
started a property investment and management company that they still
own and operate.