NARI Names New CEO

Christine Melendes will start the job July 18, 2022. Announcement caps six-month search process.

by Patrick OToole

After a six-month search, NARI announced today that Christine Melendes, CAE will assume the role of NARI CEO on July 18, 2022. Previously, Melendes served in numerous leadership positions with associations for more than 20 years, most recently the Association for Corporate Growth, an organization with 57 chapters and 15,000 members.

At ACG, Melendes served as the Senior Vice President of Events & Strategic Projects at ACG. Over her 10-year career at ACG, she was instrumental in growing revenue through sponsorship programs and events, launching the organization’s first publication, and publishing an award-winning study of the economic impact of private capital on the U.S. economy. She also developed ACG’s first ever certification program in 2020.

Christine Melendes, CAE was named CEO of NARI on July 11, 2022

“I am honored to assume this position, especially at this particular time,” said Melendes. “The remodeling industry is experiencing record growth, and NARI is working with its members to bring them the tools they need for the future.”

“Christine Melendes is the perfect choice to be the CEO of NARI,” said NARI President Chris Egner, MCR, CKBR, UDCP, CRPM. “Christine brings a proven track record of engaging and developing members, and of working collaboratively with members and chapter leaders nationwide. Her fresh perspective will bring new vitality to NARI as she develops and implements our new strategic vision.”

“NARI has gathered member input to develop a new strategic plan, we are conducting the industry’s first salary survey in many years, and we are investing in our digital infrastructure so we can reach new audiences and enhance service to our members,” Egner added.

Prior to her role at ACG, Melendes served as Director of Membership Marketing for the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) where she increased retention and grew membership. She also served as Operations Director at the Women’s Foodservice Forum where she managed more than 16 committees, membership, the office infrastructure, and a formal mentor program.

Melendes won the Association Professional Achievement Award in 2015 from Association Forum. She obtained her Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) in 2008. According to ASAE, the CAE credential demonstrates the wide range of knowledge essential to manage an association in today’s challenging environment.

Melendes is currently pursuing her Executive MBA at Loyola University Chicago (expected spring 2023) and is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She received her certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of Chicago Booth School and completed the improv training program with Second City Chicago. Melendes’ hiring follows a six-month-long national search that was led by a respected national recruiting firm.

NARI’s Executive officers reviewed more than 20 candidate resumes. Multiple rounds of interviews were conducted to identify the top candidates. Melendes was selected from a group of four finalists who participated in an additional round of interviews.

Elsie Iturralde served as interim CEO after David Pekel unexpectedly left the post in 2021.  QR

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