Melissa Froemming is the founder of consulting firm, CULTURA, which integrates human-centered design with community organizing to grow vibrant communities in which to work, live, and play.
Engaging with the community is something Melissa has learned by doing. After graduating from the University of North Carolina, she found herself in the Midwest, first working as a political campaign organizer and then training with The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations and U.S.Public Interest Research Groups. She leveraged her campaign management experience to get a position as a project manager for a fast-growing tech company in the San Fransisco Bay Area which was blazing a trail in the new field of electronic medical records.
In 2012, Melissa moved to Delaware. With a child in kindergarten, she began to get very active in education within the state, specifically on behalf of high poverty schools in the city of Wilmington. Her deep engagement with parents, schools, and the school district ultimately led to a position at the Department of Education under the Markell administration. Melissa was charged with developing the new position of Family and Community Engagement Officer. She worked with the Secretary and his leadership team and with local school communities statewide to promote the Governor’s goals to expand early childhood education and to address the complex issues facing the state’s highest poverty schools.
It was during her time at the DOE that she first discovered design thinking, a purpose-driven, human-centered approach to addressing complex problems. Melissa decided to go back to school full-time to study design thinking and will complete her studies this June.
If you don’t see her at The Mill, you’ll likely find her talking to strangers downtown (making new friends along the way!), practicing some new artsy skills with her fellow students at DCAD, volunteering on a congressional race, or out with her kids looking for treasure in Delaware.