Melissa Dawn Simkins

​Melissa Simkins is an authority on champion brand leadership and her creative influence is the brains behind some of the world’s most beloved brands. She is a pioneer in her field being on the leadership team that launched the Swiffer brand, re-energized the iconic Mr. Clean, created the first-ever multi-cultural marketing plan for Victoria’s Secret Stores, launched the first-ever, National Football League Player Brand University training 350 rookies across the entire league as well as re-branded Nationwide Insurance. Through her proven track record, Simkins has helped launched more than 500 profitable brands in her career to date. 

Simkins was the first African American female advisory board member for the World Brand Congress, in Mumbai India, a global think-tank of brand masters. She serves as an on-air contributor to CNN as a go-to media personality commenting on brands in crisis such as Lance Armstrong, Penn State, Tiger Woods and more. She also contributes to 

Simkins is President of Velvet Suite ® ( a new brand of leadership development transforming how people think, look and perform like champions for elite performers in business and sports. She is the pioneer of the Velvet Suite virtual brand leadership system called Win Like A Champion. Velvet Suite clients include: the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, The NCAA, Gillette, Notre Dame, P&G, Kraft, Pepsi Bottling, Time, Citi, Home Depot, MillerCoors, Boston Scientific and more. She is known as the “Coach of Champions” and her company’s leadership system is quickly becoming the go-to approach to building next generation leaders for Fortune 500 companies to elevate passion and performance at work. As author of Brand Me. Make Your Mark: Turn Passion into Profit (Ambassador Press), she is a trailblazer in the personal branding movement. 

The journey from corporate cubicle to CEO came after a tragic personal loss. It was from that moment of pain that a greater purpose was born. Velvet Suite was launched in 2006 with one clear vision, to transform the world one champion at a time. She passionately shares her story and the system that changed her life and serves the firm’s clients as a keynote speaker at leadership events around the world. 

She is a classically trained marketer groomed in global branding during her tenures at Procter & Gamble, Victoria’s Secret, Baxter Healthcare and Nationwide. In 2012, she was named NAMD Entrepreneur of the Year and The Atlantan Magazine named her one of Atlanta’s Women of Power & Influence. She was inducted into the African American Hall of Fame at her alma mater. 

Simkins received a Master of Science degree from the Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) program at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. She graduated cum laude with a BA in Public Relations and a minor in Business from Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio. 

She is a competitive figure athlete who is married to Will Simkins and loves her faith, family, football and cooking great healthy food.


Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Ways to prepare your workforce for the possibility of business closures, working from home, quarantines and other outcomes of a disease outbreak.

Ways to prepare your workforce for the possibility of business closures, working from home, quarantines and other outcomes of a disease outbreak.

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April 30, 2020
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