Melissa Leon

Melissa Leon

Global Customer Loyalty Manager, Nalco Energy Services

Melissa enjoys running, traveling, and is a self-described photographer from Houston, TX. She received a BBA in management in three years from Texas Tech University, graduating cum laude, with a minor in political science. Her passion for politics took her to Washington, D.C., where she worked on Capitol Hill with dreams of becoming a chief of staff for a congressman. Once she realized her hobby and full-time job would not mix, she moved back to Houston where she fell into marketing and corporate event planning. Problem-solving, strategy, and creativity being her strong suits, she found success working with sales teams in both technical companies and also energy vendors. But it was when she got the opportunity to work for Nalco Company and develop their Customer Loyalty Program that she really found her niche. In obtaining trustworthy customer feedback, she works with the global sales teams to better understand customers’ needs. This results in stronger relationships and accelerated sales, thereby directly impacting the bottom line. Traveling to all the major oil and gas hubs all over the world have made for some great relationships, and helped to build a successful program. Of course, it has also delivered some excellent photo ops.

We asked Melissa:

The OGM: Have you had a mentor?

MelissaI haven’t had a formal mentor, but I’ve worked with people that I’ve admired and wanted to emulate. I have a habit of watching others to see what it takes to be successful.

The OGM: What does success mean to you?

MelissaSuccess to me is simply seeing favorable results for my efforts in a job I love. Exceeding the goals I have set for myself both personally and professionally. They don’t have to be large to be meaningful.

The OGM: If you were to describe your career in three words what would they be?

MelissaPerseverance. Innovation. Creativity.

The OGM: What advice would you give to someone looking for a career in the energy industry?

MelissaI would definitely advise them to take time to cultivate strong relationships. I have found them to be a key to success in the energy industry. You also need to work hard to prove yourself and be accountable for your actions. Aim to continuously improve so you are always relevant and fresh.

The OGM: Describe a milestone in your career?

MelissaAn initial milestone I had was while I was introducing my unproven program to the company. It was difficult at first, but we very quickly found the first documented ROI by saving a multi-million dollar account. It was obviously proof of the capability of the program, and it catapulted the program from a pilot to c-level approval with high visibility.

The OGM: Describe a challenge you faced in your career?

MelissaOne of my initial challenges was overcoming the status quo in convincing others that my program wasn’t business-as-usual. We had a fresh approach with innovative technology and solid processes and tools. I spent a lot of time the first few years educating that this program ultimately helps us to be more successful, and how it impacts the company and the bottom line.

The OGM: What impact does technology have on your career?

MelissaTechnology has had a great impact. My program is centered around a platform that has global, real-time results and is extremely user-friendly. By having this functionality, we understand our customers’ needs immediately, which shortens our response time and positions us as a trusted partner who really cares about the customer relationship.

The OGM: What do the next five years look like in your career?

MelissaThe next five years? My plan is to continue to expand the program’s visibilities, enhance buy-in with a strong focus on education, increase automation and standardization, and expand our user base via grass-level support.

The OGM: Were you always interested in a career in energy?

MelissaActually no, I was passionate about politics during and right after college! I worked on Capitol Hill briefly, but moved back to Houston where the industry is so strong. My father has been in the industry for almost 35 years, so I grew up around it. I think I knew I’d ultimately wind up here.

The OGM: What interests you to sustain a career in the energy industry?

MelissaI find the industry interesting, and I am proud to be a part of it. I also have similar personalities with the people I work with, so it’s a natural fit.

The OGM: What is your favorite APP on your phone?

MelissaYelp has probably been the most helpful to me! With all the traveling I do, it’s so nice to be able to find restaurants or whatever you are looking for when in a new place. It would then be followed by the map/gps apps. I have no sense of direction.

The OGM: What impact will the Millennial Generation have on the energy industry?

MelissaI think we bring a new energy, unfettered acceptance of technology, and fresh outlooks.

The OGM: What’s your take on social media and our ever-changing digital world?

MelissaSocial media is integral to our lives. It’s how we communicate, connect, campaign, market, and so much more. It’s a venue whose advantages I feel have yet to be fully captured.

The OGM: What social medium do you use on a daily basis?

MelissaI Probably Facebook to keep up with family members and friends.

The OGM: Do you use social media for work?

MelissaNo, not at an individual level. Corporate uses it though.

The OGM: What do you think of social recruiting?

Melissa: It’s fabulous! It’s very popular, and I’ve been personally successful, with great finds. It’s a great way to find capable candidates quickly, and it brings the pool of qualified people to your fingertips.

The OGM: Why do you love what you do?

MelissaFirst of all, I love the people that I work with, and that makes all the difference in the world. But I also have the freedom to succeed and am lucky enough to work for a company that rewards me for my successes. Can’t get better than that!

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