EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2018 Orange County Awards Program Honors Big Brothers Big Sisters CEO
07/03/2018

Melissa Beck receives social entrepreneur special recognition

Online PR News – 03-July-2018 – Santa, Ana, Calif. – The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year program has recognized Melissa Beck, chief executive officer of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County and the Inland Empire, as the 2018 Social Entrepreneur. Beck received this special honor for her leadership and vision in the social impact industry during the June 22 Orange County awards gala at Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point. The world's foremost business award, EY Entrepreneur Of The Year recognizes leaders who are excelling in areas such as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.

Presented by EY Orange County Managing Partner Kim Letch, the special honor highlighted Beck's ability to harness the power of market forces and business principles to solve social problems. Beck has consistently demonstrated perseverance in the face of adversity and has created numerous long-term benefits for the Santa Ana-based organization and the community.

"Nonprofits often are asked to change the world by solving systemic wrongs in our culture. I got into this business to alter the way the social impact industry is perceived and run," said Beck. "For me, change begins with defending a child's potential to succeed by providing a mentor and support system."

As the CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters since 2013, Beck turned around a struggling agency facing challenges that included high employee turnover and decline in both volunteers and donations. Her ability to make unconventional decisions in an industry not typically known for pushing boundaries helped more than double revenue, serve more than 3,500 youth annually and achieve a top-two ranking among 320 affiliates nationwide.

In 2017, she led Orange County to become the first affiliate in California and the second nationally to expand its program to age 25, a monumental advancement for a 100-year-old organization that has historically ended its services at 18. In the same year, 100 percent of participating high school seniors graduated high school with the support of their mentor.

At Big Brothers Big Sisters, mentoring and inclusion also are woven into the fabric of the company's culture. Last year, Beck launched a large-scale development program that consisted of job shadowing for entry-level staff, management training, 360-degree feedback and annual service projects. An extension of the initiative also empowered employees to spearhead committees that focused on retention, engagement, wellness and incentivization. Today, other progressive organizational policies include a full salary for the duration of an employee's family leave, a work from home perk and health/wellness assistance programs. The dynamic approach has yielded long-term employee retention as well as an overall boost in morale and productivity.

"This recognition truly belongs to my entire team, as I learned early on that to be successful, you should surround yourself with the most talented thinkers who have the ability to be bold in how we approach social impact," said Beck. "Our strength as an organization comes from the dedication of our employees and volunteers who show up every day to help change the lives of children in need."

About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County and the Inland Empire
Big Brothers Big Sisters believes that with the support of a caring mentor, every child has the ability to achieve his or her full potential. It is the nation's largest donor- and volunteer-supported mentoring organization, serving a quarter-million children annually. Based in Santa Ana, Calif., the Orange County agency was incorporated in 1958 and works as a local extension of the national effort to make professionally supported, one-to-one matches between mentors ("Bigs") and youth facing adversity ("Littles"). Together with the Inland Empire agency, which opened its doors in 2013, the local organization annually serves more than 3,500 children annually through programs that help youth avoid gang violence and substance abuse while working toward high school graduation and long-term, sustainable independence. For more information visit ocbigs.org or follow Big Brothers Big Sisters on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.