Editor's Note: Mel Saunders died July 30, 2011, after being involved in a car accident July 27. He was 35. Click here for more information.
Working as a financial adviser with Wells Fargo Advisors LLC, it’s not unheard of for Mel Saunders to work more than the standard 40-hour workweek. He joined Wells Fargo in 2003 and manages investment securities for individuals and families, small- to medium-sized corporations nonprofits and endowment entities.
Still, he finds time to fulfill a hefty roster of civic duties.
“As an active participant in my community, I am not only interacting with members of the business and political sectors in social events, but also in situations that require a deeper and more pragmatic understanding of how businesses operate and the quality service they provide our residents in the area,” says Saunders, who has worked with Wells Fargo Advisors LLC since 2003.
He is a board member for Boys & Girls Clubs of Springfield, and he served as chairman of the organization’s Invest to Invest Committee 2007-10. He’s also a board member, scholarship chairman and a member of the professional advisers council for Community Foundation of the Ozarks, and he’s active with Springfield Sertoma Club and the Springfield and Nixa chambers of commerce. He also serves as an official for local schools’ basketball games, a role that he says allows him to foster sportsmanship.
He chalks his ability to work several angles at once up to efficient time management skills. He strikes a balance between his professional, family and community service duties, and his commitment is evident.
“Every one of us constitutes our community,” he says. “Therefore, it’s our responsibility to become actively involved for the betterment of all our residents.”
Saunders says one of his proudest accomplishments to date came when he delivered Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech to more than 100 children and young adults at Boys & Girls Clubs.
“As an African American resident of the greater Springfield area, I feel honored and humbled to have been given this opportunity to share with the audience, not only the literal words of King’s speech, but also who those words symbolize,” Saunders says. “That is, if they believe in themselves and carry the gauntlet, they will succeed despite the minor inconveniences along the pathway to success.”
At his day job, Saunders uses an investment system that addresses, but is not limited to, estate and retirement planning, 401(k) and individual retirement accounts and overall investment management. to the firm an investment planning system that would address concerns related to estate planning, retirement planning and overall investment management.
“In serving my clients, I take my responsibilities very seriously,” he says. “As a dedicated employee and service-oriented person, it is my wish that others (perceive) me as a valuable member of our community and, thereby, will view my demeanor as one that can be emulated.”Click here for full coverage of the 2011 40 Under 40.