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Melissa Pontikes founded Sage Strategic Solutions, LLC in 2008 with the knowledge that her experience, wisdom and knowledge would provide measurable results and value to small businesses in the corporate, private and not-for-profit sectors. Melissa's diverse business experience brings unique insight into successful management, leadership, and organizational development practices. Her ability to see an organization's challenges and opportunities simultaneously from 50,000 feet and sea-level provides clients with services that are strategically sound and tactically attainable. Business leaders seek Melissa’s wisdom and expertise in many different scenarios, including leadership development, strategic visioning and planning, organizational design, executive coaching, meeting facilitation, nonprofit operations, board governance and outsourced human resources programs. Melissa has been the guest speaker and facilitator at executive workshops ranging from “Managing Growth – When the Position Outgrows the Employee” to “Volunteer Programs – a Benefit to the Employee and the Business”.

In 2012, Melissa and her husband, Mike Boyd, launched The Permit Coach. The Permit Coach helped minimize stress to parents and teens while assisting teens in achieving their required practice hours mandated by the Illinois Secretary of State’s office. In 2017, after hundreds of successful coaching sessions, The Permit Coach closed.

Prior to launching Sage, Melissa was the President of Gateway for Cancer Research, a multi-million dollar not-for profit. At Gateway, Melissa led the successful development and implementation of a strategic plan that achieved 25% revenue growth year-over-year. This success came on the heels of launching Make-A-Wish Foundation of Illinois' inaugural major gifts program and capital campaign that resulted in raising over $2.5M in less than 16 months. Prior to Melissa's nonprofit positions, she was a Human Resources Executive responsible for nationwide HR programs and practices in such Fortune 500 companies as Exelon Services and Comdisco, Inc. 

Melissa earned her Bachelor of Science, Business Administration from Bryant University and has completed Harvard Business School Executive Education programs in finance, leadership, and management. She has served as Secretary, Make-A-Wish of Illinois; President, LUNGevity Foundation; Director, COHO Swim Club; Director, Standing Tall Foundation; President, Caruso Middle School PTO; Advisory Board Member, SuperSibs; and Auxiliary Board Member, Highland Park Hospital. Today, Melissa continues her personal philanthropic endeavors and serves as President, Kenny's Kids Foundation; Director, Amita Health Foundation; Director, Sedona Arts Center; and Director, Friends of the Forest Sedona.