Pittsburgh native Melinda F. Emerson is one of the leading small business experts in the US. Also known as Small Biz Lady, she is on a mission to put an end to small business failure. A proud graduate of Virginia Tech, Emerson began her career as a television producer. Inspired by Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Production, Inc., she left television news within five years to establish her own production company, Quintessence Multimedia. Quintessence Multimedia gradually evolved with the times to become a social media strategy and content development firm. The award-winning company has worked with several well-known brands, including FedEx, Verizon, IKEA, Facebook, Xerox, and American Express.
An expert in small business startup, business development, and social media marketing, Emerson is the author of the bestselling book, “Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months” and the workbook and curriculum, “Are Your Ready to Become Your Own Boss?” In addition to heading Quintessence Multimedia as CEO, she writes a business resource blog which is syndicated by the Huffington Post. Emerson also writes a regular column on social media for the New York Times’ You’re the Boss blog and hosts a weekly live chat on Twitter called Small Biz Chat, where she discusses what entrepreneurs need to know about running a successful small business. A self-described “accidental business coach,” she offers private one-on-one coaching services as well.
As a professional speaker, Emerson has lectured for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Small Business Administration, the US Chamber of Commerce, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, the National Association of Community College Entrepreneurship, the National Association of Women Business Owners, the Center for Women’s Business Research, and more. Named one of the top 20 women for entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter by Forbes magazine, Emerson has been featured in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Essence, among others.