Power Women 2021: Alison Melson
Vice President, Corporate Marketing
Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield
What’s your secret to success?
My parents instilled in me a strong work ethic. I’ve been fortunate to have always been surrounded by incredible people who work well together, genuinely like each other and are very good at their jobs. When you are part of a team like that, you share in each other’s successes. Plus, I love what I do.
What attracted you to your career?
I knew I wanted a career where I would spend the majority of my time around upbeat, creative people, and no two days would be alike. Now, more than 30 years after entering this field, I still love that about my job.
How did you get started in your field?
As a journalism major, I went to work at the Arkansas Democrat for High Profile. The late Phyllis Brandon gave me a shot as a fresh, very green writer. I met so many people who had interesting stories to tell. It was a great gig.
What do you love best about what you do?
I have always loved helping people and companies share their stories, and I feel so fortunate to now do that for Arkansas Blue Cross, a company that is so mission driven. I get to come to the office every day and work alongside people who truly care about the well-being of our members and Arkansans.
What advice would you give to a young woman starting her career?
Do what you love and surround yourself with strong people who want to see you succeed. Work hard, and do not be afraid to be proactive or to make mistakes. And finally, when you are in a position to help others, do so. We need to build each other up and cheer each other on.
How do you maintain a work/life balance?
By making plans with my family and friends, staying active through exercise and exploring our beautiful state. I also always have something new I am trying, which at the moment is yoga.
Do you have a favorite quote?
“Find joy in everything you choose to do. Every job, relationship, home… it’s your responsibility to love it, or change it.” — Chuck Palahniuk
Which of your accomplishments are you most proud?
When COVID-19 hit, the leadership at Arkansas Blue Cross wanted to do what we could to encourage Arkansans to get vaccinated to bring an end to the pandemic. The Blue team worked with StoneWard to develop a campaign — Vaccinate the Natural State (VTNS) — that was much more than an advertising campaign. It was a movement for Arkansans to learn about the vaccine, get access to vaccinations and overcome vaccine hesitancy. More than 600 of our employees collectively donated over 2,000 hours to this effort. We supported over 190 vaccination events, distributed more than 60,000 materials in support of this campaign and assisted in tens of thousands of Arkansans getting vaccinated against COVID-19. It is extremely rewarding to know that I played a small role in helping this state that I love so much during a global pandemic.