Melinda Brown becomes new chair of UConn Foundation board

Grace Merritt

2 min read

Melinda T. Brown’77 (BUS), ’85 MBA, a dynamic, former executive who helped launch a successful women’s fundraising initiative at UConn, recently became the new chair of the UConn Foundation’s Board of Directors.

A highly engaged leader with a strong business acumen, Brown will support the Foundation’s alumni engagement and fundraising goals and chair the volunteer board.

“I am pleased to be able to serve the University of Connecticut through the Foundation and am excited about how invested our board and Foundation are to amp up alumni engagement and giving even higher,” Brown said.

Brown, who has been on the board for eight years, was senior vice president and controller of Tapestry, Inc. until she retired last year. Previously, she held several executive posts at PepsiCo, including senior vice president and controller of Pepsi North America and senior vice president of Global Financial Shared Services.

Brown, of Madison, Conn. and Naples, Fla., is co-founder of UConn’s Women and Philanthropy Initiative, a network that raises scholarship and programmatic support for female students. She set fundraising goals and, together with co-founder Marilda Gándara ’78 JD, helped shape the group into a social network for like-minded women. Started in 2016, the group has raised $8 million, and this year supported 34 students with scholarships.

Brown was raised in Norwalk, Conn., the daughter of a local garment manufacturer and a stay-at-home mother who encouraged her daughter to pursue a career in accounting. She graduated early from Norwalk High School, enrolled at UConn for the spring semester, and joined the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.

“I loved UConn,” she said. “Because it is such a large campus, even after four years, there were always new people to meet and engage with. I loved my whole experience.”

She began her career in public accounting, eventually landing at the Financial Accounting Standards Board. While working, she earned her MBA at night at the UConn Stamford campus. She worked at PepsiCo for nearly 30 years before joining Tapestry in 2012. Brown was inducted into the School of Business Hall of Fame in 2012.

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