March 22nd, 2019 | Sherry B Malhotra
Sterling Celebrates Women’s History Month: Melissa A. Kelley-Hilton
In the latest edition from our Women’s History Month series, Sterling continues to celebrate the impact of women and the critical role they play in fostering a culture of inclusion and diversity. In this month-long series, we share the narratives of the inspiring women who work at Sterling.
Meet Melissa A. Kelley-Hilton, President, Sterling Diligence, who leads the executive investigations and corporate due diligence services teams. As a Licensed Private Investigator by the New York Department of State, a Certified International Investigator (C.I.I.) by the Council of International Investigators, a Certified Fraud Examiner (“CFE”), and with a B.S. degree in Criminal Justice from Florida Gulf Coast University, Melissa applies decades of expertise to pursue her penchant for unearthing the proverbial needle in a haystack.
One of the things Melissa believes strongly in is that there is great value to supporting the growth and development of women, especially in organizations and industries where their presence needs greater representation. Women’s voices and contributions provide a different perspective and thus great value. According to Melissa, “The large female representation at Sterling in North America, Europe, Mumbai, and Manila, represents hope. We are proud of providing growth opportunities to more women and fostering women leaders of the future.”
Melissa draws strength from the love and support she receives from her family, and she serves as a role model of strong leadership for her daughters, Kylie (nine) and Kenzie (four). Melissa’s wife, Michiko, is her rock. “I wouldn’t be where I am professionally, without her support,” she says. Michiko works for a New York law firm and has a busy life herself, but still holds down the fort whenever Melissa travels for work. “Personally, the emotional connect for me is high, especially the flexibility provided by Sterling to working moms,” Melissa continued. “This comes from a place of caring and that is what really counts.”
Melissa has received numerous honors as a woman leader and a visionary in the company, industry, and community. In 2016, Melissa was the recipient of two Women in Wealth Awards, for Best in Due Diligence Investigations (NY) and Recognized Leader in Pre-Investment Due Diligence (USA), as well as an M&A Emerging Leaders Award. She received a Business Woman Award for Best Woman-Run Corporate Due Diligence Firm (USA), in both 2016 and 2017. Melissa was a 2017 Bronze winner for the Maverick of the Year category at the Annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business. In 2018, she was featured in Colorado Biz Magazine’s Top 25 Young Professionals! Issue and received the Influential Businesswoman Award for Information Services EVP of the Year.
Currently reading four books, Melissa remains most inspired by ‘Powerful’ by Patti McCord. A powerful principle from the book that Melissa applies to her work every day is the power of the culture of an organization and setting it in a way that the team feels empowered. Melissa enjoys great kinship with women across Sterling and this book was recommended by, Joy Henry, General Manager, Financial & Professional Services.
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