Melanie Nelson leads the team at Learning ZoneXpress. As owner and CEO, her Family and Consumer Science (FACS) background and her passion for nutrition education are the driving forces behind this company. She was a junior high school FACS teacher for 13 years before becoming a serial entrepreneur, now guiding and planning the production of award-winning educational tools. Under her guidance, LZX has become an acknowledged “thought leader” in nutrition and resource development for FACS education.
Although the company is doing great things, she has certainly had her share of challenges. She was cut from her FACS teaching position along with many other teachers due to budget cuts in the mid 1980s. This cut is what led to the beginning of Learning ZoneXpress. The challenges didn't end there though. She makes it look easy, but it has been anything but. She’s experienced hardships in the forms of a warehouse flood, technology melt down, fire and explosion of her office building, and a divorce. But she prevailed. As she always does. Her optimism is unmatched and her ability to lead a team and resource quality experts has made her transition from teacher to business owner successful. With the talents of a small and mighty staff, she has been able to build LZX from the ground up. Literally, and twice!
"She has an incredible story," says LZX member Toni Gnasdoskey about Melanie. "She's endured so many challenges, and not once has she even considered the thought of giving up. Never have I met anyone with so much drive and so much passion for what they do."
Passion is what sets Learning ZoneXpress apart from its competitors. Melanie believes in the greater good. She believes we can make an incredible difference, and she has instilled that in all of her employees. With the strong loyalty and appreciation of our customers, we are able to do great things.
Melanie has been a finalist for the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, a recipient of Owatonna Business Women’s “Women of Achievement” award, and a national business in Family and Consumer Science honoree.
Learning ZoneXpress would not be the success it is today without Melanie. Challenge after challenge, she has prevailed. Starting out as a one-person business, she wasn't sure what the outcome would be. Look at her now. She owns a business that has tripled in sales since 2005 and offers over 1,500 products. She loves coming to work every day, and she could not be happier. I think it's safe to say she's earned every bit of that.
If you have any questions you'd like to ask Melanie, please submit them via the comment space below or our Facebook page. We'll be recording video interviews next week, and if your question is selected for the interviews, we'll send you a great 'Business & Entrepreneurship' prize!