Melvin A. Wilmore

Class: 1963Inducted: 2003

President and Chief Operating Officer, Board Member, Board of Directors, and accomplished retail executive, Mel brings nearly 30-years experience in generating sales and optimizing profitability in large organizations. During his career, he has risen through complex leadership positions within a variety of retail formats, engaging some of the leading retail organizations in the country. In January 2000, Mel "retired" from Ross Stores, Inc. where he had been President, COO and a member of the Board of Directors since 1993. Additionally, he was a Director for Software from July 1996 to November 1999 at which time the company was sold. He was also a Board Member and part of the Compensation Committee of Hechinger's Home Building Supplies.

Mel's willingness to work hard, and tenacity and energy have propelled him into positions of leadership his entire career. One of Mel's unique strengths is selecting people who seek to be challenged on an individual basis, but yet understand that effective teams produce synergistic output.

One of nine children, growing up in Asbury Park, New Jersey, Mel started his retail career to help his mother and siblings. He began by sweeping floors in a neighborhood Army/Navy store, gradually learning all facets of the operation. From this early experience, Mel gained a sense of ownership and accountability that has characterized his entire career. Smitten by this early exposure to the retail business, Mel chose a career and has never looked back.

Mel is married and has four children.