Grand Rapids Chamber hires director of leadership programs


Mel Trombley. Courtesy Grand Rapids Chamber

A former teacher is the new director of leadership programs at the Grand Rapids Chamber.

Mel Trombley started in the role last month.

Trombley is responsible for the strategic direction and implementation of the chamber’s talent and leadership development programs and initiatives.

She also oversees the Center for Community Leadership, or CCL, and is the staff liaison on the CCL Council.

“My goal is to unite and empower current participants and alumni of CCL, along with our Athena programming to create collective impact that moves our community forward for everyone,” Trombley said. “This is achieved by committing to growth, engaging in the hard conversations and bringing diverse voices to the table.”

Trombley also works as a consultant to help adults with traumatic brain injuries obtain employment through vocational training, mentorship, education and community re-integration.

“Mel’s experience in education, past participation in Leadership Grand Rapids and passion for talent development will be influential in fostering the chamber’s mission to create great leaders,” said Dante Villareal, VP of business services and talent development, Grand Rapids Chamber.

Starting in 2005, Trombley spent 12 years as a special education and leadership teacher at East Kentwood High School, where she also wrote grants that earned over $100,000 and advised several student groups.

Trombley has also worked as a women’s soccer assistant coach for Davenport University and Grand Valley State University.

She is board secretary for Camp Blodgett, board VP for GVSU Women's Soccer Alumni and board member for the Kentwood Public Schools Education Foundation. She also volunteers for KConnect.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and special education and an M.Ed. from GVSU.

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