Melpomeni N. Murdakes began her career in institutional advancement as an undergraduate student at Northwestern University. In 1988, her professional career began there as well. As Director of Student Relations, she was responsible for fund raising and programming emphasizing the impact of alumni financial and service contributions. During her tenure she created alumni career networking programs in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles.
Inspired by the model of connecting constituents and engaging advocates, she applied these principles as a public relations & development consultant. Beginning in Chicago with Sumner Rahr & Company, she worked with the firm’s educational clients and developed a prospect research training program, conducting seminars in Boston and Chicago.
Her consulting career continued as she joined Ruotolo Associates Inc. in 1991, based in the firm’s New England Regional office. As a Senior Associate she specialized in serving clients in the Catholic and educational arenas providing counsel for pre-campaign studies, development assessments, capital campaigns and marketing. In 1993, she received the firm’s Culture of Excellence Award.
Establishing MUSEone in the Twin Cities in 1994, she focused on strategic advancement counsel. Clients include public schools — facilitating and crafting the work of the Standard of Distinction in Science Task Force for the Minnesota Department of Children, Family and Learning; and private schools — establishing advancement programs aligning mission, vision and leadership for Risen Christ Catholic School, Blessed Trinity Catholic School and St. John the Baptist Catholic School. Projects for the St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists and Light & Life Publishing, the world’s largest Orthodox supplier, have included comprehensive client surveys, branding initiatives and strategies for social media marketing.
Melpo connected with Ruotolo Associates again, partnering with the firm for St. Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church in Minneapolis. Melpo orchestrated the strategic planning process and RA conducted a Pre-Campaign Study. Recent work together has focused on integrating strengths and broadening Ruotolo Associates’ impact. A Client Survey conducted by MUSEone provided the framework for RA’s expanding service offerings designed around evolving client goals.
As a volunteer leader, Melpo has served St. Mary’s as Vice President of the Parish Council, Co-Chair of the St. Mary’s Foundation, and continues to provide counsel for strategic planning and ministry development. She is past President of the Walden Association and former member of the Instruction & Curriculum Advisory Committee for ISD 191. She currently serves on the MarComm committee for the Academy of Holy Angels.
Melpo has completed a Summer Institute for Educational Fund Raising through the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), will participate in the Yale Writers’ Conference 2014 and is a trained counselor for the Prepare/Enrich program.
Melpo and her husband, Dean, have two teenage sons and reside in the greater Twin Cities area.