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Forerunner Team
Melissa Grillo Aruz
Head of Community and Talent

Born to immigrant parents, Melissa Grillo Aruz understood from a young age the importance of having a support system.

As Head of Community and Talent at Forerunner, Melissa finds solutions that not only benefit Forerunner’s individual founders, but the portfolio as a whole, through building community, facilitating partnerships, and connecting people, including vendors or other external agencies. She is driven by the belief that we are better as a group than we are as individuals and abides by this ethos in her relationship building.  

Before Forerunner, Melissa led her own consulting practice specializing in online acquisition and marketing for e-commerce and content brands where she advised notable brands like J.Crew, Warby Parker, and Bonobos in their early efforts to scale amidst the evolving commerce landscape. 

“Know your strengths and capitalize on them rather than focusing on the weaknesses.”
“In my past life, treating people well and communicating was the only way a campaign was going to get done. I realized then that you can’t accomplish all you want and get to where you want on your own.”
Meet the rest of the Forerunner team
Our team brings a special combination of EQ and IQ that sets us apart. We view the world through an expanded lens that enables us to have the diversity of perspectives needed to challenge industry norms and spot the unexpected.