Melissa Grillo Aruz, Head of Talent & Business Development

Connecting people, brands, and culture in innovative ways that resonate with the modern consumer.

Melissa Grillo Aruz

Head of Talent & Business Development

Melissa joined the Forerunner team in 2014 and as Head of Talent and Partnerships she leads the firm’s efforts to support portfolio companies in the areas of talent strategy, organization development and community building. Melissa also spearheads efforts to facilitate partnerships with service providers for the benefit of the portfolio.

Prior to Forerunner, Melissa spent 15+ years working in the consumer space both on the agency and the brand side in various capacities. By also leading her own consulting practice specializing in online acquisition and marketing for e-commerce and content brands, Melissa had the opportunity to advise such notable brands as J.Crew, Warby Parker, Birchbox among others, in their early efforts to scale their businesses amidst the evolving commerce landscape. Additionally, as the first Director of Online Marketing at Gilt Groupe, Melissa contributed to the company’s success during their exponential growth period, resulting in invaluable experience in seeing how to scale teams to support rapid growth across all aspects of an organization.

Melissa earned a BA in Art History and Italian Studies from Trinity College.

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