MELISSA DUFF BROWN
Dean of the Small Business Program at
Joseph Business School
Melissa Duff Brown is the Director of the Illinois Small Business Development Center and Dean of the Small Business Program at the Joseph Business School. Since 2012, Melissa and her team have provided workshops and training to over 8,000 people and 6,400 hours of one-on-one counseling assisting over 1,600 aspiring and established entrepreneurs. During that time, over 90 companies launched that created and retained over 700 jobs. Melissa is an expert on small business start-up, business development, and has consulted on brand awareness, internet marketing, and social media aspects of more than 300 businesses.
Melissa began her career in accounting as a small business accountant in a CPA firm and held positions in the banking, construction, and electronics industries. Melissa also served in the public sector in local government as a legislative aide and chief of staff. She is an award-winning Director of Sales & Marketing for over twenty years in the hospitality industry with a proven ability to manage multi-functional teams and multi-million dollar budgets.
Melissa also holds a degree in Digital Media Production, is a Six Sigma Green Belt, an Adobe Certified Education Trainer, and a Certified Business Development Advisor. She was recently named a GrowthWheel Elite User. She is in the top 40 of over 2,000 advisors in 29 countries certified to use GrowthWheel, a tool to help small and medium businesses focus and take action to grow their businesses. She is further distinguished as a graduate of the Living Word School of Ministry, the current President of the Illinois Entrepreneurship and Small Business Growth Association, a member of the America’s SBDC Professional Development Committee that is responsible for the annual training conferences for the over 1,000 Small Business Development Centers across the country. Additionally, Melissa was recently named to the State of Illinois 18-member Project Reimagine Committee as Chair of the Minority Business Development Sub-Committee.