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Board Member Melba Wilson Honored at Crain’s Most Powerful Women in New York

As we continue to commemorate Women’s History Month, we had the opportunity to celebrate one of our board members, Melba Wilson! 

Melba was inducted into Crain’s 2021 Hall of Fame and named one of Crain’s 50 Most Influential Women of 2021. In great company on the list are women who are making history in New York and helping rebuild post-pandemic in industries spanning politics, fashion, health care, real estate, and more.  

After two years of Zoom events, Crain’s New York hosted a luncheon on March 3rd at the Manhattan Manor to celebrate these women and inspire future generations of female leaders. As one of the keynote speakers for the event, Melba delivered an energetic speech that sparked laughter and motivation throughout the room.   

Melba proudly shared her accomplishments of becoming the first woman and person of color to be the President of the NYC Hospitality Alliance, and serving on the board of NY and Company, God’s Love We Deliver, and City Harvest.  

Melba recalled taking the 11-hour drive every summer with her family to visit her grandparents in the Carolinas where her obsession with cooking began. Melba reminisced:

“Way before the phrase ‘farm to table’ was officially coined, my grandma Mia was doing it farm to table! We were in the garden picking everything from greens, beans, tomatoes, potatoes – you name it!”  -Melba

As she began working in the food industry, Melba started off as a cashier at the world-famous Sylvia’s restaurant before moving up and working in a variety of positions alongside esteemed chefs. For Melba, “food became my passion and love language”. 

Emulating her mother’s habit of saving money (under a mattress!), Melba decided to take the $312,000+ she saved and invest in the community that invested in her. Choosing one of the most notoriously problematic blocks in Harlem, she intentionally decided to open Melba’s on 114th Street as the first sit-down restaurant on Fredrick Douglas Blvd. Melba announced this week that you will soon be able to dine at a second Melba’s location in Newark, New Jersey 

We are so grateful to have Melba as a friend and board member here at God’s Love! Over just a few months, she has helped chop in the kitchen and has personally delivered meals to our clients. She recently treated the God’s Love staff to a soul food lunch during Black History Month. Thank you for your support, kindness, and love, Melba!  

We would also like to show our gratitude to Crain’s New York for hosting such an enlightening and inspiring luncheon. Check out the list of 50 Most Powerful Women in New York 2021 here. Finally, thank you to the Secretary of our Board of Directors, Claudia Wagner, for the invitation and for coming into town to support Melba! 

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