By KD REEP | Photography by SARAH ODEN
Melody Sugg believes being part of a meaningful mission is the key to building better communities. Inspired by the Margaret Mead quote, “Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world.” – she brings people together united in a shared vision. Her professional portfolio includes several beloved nonprofit organizations around the Capital City. At the National Eczema Association, she continues this quest and reflects on the power of the relationships forged throughout her career.
“I’m particularly grateful to the many colleagues, friends and volunteers who have supported my efforts for organizations including City Year, American Diabetes Association, Museum of Discovery, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and National Eczema Association. Together, we truly make the world a better place.” Melody explains how her work with mission-based organizations and passionate community members makes it all possible. “Together, we get to see positive change and progress.” It’s the people and experiences that Melody recognizes as a most valuable resource. “In my ten-year tenure with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, I was constantly amazed by the passion and commitment of the families who are leading the way to fund a cure for this disease.”
Her objective is always similar, improving the lives of Arkansans, yet unique to each organization. “My goal at the National Eczema Association is to help envision a world without eczema, a skin disease which affects more than 31 million Americans and can be truly debilitating. I am a part of a team seeking to center the patient experience in research, treatment and policy arenas.” She realizes there’s an educational component to this important work that depends on a network of civic leaders. “I want to make more friends for our organization by inviting more people to give to the National Eczema Association’s mission and become a volunteer or donor.”
Inclusion is another critical component. Melody realizes every person can make an impact. “If I could give advice to someone looking to be an effective philanthropist, it would be to follow a passion. Be willing to open doors and make new connections in support of the mission. Be present for committee meetings, community events and representation on social media and in your circle of friends, family and colleagues. You can make a difference and together we can change the world.”