Mel Wymore has been organizing collective action for over 30 years. A systems engineer with an activist heart, Mel combines exceptional leadership and technical expertise to build diverse coalitions and produce results at scale. In NYC, Mel united stakeholders and raised funds to co-create a food security program for 500 seniors, a recreation center, a local theater, 2 schools, 1000 units of affordable housing, 2 accessible playgrounds, several park expansions, 3 historic districts, a network of bike lanes, small business zoning, and the end of boiler emissions by 2030. He also marshaled support to pass first-ever gender protections in NY State. He has trained under world experts and coached dozens of changemakers on implementing meaningful projects with high-impact results.
In 2009, when Mel was a single mom of two kids, a PTA president, and community board chair, he took the brave step to begin a gender transition in open dialogue with 200,000 residents of Manhattan’s West Side. Rather than shrink from public perception, Mel elected to welcome discussion, learn together, and transcend “otherness” through his transition. His journey is featured in 3 books, including the acclaimed “The Person You Mean to Be” by Dolly Chough, 2018.
In 2012, Mel ran for NY City Council as one of six openly transgender people in the world ever to run for public office. He was profiled on MSNBC, NY1, the Nation, and various international publications. His authenticity and commitment to inclusion inspired hundreds to join his campaign. In 2013, he received the endorsement of the NY Times.
Having received multiple awards for his leadership of community groups and nonprofits, Mel co-founded GameChangers to empower local citizens to solve global problems. One outcome is the World Pieces game, which motivates players to explore their interdependence and develop the holistic mindset and collaborative skill to be effective stewards of global well-being. Mel co-hosts the Pod of Gold podcast, which highlights people transforming communities around the world.
In private enterprise, Mel managed teams at Raytheon, Port Authority NYNJ, and Aaron Marcus & Assoc. He has launched 2 tech start-ups and 2 small businesses. He holds a BS Math, BA Comms, MS Systems Engr., and is certified in Sustainable Business Strategy (HBS, 2022). Mel lives in NYC with his wife Stefanie, their dog Koda, and adores his adult children Riley and Rowyn, who still call him “mom.”