About The Melini Group & Associates

The Melini Group works with organizations to align leadership and management development events to desired outcomes and goals. We specialize in behavioral change for groups and individuals by delivering training programs and classes, executive coaching, and team strategy or off-site support. Our leadership classes are world class and aim to stimulate awareness and change for key behaviors. Our primary delivery method is case study, which creates a highly-engaged group dynamic during events. We foster sustained behavioral change through team and individual coaching. ​ We will work to maximize your potential as business leaders by creating custom solutions that are relevant and engaging.

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Michael Meliniotis, Founder & Principal

MichaelMichael Meliniotis has spent 20 years in the financial services industry in various roles and regions.

Michael began his career as an Application Developer, designing and developing fixed income derivatives systems at JP Morgan. He then joined Morgan Stanley, where he focused on Information Technology in the Learning and Development practice. During his tenure with Morgan Stanley, Michael led IT training departments in Tokyo (two years) and London (three years). Upon his return to New York City, Michael put his cross-cultural skills to work leading Morgan Stanley’s global IT training function. Most recently, Michael led the Americas IT Learning and Development function at Credit Suisse. He launched ‘The Melini Group’ in 2012.

​Michael proudly holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Delaware. In addition to his business endeavors, he is a determined endurance athlete and run coach. He has finished 15 Marathons and 2 Ironmans.


Mitch Rosen, Instructor

MitchMitch Rosen is a specialist in executive development and management training with over 25 years of business and management experience. Areas of expertise include: leadership/team development; communication/interpersonal styles; planning/time management; performance management and change management.

Mitch combines dynamic stand-up skills with a passion for interactive design to create the ideal atmosphere for experiential learning. Prior to becoming a consultant, Mitch held key training and human resources positions with JC Penney, Bankers Trust, and most recently was Vice President/Manager of Training and Staff Relations at the Bank of Tokyo New York Group.

Using his experience in both line and human resources positions, in companies ranging from JC Penney to Morgan Stanley, he is currently working with senior executives, human resources managers and business professionals to provide a clear methodology for developing successful managers and leaders.

He holds a degree in Communications from Queens College.


Lesley Dopp, Instructor

LesleyLesley began her human resources career in the chemicals business within BPAmoco.  After a brief stint at Philip Morris, she spent almost five years with Citi Cards, building up a solid base in creating and managing global talent and leadership development programs.  It was here where she was nominated and awarded the premier Chairman’s Leadership Award twice in three years.

Lesley has built HR depth across multiple industries and client groups.  Lesley spent almost six years at Bank of America working with infrastructure technology, global risk technology and investment banking groups. She has a master’s degree from Michigan State University and an undergraduate degree from Kalamazoo College.

Most recently, Lesley completed training in creativity coaching, and is collaborating with clients to offer this service.  Lesley is a visual artist, and uses the ocean as her muse in almost every painting.


Paul Minx, Instructor

Paul has spent over 17 years in senior positions in global financial service firms, most recently as Head of Leadership and Talent Development at Morgan Stanley. He has worked in and held line management responsibilities in investment banking, technology and the HR business areas, where he has managed teams as large as fifty. He prides himself on a practical, commercial approach to his consulting, training and executive coaching.

Prior to his work experience he graduated with a masters from Yale University. He also holds a certificate in executive coaching from Oxford Brookes University and a certificate in organizational effectiveness from Roffey Park in the UK. He is certified in Hogan, MBTI and Firo-B, among other psychological instruments. Paul has also lectured at Columbia University in New York and spoken at corporate events.

Paul is the designer and lead facilitator of a leading multinational investment bank’s High Potential Leaders Program and is a senior facilitator for another multinational bank’s Ascent Leadership Program.  Paul also acts as a presentation coach for senior executives. In his work with business leaders he is skilled at bringing together the multiple components of leadership, strategy and commercial effectiveness. His approach is thoughtful and in leadership workshops or executive coaching he helps clients to develop insight that can be quickly transferred into action.

Paul also has an active interest in the theatre. He writes plays that have been performed in New York, London and other cities. He enjoys bringing this creative side to his facilitation and executive coaching.


Chris Carlini, Guest Speaker

Chris CarliniChristopher Carlini has served over 18 years in Law Enforcement in the State of New Jersey as both an officer and supervisor.

Christopher obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Delaware and began his law enforcement career in 1996.  Since that time he has worked in every urban area in New Jersey in a variety of roles and assignments.  Christopher was promoted to Sergeant in 2007 and received another promotion to Lieutenant in 2012.

He has numerous tactical and supervisory certifications from both the State and Federal Governments and has been involved in policy and planning for his agency.  He is presently in command of a statewide unit that consists of approximately thirty officers and supervisory personnel.  Christopher has coordinated countless large scale, multiagency law enforcement operations throughout the state that target reducing gang violence and fugitives in  New Jersey.

In his free time, Christopher enjoys spending time with his wife and two children and partaking in a variety of outdoor and athletic activities.


Ty Jones, Guest Speaker

Ty Jones“Witty, powerful, and charming” are just few of the many sentiments expressed about this forceful fixture on the New York acting scene. Jones’ Broadway debut was in the role of Lt. Byers in Judgment at Nuremberg, and was also seen in the Tony Award-Winning production of Henry IV and Julius Caesar with Denzel Washington. He won an OBIE Award for his portrayal of Archibald in the revival of the critically acclaimed Off- Broadway  production The Blacks: A Clown Show. Jones has been notably mentioned in a number of performances including Hamlet with the American Shakespeare Theatre Company in the title role.

NAACP Award WinnerTy Jones is the Producing Artistic Director of the Classical Theatre of Harlem (CTH). He is a 2013 recipient of the Council of the City of New York Proclamation Award. His role with CTH since 2003 has included: Actor, Producer, Managing Director, Development Director and Board Chair. Under his leadership, CTH artistic programming has grown in both in scope and recognition.

Principal film roles include his work in Annie, Tower Heist, The Taking of Pelham123, and The International. He has been seen in a number of episodics such as Blacklist, Power, Forever, Elementary, Ugly Betty, Fringe, and all the Law & Orders.

As  a  writer,  Ty  Jones’ play Emancipation: Chronicles of the Nat Turner Rebellion, premiered for the award-winning Classical Theatre of Harlem.

Ty Jones is a public speaking expert who works with actors and business executives to prepare them for formal and informal delivery. He coaches clients to identify the emotional and rational needs of the audience and adapt messages to fit or shape the mood. He brings to bear his experience and expertise in physical presence, movement, and vocal range to help clients deliver persuasive and compelling presentations.

Mr. Jones received his MFA from the University of Delaware’s Professional Theatre Training Program, where he was the recipient of the Presidential Citation for Outstanding Achievement Award as an alum, and was named “One of 25 to Watch” in TIME OUT magazine.


Chris Kopacek, Guest Speaker

Chris is a former F-16 Fighter Pilot who is a Distinguished Graduate from the Management Program at the Air Force Academy. He was nominated to be the first ever Senatorial Fellow from the Academy as well as a Distinguished Graduate from flight school. He won the Top Gun award in his F-16 Class for Air-to-Ground and Air-to-Air and received the ‘#1 Assignment’ out of F-16 School.He earned his MBA in 2013 in Corporate Finance from The University of Texas – The Red McCombs School of Business.

Chris Flew F-16’s for the US Air Force on 4 continents – Asia (Korea and Japan and then Turkey and Qatar in the Middle East), America, Europe (Germany, Italy, Greece, Norway, Poland, France, Lithuania, Latvia). He was awarded top pilot award in Germany.

Chris started working in Private Equity after Business School, gaining extensive experience in Distressed Debt and Energy Transactions.He started an oil and gas company in Austin, Texas (Invictus Water) that recycles water used in Fracking.He currently serves as President of InvictusWater.

Chris played football at the Air Force Academy and still loves flying. He has a Commercial License, ATP and 737 Next Generation Type rating / License. He has lived in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and South America.


Jessica Lawrence, Guest Speaker

Jessica LawrenceJessica has more than 11 years in the wine industry working in Supplier and Distributor roles.

She began her career as an Account Manager at On-Premise Manhattan ParmountEber Bros., where she managed relationships with 50 of the top 500 restaurants in New York City. She became a Manager for Evaton’s international winery business across 11 states, sourcing wine from Portugal, Argentina, Chile, New Zealand, France, and Italy.

Currently she works as the District Manager of Off-Premise wine at Southern Wine & Spirits. In addition to being Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Level II and III Certified, she has been recognized several times for her work including winning The Wine Group’s Market of the Year in 2014, Columbia Crest Challenge (2014) and the Shaw Ross Award of Sales Excellence for EPICA.

Her favorite wine is always the wine of the moment, which depends on the location, the occasion, the food served, and the weather. She aims to drink wines that embody an emotion and flows with what’s happening around her. This approach ensures that she is always trying something new. When in doubt, if the wine list includes a Vega Sicilia, she stops having doubts.

Jessica proudly holds a Bachelor of Arts from Towson University.  In addition to her passion for wine, Jessy is an avid skier and enjoys horseback riding and reading.


Rebecca Phelps, Guest Speaker

Rebecca PhelpsRebecca Phelps, a California native, was commissioned as a Naval Officer in May 2007, graduating With Merit from the United States Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science Degree in History. Rebecca also holds a Juris Doctor from Stanford Law School, where she earned the Pro Bono Distinction for her extensive public service during law school. Rebecca has argued two felony cases in the California Court of Appeal, and has made numerous appearances in California state court and federal court in the Northern District of California.  Rebecca is now a trial attorney specializing in complex commercial litigation at Yetter Coleman LLP in Houston, Texas.

At sea, Rebecca served as Weapons Officer in USS Rushmore (LSD 47) from July 2007 – July 2009. While aboard Rushmore, Rebecca deployed once to the Arabian Gulf in support of the Global War On Terror. During her second sea tour, Rebecca initially served as an Exercise Planner and Operations Officer at MINE COUNTERMEASURES SQUADRON ONE (MCMRON 1), as well as the new homeland defense staff, COUNTERMEASURES DIVISION THREE ONE (MCMDIV 31). At MCMRON 1, Rebecca worked with foreign navies (including Canada, Republic of Korea, Japan, Singapore, and Australia) to coordinate multinational training exercises both at home and abroad. At MCMDIV 31, Rebecca trained the MCMDIV 31 staff in conducting both domestic and foreign training exercises in Virginia, Hawaii, Canada, and Panama. In July 2012, Rebecca transitioned to the Navy Reserve. As a Navy Reserve officer, Rebecca currently serves as the Future Plans Officer at NR EXPEDITIONARY STRIKE GROUP THREE (ESG-3). In April 2014, Rebecca represented ESG-3 in a joint force disaster relief exercise in Alaska, working closely with the U.S. Army, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Air Force, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Rebecca’s personal awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (three awards), the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, and the Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.


Tom & Tina Sjogren, Guest Speakers

TomSjogrenTina SjogrenTina & Tom Sjogren are explorers, mountaineers, and pioneers. T&T have both completed the Three Poles Challenge, summiting Mount Everest (in 1999) and leading unsupported expeditions to the North and South Poles. They are the first married couple in history to achieve this feat; Tina is the first woman to achieve it. They also broke broadcasting records on two of their three expeditions: the world altitude broadcasting record on Everest and the first live audiovisual broadcast from the Antarctic ice cap (in 2001).

They reached the South Pole on February 2, 2002. On their expedition to the North Pole, they also broadcast live, and broke the speed record with a time of 118 days, reaching the Pole on May 29, 2002. At both poles, they raised an American flag that a friend found on the street in New York City on September 11th.

Through their experience, T&T have developed expertise in high-stakes leadership, teamwork and decision-making. Currently, they live and work in California, where they create custom technology solutions for extreme projects.


Leelanee Sterrett, Guest Speaker

Leelanee SterrettLeelanee Sterrett, Third Horn of the New York Philharmonic, joined the Orchestra in June 2013. She was previously a member of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, and a regular substitute with the New York Philharmonic. Ms. Sterrett is also an alumna of The Academy, Carnegie Hall’s collective of young professionals and music advocates, and a former member of Ensemble ACJW.A northern-Michigan native, Ms. Sterrett grew up in a musically enthusiastic family and attended Interlochen Arts Academy. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and a master’s degree from the Yale School of Music. Her primary teachers include William Purvis, Douglas Hill, and Julie Schleif. Ms. Sterrett has spent summers at the Tanglewood Music Center, the Pacific and Sarasota music festivals, the National Orchestral Institute, and the Banff Centre for the Arts. She is a past prizewinner in the International Horn Competition of America and the Yamaha Young Performing Artists Program.

Ms. Sterrett is also a member of Genghis Barbie, an all-female horn ensemble specializing in original arrangements of pop music from the 1970s through today. The group made its Carnegie Hall (Stern Auditorium) debut in 2012 as soloists with the New York Youth Symphony, and has released four albums. The five members of Genghis Barbie are in high demand not only as performers and educators, but as musical entrepreneurs, and have given numerous concerts and master classes nationwide.

Eddie Michelson, Guest Speaker

Ed MichelsonEd began his career in finance at JP Morgan in the municipal bond department. He spent three years learning the ropes before he was recruited into an area in which he serviced dealers that didn’t have access to buying and selling securities. Five years later, JP Morgan established its own Mortgage Backed Securities (MBSs) strategy. Ed became an expert in MBSs over the next ten years. He went on to hold a number of highly-respected positions within the firm, including the management of commercial paper issuance and the CD portfolio. Later, Ed returned to MBSs as a Vice President in their Operations department and managed JP Morgan’s investment portfolio for JP Morgan Securities on their mortgage trading desk.

Ed’s group was relocated to Delaware where he took on the role of Product Specialist packaging different types of debt. In 2002, Ed retired from his accomplished career in finance and went on to become Bar Manager for the University of Delaware’s Hotel Restaurant Institutional Management program. Ed is a Yankees fan, an avid reader and enjoys cooking Italian food.

Casey Tuma, Guest Speaker

Casey TumaCasey loves connecting people to each other.  She is an actor, an entrepreneur, and an active advocate for her Alma Mater – Penn State University.

A Jersey girl at heart, she moved to NYC at the age of twelve to originate the orphan role of “July” in the 20th Anniversary production of Annie on Broadway and the National Tour.

While at Penn State, she checked a few dream roles off her list: “Shelly” in Bat Boy and “Little Sally” in Urinetown and she earned the Robert E. Leonard award for recognition as a well-rounded, multi-talented student. She was last seen rockin’ out in the role of “Regina” in the Broadway 1st National Tour of Rock of Ages where she earned a Broadway World LA Award for “Best Featured Actress in a Touring Musical”.

While offstage, Casey has led musical theatre technique and show-specific workshops all over the country.  She is the Founder of Casey Tuma Transforms, a personal organizing business that helps clients transform their spaces and lives.  In addition, she is a Presentations Skills expert focused on managing nerves and anxiety in order to maximize potential in delivery.