Melanie is the Chief Executive Officer of Tally Health, a consumer biotech company changing the way we age. Through science-backed tools and resources, Tally helps people increase healthspan, extend longevity, and age healthier. Prior to Tally, she was COO & CFO of TMRW Life Sciences, a life sciences tech company providing an automated, software-guided specimen management solution for the egg and embryos used in IVF. Previously, Melanie served as CFO of Refinery29, where she led its merger with Vice Media Group, and as SVP of Everyday Health Group, where she helped scale the company through its IPO and subsequent acquisition. She began her career as a technology and media investment banker at J.P. Morgan.
Melanie is a member of the Fast Company Impact Council and WIE Suite, and recognized as one the Top 25 Women Leaders in Biotechnology and the Top 25 Healthcare Technology Leaders of New York, both by the Healthcare Technology Report. She earned a B.A. in economics from Wellesley College and has completed executive programs at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and New York University’s Stern School of Business. Melanie lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband and their two sons.
I’ve always been passionate about consumer health, and when I looked at the statistics around longevity and aging, I knew there was a big opportunity to help make an impact.
Aging is the primary risk factor for many of the common diseases and conditions that cause ~90% of deaths, including cancer, dementia, and cardiovascular disease.
Today’s healthcare system typically treats these manifestations of aging one by one, “whack-a-mole” style instead of addressing the root cause – aging. Combine this with the fact that less than 10% of longevity is determined by genetics, meaning over 90% is due to lifestyle choices and environment. Consumers are increasingly looking for new avenues to take their personal health into their own hands. Recent research from Forerunner, our Series Seed lead investor, found that 54% of people say personal health is a main focus area in their lives, but many are grasping for how to make progress, with 41% saying they wish it was easier to achieve their health goals (and that it’s more challenging than finances, work, school, and family & relationships). I’m excited to bring Tally’s science-backed tools, resources, and supplements to help consumers change the way they age, in a unique and personalized way.
Beauty, health, and wellness are not just about aesthetics anymore – consumers are redefining what it means to feel and look good, from the inside out – and the emphasis on holistic and functional health will continue.
There have been significant advancements in biotech that will become more and more accessible and inclusive to people outside the field. Companies will need to be strategic and intentional about how their brands show up in the world, and the channels through which they reach their audiences. At Tally, we want to bring longevity science to non-scientists by synthesizing the key science/data into content and resources that are easy to understand and easy to incorporate into anyone’s life.
Machine learning and AI will be important tools for companies to scale their data and technology capabilities, but in healthcare, it’s extremely important to still have real people to talk to and connect with, whether that be health experts or community.
I’m a naturally curious person so I’ve always loved learning about all areas of business and believe that when you’re building a company, every functional area is connected. Being effective in the C-Suite requires an understanding of how the company works as a whole. If you’re contemplating a C-Suite transition, it’s important to clearly define what the role is, what the specific mandate/goals are for that role, and evaluate whether that excites you – because that is what is going to motivate you to take on new challenges, continually learn, and feel energized day to day. I’ve also learned that if you’re evaluating multiple changes (e.g. a C-Suite role change and an industry change), the chances for success are far greater if you focus on one change at a time.
Besides the fact that there just aren’t enough women in the C-Suite, female C-Suite pay (and female pay at all career levels), still severely lags the compensation of male counterparts. It’s important to understand market compensation data, ask other women (and men!) in C-Suite roles to share their comp information, and negotiate/advocate for yourself.
I encourage women in C-level roles to be bold – speak up, speak loudly, and shake things up. And really support other women by helping them rise – advocate for them, connect them to others who can be helpful, and share feedback and lessons learned.
I love it! Female mentorship is not just career-shaping, but career building. Looking back at my own career milestones, the majority of opportunities I’ve had were from other women who thought of me or opened up doors for me. I’m extremely grateful for the relationships I have with other women, and find women’s organizations (like the WIE Suite in particular!) to be game-changing in terms of a support network for everything from career advice, amplification of successes, and personal growth – and many of these interactions have turned into wonderful friendships.
No matter what functional area they oversee, C-level executives are going to have to think culture- and employee-first. Empowering leadership, emotional intelligence, and a broad positive culture are going to be critical for success. Above all, I think C-level execs must lead with purpose and instill that sense of purpose in their teams.
Tally Health’s Vitality supplement and lip balm.