Sylvia Melena, the Founder & CEO of Melena Consulting Group, is a Latina entrepreneur, an award-winning author, and the daughter of Mexican immigrants.

She was born in Los Angeles and raised in San Diego, California. She is bilingual and bicultural, unapologetically embracing both her Mexican heritage and her American traditions, seamlessly blending the two.

She loves all people, regardless of their background or status and knows that we’re all equally valuable.


Sylvia earned a Master of Arts in Leadership and Organizational Studies from Azusa Pacific University and a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism-Advertising Emphasis with a Minor in Sociology from San Diego State University. She is also an Association for Talent Development (ATD) Master Instructional Designer™ and a Certified DISC Trainer.

Management Experience

Prior to working full-time in her consultancy, Sylvia dedicated 26 years of her life to serving children, adults, and families through her work at the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) and MAXIMUS, Inc., a health and human services consulting firm. Her career included nearly 20 years in the administration of public policy, operations, automation, quality assurance, compliance, budget, and contracts. She spent 14 of these years at the middle, senior and executive management levels.

As the Assistant Deputy Director for HHSA, Strategic Planning & Operational Support Division, Self-Sufficiency Programs, Sylvia had oversight of county-wide strategic planning, policy and program development, audit compliance, and performance management for HHSA’s public assistance and anti-poverty programs; HHSA’s centralized public assistance call center; and the San Diego region’s community action agency. The programs under her oversight served about half a million county residents a year.

As a Human Services Operations Manager and a Health and Human Services Administrator, she managed operations for several Family Resource Centers (public assistance offices) and the centralized call center. She managed workforces ranging from about 80 to nearly 300 employees. She also managed policy, operations, automation, and budget for the Child Care Program staffed by about 100 employees located in several offices throughout the County.

Sylvia has been privileged to lead the development and implementation of successful employee engagement and performance improvement efforts and large-scale initiatives throughout her career. She was unknowingly preparing for the work that lay ahead.

Professional Affiliations

Get in Touch

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