By Erica Cardenas
WITH A KNACK FOR EMPOWERING OTHERS and a strategic vision for growth, Melanie Ohm of Concepts Consulting Group understands her role as an entrepreneur and business owner.
And the company CEO embraces every bit of it.
"When you start a new business, there's an evolution period," says Ohm. "I work to help businesses create something new and concrete, using what they already have."
Although Concepts Consulting Group is fresh to the market, having launched a little more than a year ago, Ohm is no stranger to building collaborative relationships and using her strategic outlook for the greater good.
After serving as the director of partnerships at Arizona State's College of Fine Arts for 10 years, Ohm began thinking about what her own business would look like. It would be a business that recognized and appreciated the human element, realizing how critical people are in the equation of success.
Her work in the business and social sectors, fused with her association with the arts and university leadership, cultivated the basis of Concepts.
From that model, Ohm and her team are inspiring and helping others refine their own visions. From project management, idea generation, strategic planning design; to conflict resolution, lecture and dialogue series, grant writing and much more, Concepts Consulting aims at helping organizations work more effectively and achieve their business goals in a strategic and unique way.
As for living as an entrepreneur, Ohm says it's a lifestyle.
"I look at the course of my life and I've always begun many things, from an organizational standpoint to major project," she says. "It's about learning how to cultivate things and having a persistence."
Ohm's creative abilities extend beyond her business. Used to be listened to by clients, she has a voice that resonates with an audience, too.
A mezzo-soprano with Duo Braziliana, Ohm and Brazilian pianist Rúbia Santos (www.duobraziliana.com/santos.html) engage their listeners with performances of Brazilian song and tunes, communicating ideas about the music, composers and poets of Brazil.
After meeting during their graduate studies at ASU in 1999, both artists found they shared a desire for Brazilian culture. The dynamic duo has traveled many times to Brazil to give performances and lectures in venues throughout the U.S. They made their international debut during the 2006 Mediterranean Studies Association Congress in Genoa, Italy.
Whether through song or business strategy, Ohm says there's a formula for success.
"It's really about learning to trust yourself and learning to be reflective in your life...you have to always be looking ahead, and listening back."
It's this connection as an artist that also roots Ohm as an advocate for Latino arts and culture. As co-founder and co-director of the Cultural Arts Coalition, which celebrates global connections, and through her avid involvement on the board of Advocates for Latin@ Arts & Culture Consortium (ALAC), Ohm agrees that everything influences the next.
Concepts Consulting continues to be an example of this continual cycle of influence. Ranging from clientele including university departments, to new start-up businesses and nonprofits, Ohm has her eyes, and vision, set on the bigger picture.
With more than 50 years of combined experience, the Concepts team tags the basis for all it does on "imagination, balance and clarity."
"One has to be reflective in their life...to look at what's working, and what's not. And above all, learn from your experiences."
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