MELINDA BRIANA EPLER
Melinda Briana Epler is a TED speaker, writer and entrepreneur. As CEO of Change Catalyst, she has worked with over 450 tech companies and community organizations to solve diversity and inclusion – through consulting, startup programs and a series of 44 events around the world.
Melinda found riding as a way to regenerate from the hard work week. She grew up hearing over and over again that women shouldn’t, couldn’t ride motorcycles. So she didn’t. Until she met her future husband Wayne Sutton, when she rode on the back of his Ducati Monster and found freedom! For two years, she rode rented scooters around San Francisco while she saved up for her first motorcycle. She got her motorcycle license December 2017, bought a Ducati Scrambler January 2018, and has been exploring the world on motorcycles ever since.
In 2 years, she has ridden over 15k miles, through 4 countries and more cities and towns that she can count. Nearly every weekend, she and her husband Wayne are out exploring beautiful California valleys, coasts and mountains.
Melinda co-hosts a series of group rides with diverse Bay Area riders, and her company Change Catalyst has sponsored the San Francisco Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride. She enjoys inspiring other riders, especially women, to get out and ride!
2017 Ducati Scrambler Icon
2017 Ducati Scrambler Icon. Custom seat co-designed by myself and Frances Midori. Lowered in lots of little ways for a shorter woman who rides across the country and around San Francisco. Custom painted fairing, new shock and under seat details to match the tank. New Matt Gecko LED headlight, Ducati headlight grill, Samlight LED driving lights to see deer and other critters, Zard Zuma exhaust, Rizoma levers, foot pegs, mirrors, bar ends and fender eliminator; new Ducati side panels, New Rage 360 front turn signals, Coterie West integrated rear turn signal and brake light, TWM gas cap, and a few more little touches make it unique.
Favorite Color: Red
Favorite Hwys to ride: Hwy 29 and Hwy 130 near Mt. Hamilton
First motorcycle: 2017 Ducati Scrambler Icon
Other hobbies: Writing, Reading, Movies, Thinking
Work: Founder, CEO at Change Catalyst
Favorite Quote: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. “- Margaret Mead
Melinda Briana Epler has over 25 years of experience developing business innovation and inclusion strategies for startups, Fortune 500 companies, and global NGOs.
As CEO of Change Catalyst, Melinda currently works with the tech industry to solve diversity and inclusion together. Using her background in storytelling and large-scale culture change, she is a strategic advisor for tech companies, tech hubs, and governments around the world. She co-leads a series of global solutions-focused conferences called Tech Inclusion, where she has partnered with over 450 tech companies and community organizations and hosted 43 solutions-focused diversity and inclusion events around the world.
Previously, Melinda was a Marketing and Culture Executive and award-winning documentary filmmaker – her film and television work includes projects that exposed the AIDS crisis in South Africa, explored women’s rights in Turkey, and prepared communities for the effects of climate change. She has worked on several television shows, including NBC’s The West Wing.
Melinda is a TED speaker. She speaks, mentors and writes about diversity and inclusion in tech, allyship, social entrepreneurship, underrepresented entrepreneurs and investing. She has spoken on hundreds of stages around the world, including SXSW, Grace Hopper, Wisdom 2.0, the World Bank, Obama White House, Clinton Foundation, Black Enterprise, Google, Indeed, Capital One and McKinsey.