Our Team

Melanie Benson Strick Melanie Benson Strick
President and Founder, Success Connections, Corporation
America’s Leading Small Business Optimizer

Melanie Benson Strick
, America’s Leading Small Business Optimizer, helps fast-paced, creative entrepreneurs accelerate their impact and income by making the business they have work 10 times better.  With over 12 years in corporate America, Melanie specializes in getting creative visionaries focused on their highest payoff opportunities.

Melanie combines her extensive traditional education (she holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Organizational Management) with multiple advanced certifications in Project Management, Results Coaching, Neuro-Linguistic Programming and even a license as a Spiritual Counselor to get her clients past their obstacles and into impacting the world in a fulfilling, and profitable, way.

Integrating creativity with a honed “facts and data” approach has resulted in some of the most comprehensive business growth systems on the planet including the Beyond Optimum Performance, Build Your Dream Team,  and the Big Idea Incubator results acceleration program.

Melanie is co-author of Entrepreneur.com’s “Start Up Guide to an Information Marketing Business” and “Visionary Women Inspiring the Word.” She has served on faculty member for StomperNet, the world’s leading online marketing and e-commerce training company. Melanie has a solid reputation for authentic but direct training and mentoring on 6 figure plus business success.

Melanie speaks for many entrepreneurial audiences across the globe both live and virtually via webinars and telephone-based seminars; has been a regularly featured expert on radio shows and in media publications such as American Express OPEN Forum, Women’s Day, Parenting Magazine, University of Phoenix Alumni Magazine and Female Entrepreneur Magazine.

Melanie lives in the Los Angeles area so she can be close to her nieces and the ideal Southern California living! As an avid lifestyle enthusiast she spends her free time in search of the best spas and beaches in the world.

More on Melanie’s Background and Accomplishments

Melanie formed Success Connections, Inc in 2001 and after struggling for 2 ½ years broke her first six figures in 2004. Since then she’s coached thousands of entrepreneurs into breaking six and seven figures in their own businesses. Melanie was nominated for the prestigious 40-Under-40 Award in 2005.

Melanie serves on the Executive Leadership Team for Women Speakers Association and on the programming committee for the Association of Transformational Leaders Southern California.

In 2013, Melanie partnered with We Save The Children to create CAMP Success — a week long goal-setting and success program for high-risk children in the Los Angeles projects.

She has served as past co-chair of the Small Business Coaching Task Force for the International Coach Federation, with a charter to promote the value of coaching to small business owners world-wide and to provide community for other coaches who serve this niche.

In 2003, launched the LA chapter of the Shared Vision Network, a professional organization for entrepreneurs and small business owners. Melanie is known as an extraordinary connector and thrives in networking, collaborative marketing partnerships and connecting the right people with the right resources – at the right time!

From 2001 to 2003, Melanie served in leadership positions including President of the International Coach Federation Los Angeles. Under her leadership, the chapter grew from a 10-person living-room meeting to a 50+ regular monthly professional dinner meeting.

From 1991 to 2001 Melanie worked for Motorola, Inc., a Fortune 500 company, in the Communications Division located in San Diego, CA. Her career included being a business analyst and trade show manager to Quality Systems Manager. She won two awards for innovative ideas and presentations in Motorola’s Total Customer Satisfaction program; spent three years managing multimillion dollar projects for state and local government dispatch centers; and traveled the country training teams how to meet customer’s satisfaction needs.

Melanie believes in continual learning and is advancing her education with a minimum investment of $15,000 a year. In addition to multiple business trainings in systems, marketing and advanced success strategies, Melanie is also certified in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Hypnosis, Master NLP Trainer, is a Licensed Spiritual Counselor, a graduate of Coach U, and has an accreditation as an Insights Discovery Systemâ„¢ Facilitator. Melanie also holds a Masters of Arts in Organizational Management and a Bachelors of Science in Business Management.

Jen Ugas, Customer Support Manager and Personal Assistant

Jen Ugas is Melanie’s personal assistant, coordinates the podcast interviews and takes care of clients who are enrolled in private coaching as well as our group trainings. Jen comes to us from Contemporary VA, which has trained her for excellence in customer service.


shannon kuykendallShannon Kuykendall, Online Business Manager

Shannon Kuykendall manages our online presence, setting up campaigns and keeping our websites up to date. Shannon is InfusionSoft Certified and an avid student of Ryan Deiss and online marketing.


Jill PruettJill Pruett, Business Development Coordinator

Jill Pruett helps navigate the requests for Melanie to speak or interview as well as manages many of our lead generating campaigns.  Jill brings many strengths, but through her experience has a real knack for tracking what works — and what doesn’t.

© 2015, Success Connections | Melanie Benson, Inc., Inc. All Rights Reserved
P.O. Box 262, Agoura Hills, CA 91376-0262
818.530.4884 office | 818.530.4884 fax