About Wes Meltzer
My calling card is innovation with no fear of the unknown. I am a cross-functional writer, editor and programmer. My mission is to bring a journalist's eye to technology and a hacker's eye to the written word. Each day I strive to learn something new and to cross a new technological frontier, to find a new technique to tell a story better or get it done faster.
My portfolio as a writer and designer includes market-tested and award-winning printed and interactive pieces. My work has been recognized by associations as diverse as the National Mature Media Awards, the Society for News Design, the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors and the Society of Professional Journalists of South Florida. I have managed creative and technical projects, functional teams and software rollouts.
Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill., 2006
Graduated cum laude (GPA 3.76) with B.S. in Journalism and second major in history (concentration in medieval Europe). Member of Tau Kappa Alpha honor society.
Director of Communications, Westminster Communities of Florida
Orlando, Fla., 2012-Present
Oversee the integrated communications strategy for the nation's tenth-largest not-for-profit provider of communities for seniors, across all print and interactive channels, including internal, external and marketing communications. Manage and broaden the impact of Westminster's marketing campaigns for 21 communities in six media markets. Art direct an internal creative team producing direct mail and printed sales and marketing collateral. Design and maintain the organization's Web presence. Create and maintain organizational standards for branding, style and usage. Review all communications with internal and external stakeholders, including by the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer. Produce all internal communications. Coordinate media and stakeholder response to news events in all local media markets.
- Created and led an award-winning internal creative team, starting with no staff in December 2012 and growing to a team of five that has won 11 major awards competing against external agencies.
- Increased overall lead generation by 30% and digital leads by nearly 200%, supporting an increase in overall occupancy across 21 communities by 14 percentage points.
- Implemented new marketing communications strategies and processes to reduce cost per lead by 30% across the organization, through process improvements, creative campaign structure, vendor negotiation and a relentless focus on data-driven decision making.
- Won a total of 10 gold, silver and bronze medals at the National Mature Media Awards, Westminster Communities of Florida's first-ever national recognition for sales and marketing campaigns, and one of only a handful of in-house teams to be so recognized.
- Led multiple redesigns of Westminster Communities of Florida Web site, including strategy, copywriting and art selection. Increased visitors and leads nearly 200%.
- Managed and art directed an award-winning project to completely reinvent signature marketing collateral, including coordinating three teams of consultants and vendors.
- Created Westminster Communities of Florida's first in-house stylebook, including branding guidelines, style entries, usage guidelines and signature marketing elements for each community.
- Filmed, photographed and designed an integrated campaign of fundraising videos and direct mail for the Westminster Retirement Communities Foundation which led to a 100% increase in contributions year-over-year.
- Worked on a team of communications professionals, sales consultants and marketing staff to raise occupancy at one troubled community by 30 percentage points within one year.
Recognition and Continuing Education
- University of Pennsylvania, "Introduction to Marketing." Completed April 2014.
- Advanced Sales and Marketing Summit. Completed December 2013.
- Westminster Communities of Florida Legendary Service Award, 2013. Legendary Service Award, 2014. Outstanding Achiever Award, 2015.
- Orange County Commission on Aging, "Communicating with the Media and Stakeholders." Completed October 2013.
Advanced marketing and corporate communications skills, sales and occupancy analysis, Movable Type content management system, Unix server management, event planning, internal communications platforms, compliance with regulations in Florida Statutes Section 651 and Office of Insurance Regulation
Information Design Editor, Orlando Sentinel
Orlando, Fla., 2010–2012
Art directed all print design, including A1 and strategic presentation and redesigns. Edited and managed news story selection. Created and directed interactive projects for spot news and special projects. Identified new tools and storytelling techniques for OrlandoSentinel.com and iOS and Android products. Maintained newsroom production and archive systems.
- Prototyped and managed redesign and re-sectioning of Sentinel print edition launched September 2011. Project lead for system implementation of redesigns for Tribune Company's six East Coast newspapers.
- Visuals lead for award-winning series and special-events coverage in print and online: 2012 presidential primary, Florida A&M hazing investigation, Collateral Damage series on business closures and space-shuttle program.
- Led design and graphics planning for 2010 Census and redistricting in print and online. Interactive graphics using HTML5 and Google Maps won monthly and annual awards and beat local and state competitors by several hours.
- Redesigned and programmed Orlando Sentinel Murder Map to be more user-friendly, immediate, technically robust and sensitive to the victims' life stories — and increased page views by 40% and video views by 10%.
Senior Designer, Orlando Sentinel
Orlando, Fla., 2006-2010
Promoted to lead designer for daily and Sunday A1. Responsible for coaching, proofreading stories, online channel management and curation. Managing newsroom content management systems for print and online.
Chicago, Ill., 2005-2006
Wrote front-of-book and back-of-book feature-length articles assigned, including cover stories on US Airways-America West merger:
- Popular Mechanics
- Arizona Business Magazine
- Experience AZ
Writing and Editing
Associated Press style, marketing copywriting, social media management, media placement, Microsoft Office suite
Adobe InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop; CCI NewsGate and NewsDesk, as superuser; QGIS and MAPublisher
- 2008: Orlando Sentinel Employee of the Year/Design for page-design portfolio
- 2009: Society for News Design Award of Excellence; Florida Society of News Editors, First Place, Election Coverage
- 2010: Orlando Sentinel Employee of the Year/Systems for NewsGate rollout; Florida Society of News Editors, First Place, Front Page design
- 2011: Society for News Design, Award of Excellence
- 2013: Westminster Communities of Florida Legendary Service Award.
- 2014: Westminster Communities of Florida Legendary Service Award.
- 2015: Westminster Communities of Florida Outstanding Achiever Award.
- 2015: National Mature Media Awards, Gold and Silver awards.
- 2017: Westminster Communities of Florida Legendary Service Award.
- 2017: National Mature Media Awards, Gold, Silver and Bronze awards.