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Melissa Means

Melissa Means

Managing Director
Executive Compensation
Board of Directors Compensation
CEO and Executive Transitions
Corporate Governance Processes/Practices
Managing Behavioral Aspects Associated with Compensating Executives
BA, Miami University
Certified Compensation Professional
Certified Equity Professional

Commitment to Clients

My clients are purposeful, open-minded, curious professionals who desire to go beyond tactical data to tackle the real behavioral elements of compensation. Together we strive to design optimum compensation programs while addressing company culture and performance, key talent management, and any interpersonal or relationship dynamics. I have been called "the boardroom psychologist" as I help my clients more intentionally, intuitively, and thoughtfully navigate the often highly-charged topic of compensation. Together, we will walk through the process to create highly-effective, easy to understand, genuine programs.


Melissa Means is a managing director at Pearl Meyer with over 20 years of experience. Melissa’s areas of expertise include executive and non-employee director compensation, designing, implementing, and communicating total compensation strategies, pay-for-performance alignment, and short- and long-term incentive compensation programs. She works closely with boards and management teams in addressing issues including governance practices, executive transitions, succession planning, and aligning pay with business strategies. Melissa specializes in working with firms ranging in size from small, private and pre-IPO organizations to large multi-national companies across many different industries including materials/industrials, consumer, healthcare, information technology, and biotechnology. By being in the boardroom most days with different clients, Melissa also helps provide context to boards on group behavioral interactions among the board and with management.

Eager to give back to her professional community, Melissa is a speaker and writer on executive and non-employee director compensation topics. Melissa is a member of Women Corporate Directors and she was named to the Agenda Compensation 100, a listing of top board-ready professionals who make terrific compensation committee members. Melissa and her colleagues at Pearl Meyer assisted Women Corporate Directors in creating their Thought Leadership Council and authoring several thought leadership reports. 

Melissa is a Certified Compensation Professional and a Certified Equity Professional. She is a member, author, and article reviewer for WorldatWork and the National Association of Stock Plan Professionals. She is a member, author, and speaker for the National Association of Corporate Directors, where she also served on the program committee. Melissa is a member of The Boston Club, served on the corporate board committee, and chaired the corporate advisory board committee. Despite her demanding professional life, Melissa has a passion for being a part of organizations whose mission is to help others, as well as give back to the community and their constituency. Melissa is a member of the Board of Trustees for a 100-year old music school in the greater Boston area and served as a committee member for Susan G. Komen’s Massachusetts Affiliate annual Race for the Cure Event.

At Pearl Meyer, we work with boards and organizations to design and implement compensation and leadership strategies that build great management teams.
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