Melanie Leis | INTIX Interviews

Getting to Know: Melanie Leis

The East Coast Outside Sales Manager at Vendini values authenticity in people and music. A musician herself, she is a big James Taylor fan and has seen him in concert dozens of times. She also loves to travel to a country that evokes memories of her childhood, parents and a simpler life. Here, she reflects on her greatest loves, the best live event she’s ever seen, her favorite venues and how INTIX has changed her life.

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Who do you admire most and why?

Top of my list: my dad. He was the most patient human being I’ve ever known. I loved him and his cadence in life. Currently, I am in awe of the powerful stance by Emma Gonzalez and the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas in Parkland.
 

What is the quality you like most in a person?

Authenticity.
 

What is the quality you most like in a colleague?

In addition to authenticity, I would also say passion and honesty.
 

What qualities are important to you in a leader?

Someone who is a great coach. I think it’s really important to have a coach who challenges your thinking, thinks outside the box, offers a fresh set of eyes and a new perspective. Someone who knows when I should be on the bench and when I should start.
 

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

There are two. My music and my ex-wife. I never thought I would say that so easily a couple of years ago, but today I say that with absolute authenticity. As for music, I started playing piano when I was six and I was already playing by ear. I didn’t read music until I got to Berklee College of Music and it was force-fed. I started playing drums shortly after piano, and that’s what I pursued at Berklee.
 

Which talent would you most like to have?

I would love to be a better guitar player and rip into a good Eric Clapton guitar solo.
 

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

I was somewhat of an absentee daughter, the epitome of sowing my wild oats. But, I had a significant life change in my early 30s. After being physically (and emotionally) MIA for so many years, I was able to be present and available for my folks and get to know them well again before they passed, to show them that I’m okay.
 

Where would you most like to live?

I love Boston, but in a fantasy world, I would love to live in Bermuda all the time.
 

What is your most treasured possession?

Right now, I would have to say a lot of the artwork and personal things that belonged to my folks. I am lucky enough to have my dad’s watch. Things like this mean a great deal to me today.
 

What do you value most in your friends?

Loyalty.
 

Who are your favorite writers?

John Steinbeck and Spalding Grey.
 

What’s the best live event you’ve ever seen and why?

James Taylor in 2016 at Tanglewood. It was my 38th or 39th time seeing him, and I was two rows from the stage. By the second half of the show, I was leaning on the stage. I looked away for a moment during “How Sweet It Is” and when I turned back, a background singer was handing me a mic to sing along. James Taylor inspired me to pursue music. He has such great humility, humanity and presence on stage.
 

What is your favorite venue and why?

Tanglewood is literally in James Taylor’s backyard and has become one of my favourite venues. I also really like Jones Beach, which is very similar in size.
 

Who is your favorite musician of all time and why?

James Taylor. He has been an inspiration to me for many reasons. His words and journey resonate with me. I think he is an amazing writer, incredible lyricist and storyteller, and he gathers some of the most incredible musicians who just make magic and who can play any variety of styles. You’ll hear rock n’ roll to a Bossa nova.
 

What is your favorite place to visit or place you’d love to visit and why?

I go back to Bermuda every year. My folks used to take us there, so we were exposed to it very early on. It’s a beautiful, very simple island. The people are magnificent. I go every year around my folks’ anniversary to honor that part of my life, even if it’s only for a long weekend. It’s close, it’s beautiful and it feels like home.
 

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself?

Don’t pursue immediate gratification over your long-term goal. Don’t get distracted by a shiny thing when you have a vision ahead of you. Keep true to the path.
 

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I love the gym. If I’m not working, playing music or watching politics on MSNBC, I want to be at the gym.
 

If you were granted three wishes today, what would they be?

My first would be more time with my folks and my family. If I am being 100 percent honest, I would also wish for financial security — to be able to have extra wiggle room at all times, pay off the house and have some play money. My third would be to do more for those who can’t. I try to do service or volunteer work on a regular basis but do that more often and more frequently would be pretty cool.
 

Why are you a member of INTIX?

INTIX is an amazing community of subject matter experts. I’ve been in ticketing now for just over a year. I’ve done a lot of sales and technology, but nothing ticketing specific. I was amazed at the number of subject matter experts. It’s a really unique group of folks who know their business better than anyone.
 

What do you get from INTIX?

I get thought leadership, amazing new friends and new connections. I really was so amazed at how many people I met this past year and how many I’ve stayed in contact with to this day.
 

What does INTIX give you that is different from everything else you are doing?

It’s the people. It’s industry leaders, regardless of the roles they hold. You have an opportunity to tap into them and it’s just an amazing collection of people. I’ve been sent to a handful of conferences and INTIX is unlike any other. It’s the people who make all the difference.
 

What do you love most about your job?

My team and my colleagues at Vendini. It’s seriously the best team — from execs to marketing to support to sales.
 

Who or what inspires you?

My boss might think I’m sucking up, but it’s our team here. We really work well together.
 

What do you love most about our industry?

What we do. I think we are providing an entry point to giving the average bear a break. It’s tough out there, life gets hard, and I think everybody deserves that reprieve. We allow them to go in, laugh and tap their toes. Our industry is the gateway, so we can get as many people to as many different experiences as possible, whether it’s music, dance, comedy or theatre. It’s that break from the heavy in the world that everybody lives with.
 

What is your most memorable INTIX moment?

It was the second or third day, before sessions started at the Baltimore conference, in the lobby. A bunch of us that had just met were having coffee, shooting the breeze, talking about our different hometowns, recent work stuff, our pets. It was really human, sitting with a group of new friends. We all just got to sit and talk without our regular hats, just being folks who love what we do.