Chicago, Ill. – Whether it’s coordinating volunteers, increasing accessibility to food to underserved communities in Chicago or providing financial support to college-bound young men, Polemarch (President) of the Chicago Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., and 1991 alumnus Melvin “Mel” Flowers is the quintessence of servant leadership.
The Chicago Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. was the first alumni chapter chartered by the organization and has grown to one of the largest. Proudly at the helm, Mel has the responsibility of serving the Men of Kappa and administering diverse programming for the community and young men.
He has always believed the key to be a successful leader is using one’s gifts to help others.
“I have come to understand that the talents, capabilities, gifts, blessings that we receive were not intended solely for us. They are meant to be shared with others,” Flowers says. “We simply are the conduits through which these gifts and blessings flow. As such, [giving back] is not a hard thing to do when you understand this principle.”
Mel, who is the North America Legal Lead for Accenture, says his inspiration for becoming a servant leader began when he saw outstanding men around him doing great things in the community, in particular, a fellow fraternity Brother and attorney who offered pro bono legal services to those in need.
He also acknowledges his deep involvement in a number of organizations at Bradley for shaping him into the leader he is today.
“Bradley was one of many platforms that assisted in shaping me as a leader. I was a Student Senator, an officer with the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), The President of my Fraternity Chapter, a member of the Minority Advisory Committee, and a member of the selection team that hired the honorable Robin Kelly to lead the Minority Student Services organization,” Flowers says. “I was afforded various opportunities to grow as a leader and use my talents to assist in the creation of high performing organizations.”
But his commitment to servant leadership did not end following his time at Bradley.
After earning his Juris Doctorate from Chicago-Kent College of Law and MBA concentrating in finance and marketing from Benedictine University, Mel continued to give back to his alma mater by serving on a number of boards, including the Black Alumni Scholarship Committee, the Bradley University Alumni Association Board, the Black Alumni Alliance Board and the National Alumni Association.
Mel’s extensive leadership experience and interpersonal skills also earned him a seat on Bradley’s prestigious Board of Trustees.
In February 2019, he was one of five alum inducted on the board to help further the role Bradley plays in preparing young men and women to become leaders of tomorrow.
It is clear Mel leads in practice and by example, via his personal and professional efforts – a task that can be challenging at times.
When asked how he continues to do it, he shares that the most important aspect about leadership is “…owning your authentic self and helping others do the same.”
He offers these additional words of wisdom to any aspiring leader today:
“Many people think leadership is about pulling people along or being dictatorial. For many, it is about leading by inspiring and for others leading by “doing” (being an example). No matter the leadership style you have to be authentic, vulnerable, have vision and foresight, great communication and people skills and want to solve for your team and the entity that you serve.”
It’s safe to say the community appreciates everything Mel does.
Thank you being an inspiring leader, Mel! Continue to make #BUBAAProud.