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Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Meet Denise Melone, Advisory Board Member

Ethics Center Advisory Board Member Denise Melone

Ethics Center Advisory Board Member Denise Melone

Meet Denise Melone, Advisory Board Member

Denise Melone ’06 serves the Ethics Center Advisory Board and continues a family legacy of furthering ethics ideology at Santa Clara and beyond.

Denise Melone ’06 has had connections to the Santa Clara University community for many years and is excited to lend her experience to the Ethics Center Advisory Board. Since her graduation from SCU with a degree in marketing, she has worked in the health care advertising industry for more than 15 years. She is currently working at Havas San Francisco, where she has developed marketing plans for a variety of healthcare giants. In the four and a half years Melone has spent at Havas, they have seen double digit growth and have made a concerted effort towards DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) growth, which she has spearheaded.

Melone’s family, including her father Martin Melone ’63, have long been involved with the SCU community. Her father donated to the Ethics Center and began the Melone Family Endowment for Ethics Education, a fund that supports the Center’s Business Ethics Internship program. When Martin Melone was considering retiring from his position on the Advisory Board, he asked his daughter to consider stepping into serving the Ethics Center by joining the board. Her answer? “Look, I’ve loved what I’ve seen and I really would love to be a part of pushing the Center forward to the future and making us a nationwide powerhouse.” 

There’s such a need to bring ethics to the forefront because you’re dealing with decisions that can impact people’s lives. Denise Melone

Ethics have always been an important part of Melone’s life, especially when it comes to her field of health care marketing. As she says, “There’s such a need to bring ethics to the forefront because you’re dealing with decisions that can impact people’s lives.” Without ethical considerations and recognizing the importance of being an ethical person, doing ethical business, and carrying that over to ethical health care, the patient will be lost in the mess of marketing, advertising, and profit, she says. “I think that ultimately, ethics and health care and advertising need to be about balance.” Melone stresses the importance of this equilibrium, saying that without the recognition of these many factors that work together, ethics is often the first to fall by the wayside. 

Melone also had the good fortune to work in Germany, where she was able to observe the differences between the American and European approaches to health care advertising. In her experience, the U.S. is more capitalistic, whereas Europe is able to give more medicines a chance because they do not rely on the pharmaceutical companies’ profits. “You see more approvals of health care [in Europe] than in the U.S.,” Melone says. Interestingly, the U.S. and New Zealand are the only countries to allow advertising in health care, something that makes Melone’s job unique. 

When it comes to the SCU community and ethics, Melone still holds a lot of love in her heart. She regularly meets with other alumni, saying, “what I love is that my friends are all just as interested in what’s going on at SCU as I am.” Her enthusiasm for SCU and the Ethics Center are palpable, and she hopes to see one change in her time on the Advisory Board: that the Ethics Center and the university campus become even more connected than they already are. “I would love for every student to have to take a class with the Ethics Center,” she says. More broadly, however, her final note is this: “I want to encourage people to consider the Ethics Center and its mission as a core competency.” 




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