Melinda Friesen, BBA

Director, Friesen Group & Companies

  • Biography

Department: School of Business Mentor


Melinda was born and raised in Abbotsford, BC.  She attended MEI for her high school education.  After graduation, she worked to save money for her plans to attend Capernwray Bible School.  She was accepted at the school in Moss Vale, Australia and began there in January 1999.  After two semester, she returned to Abbotsford in July 1999 and began at what is now the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) and was enrolled in full-time General Studies.  At that same time, she was offered to assist temporarily performing typing and reception duties at her 'dad's' office, Clearbrook Grain & Milling.  She was not at all happy on the 'path' that she had chosen, so after her first year and a half of being 'school free' and working full-time, her dad subtly approached her and asked her if she was 'happy' in her job, to which she replied, "It's fine, but I wouldn't want to do this forever."  She didn't know what she was expecting or thinking, but her dad replied, "Well, this is where you'll be unless you decide to go back to school."  That was all of the encouragement she needed to reapply and start school again.  She stayed as a part-time student until 2006, during which at times she was working three jobs and taking other professional development courses, until finally she graduated with her Batchelor's of Business Administration with a major in Marketing.

Throughout this time, the benefits of her education and being involved in a family-owned and operated business forged her the opportunity to pursue many different positions within the company, such as accounts receivable, retail store coordinator for their animal health division, and marketing manager.  Amonst various responsibilities, her current role includes being the Director of Communications and Human Resources for all of the Friesen Companies.  Her schooling has been the 'backbone' for all of her professional development and advancement.  She currently w orks with her father and two older brothers (she has a sister and another brother who are not involved).

Being born and raised in a Christian home, she has been privileged to be surrounded by loving parents and a healthy, biblically driven and influenced environment. She has benefited tremendously from her mom's prayers and from adopting her dad's principles and values in the way he conducts business.  Her dad has what he calls the 3H's, which he believes are critical to every 'successful' person - honesty, humility and hard work.

Her early trip to Australia instilled in her a 'travel' bug and a passion for learning about other cultures and geography, so she loves to travel.  She also enjoys reading, the outdoors, and physical fitness.  She has completed internationally in a fitness event for natural athletes and she enjoys individual sports and athletics.  She loves having goals, being challenged and being creative.