Melinda Morrison Gulick has served as the Chief Executive Officer of First Things First since March 2022, overseeing all aspects of Arizona’s early childhood agency. Melinda is an active contributor to community and business organizations and focuses her passion and energy on education, young children, healthcare, a strong local economy and the environment.
Prior to joining First Things First, Melinda ran her own management consulting firm focused on strategic planning, governance, fundraising, communications and sustainable business planning primarily for nonprofit organizations. She previously served on the executive team at DMB Associates for 14 years responsible for operations, communications, marketing, human resources and community affairs. In addition, she served as the Executive Director of several local non-profits and worked in development for Southwest Human Development where her passion for kids blossomed.
She has been honored by the Junior League of Phoenix with the Sandra Day O’Connor Award, by Scottsdale Leadership with the Frank W. Hodges Alumni Achievement Award, by the Phoenix Business Journal as one of the Outstanding Women in Business and by Trends Magazine as a Trendsetter. In 2020, she was inducted into the Scottsdale History Hall of Fame. She serves on the boards of the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce and the Scottsdale Charros Foundation. She is the past chair of the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy and received the first-ever Arizona Cox Conserves Heroes Award in recognition of her advocacy and volunteer work for the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. She is a graduate of both Valley Leadership and Scottsdale Leadership and has been active in numerous local city elections as well as school bond and override campaign committees.
Ms. Gulick holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Southern Methodist University. She lives in Phoenix with her two young sons, Zane and Jace, and three rescue dogs – Beau, Nigel and Hugo.