Thomas Meléndez: 2015 HIPGiver

Thomas Melendez Photo 200Thomas Meléndez, MFS Investment Management Investment Officer
Boston-based Investment Officer Thomas Meléndez was introduced to the notion of philanthropy at a very young age. “If you have a large extended family, as I do,” he says, “the practice of informal philanthropy is infused in your DNA.” Meléndez, who works at MFS Investment Management, was the eldest of four boys born to Puerto Rican parents in Brooklyn, in New York City. Although they lacked university degrees, his parents, he recalled, “instilled in us traditional values and a true sense of family.” His parents also passed along their work ethic, judging by his accomplishments. At MFS, a global asset management firm, Meléndez participates in the research process and strategy discussions, customizes portfolios to client objectives and guidelines, and communicates the portfolios’ investment policy, strategy, and tactics. Prior to MFS, he served as an institutional portfolio manager for more than 10 years, having worked as an emerging markets director for Schroders North America, a general manager for Schroders Argentina, and as a Latin American fund manager for Schroders Capital Management International in London. Meléndez has been able to give back to the community, particularly to Hispanic youths, through his service on the boards of several organizations, including The Robert Toigo Foundation, ASPIRA of New York, and Boston Children’s Hospital.
He credits his wife, Aixa Beauchamp, with introducing him to formal philanthropy very early in life. Both Meléndez and Beauchamp, who met as teenagers, give without hesitation their “time and resources towards education and healthcare for Latino children.” They are now both involved with the Boston Children’s Hospital Milagros para Niños, as well as the Latino Legacy Fund, the first Latino-focused fund in the greater Boston area. But Meléndez stresses that giving money is not the only way to make a difference. “Donate your expertise, mentor someone, lead by example, and get involved,” he suggested. He finds that it is the personal relationships that he builds with the people that he works with that makes him so successful. “Talk to others about what you do,” he said, “and instill in those you come into contact with a responsibility of what’s expected from them.” For Meléndez, his philanthropic work was been very fulfilling. “There’s no better reward or inspiration than receiving a heartfelt “thank you,’ ” he says, “or watching someone or someone you’ve worked with or mentored flourish.” Melendez works to instill in his sons the same foundational values that his parents instilled in him and his brothers. His parents, he recalls, taught him to “help and speak up when something was wrong. Every day I try to provide my boys with the same lessons.”
The 31 HIPGivers recognized in 2015 are collectively altering the landscape for our country. They are pushing the envelope by asking for more – more consideration, more awareness, more compassion, more action, more giving. Be there when the next 32 leaders are honored at our 2016 HIPGiver Gala.