2023 Fernando Award Recipient

Mel Wilson

 The son of a single mother who cleaned houses for $12 a day when the family moved to the San Fernando Valley from rural Alabama, Mel has devoted himself to improving the quality of life for those in under-served communities and throughout Los Angeles. He is a Founding Board Member of The Valley Economic Alliance and Founding Chairman of the Pacoima Enterprise Zone Advisory Commission. A two-time appointee to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board and past Vice President of the L.A. Fire Commission, Mel also served on the Los Angeles County Citizen Planning Council and the L.A. City Small Business Advisory Commission.

Appointed to the Board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Mel helped secure the North Hollywood and Universal City Metro lines and the East San Fernando Valley Light Rail Project. He secured an additional 500 paramedics to give the city 24/7 coverage while on the Fire Commission, and he won for Pacoima designation among the first 10 enterprisezones in the state while on the Enterprise Zone Advisory Commission. A former All-American, Mel was a 5th Round NFL draft pick for the New York Giants, and he played for the Kansas City Chiefs and Calgary Stampeders before embarking on a real estate career and opening his brokerage, Mel Wilson & Associates. He’s been tackling big issues in L.A. ever since.

Mel’s many honors include the Volunteer of the Year Award from the Los Angeles County Regional Planning Department, the Distinguished Service Award from the Valley Intercommunity Council, and the Valley of the Stars Humanitarian Award from The Valley Economic Alliance.