Unknown – 1930
Louis Davis had one Son, Ben. Louis would become one of the first Blacks to work for the Gov’t in the dept of the Interior. He wanted his Son to follow. But Ben had other plans, he wanted to be an Army General.
1880 – 1970
Ben Sr, Americas’ 1st Black General, had three children Olive, Elnora and Ben Jr. He wanted his Son to continue the family business of being a trailblazer in the US Army. His Son wanted to be an aviator – and to do that he needed to graduate from West Point – which is exactly what he did.
1918 – 2002
Ben Jr’s success and his family lineage were a threat to segregation. With that, he was told by the Army he’d be discharged if he had a child in an attempt to stop his family legacy from continuing. To defy the order, he ‘adopted’ his oldest nephew at 6 – L. Scott Melville. He had L. Scott keep his name and refer to him only as Ben. He and his wife Agatha raised him in secrecy until High School. Ben encouraged him to go into law to make changes the country desperately needed. He’d follow Ben’s advice.
L. Scott arrived at Tuskegee at 6 years old, and attended the same middle schools as Ben Jr had attended in Tuskegee. L. Scott would stay at home with Agatha while Ben was at War. He would go onto Howard Law where he was a student apprentice under Thurgood Marshall. L. Scott would become CT’s first Black Superior Court Judge. He’d go on to inherit Ben Jr’s estate – and have three children
Douglas (Doug) Melville is a 5th generation executive, innovator, leader and change agent. His family before him worked with eight different US Presidential administrations, from FDR (‘40) to Jimmy Carter (’78), to help create more opportunities for Americans throughout society.
He is an extension of their work. Melville is currently the Global Head of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) for Richemont International SA, a Swiss-based luxury holding company, which owns some of the worlds leading maison’s such as Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Piaget, Chloe, IWC and Vacheron Constantin, to name a few. Melville sits on the Board’s Governance and Sustainability Committee where he is responsible for drafting the DEI vision, measuring and embedding DEI metrics, and strategizing around creating DEI business solutions. This includes localizing efforts across 39 countries and 40,000 colleagues.
Melville’s journey as a Diversity Officer began 10 years ago in 2012 on Madison Avenue in NYC at TBWA (Omnicom), a global advertising agency. He advised iconic brands, such as Apple, AirBnB, PepsiCo, Amazon, and Dior on unlocking the potential of DEI to align with new consumers, mitigate risk and build out inclusive strategies. Melville led their Supplier Diversity program and created a search engine to aggregate US women and diverse-owned (MWBE) creative businesses. The portal, OneSandbox, led to over $250,000,000 in spend with diverse vendors.
Prior to advertising, Melville sat on the executive team of Magic Johnson Enterprises to create top line revenue by building out his brand, holdings and partnerships. And served as an advisor for Tommy Hilfiger’s capital management firm, T Capital Management, on matters related to investments and acquisitions across Fashion, Arts, Music and Entertainment.
In his personal time Melville works across the public sector – from West Point to the Air Force Academy – to recognize the accomplishments and achievements of his family and diverse trailblazers.
Born in Connecticut, Melville has traveled to 75 different countries to better understand cultural differences and business through the lens of diversity, equity and inclusion.
He currently splits time between the United States and Geneva, Switzerland.
He is an alum of Syracuse University. Go Orange!