Founder & CEO, Crux KC
Co-founder & CEO, Crux-Xcelerate
Melea McRae is a marketing strategist with 25+ years of B2B and B2C experience leading client-facing marketing departments, where she earned the reputation of an insightful brand strategist. Formerly the senior vice president and chief marketing officer at the Greater KC Chamber, she led the organization’s marketing and business development efforts.
In July 2016, Melea made the entrepreneurial leap and launched her own marketing firm, Crux KC, a certified WBE providing in-house marketing, outsourced – the “un-agency” – for small to mid-sized clients, combining the leadership of a fractional CMO with a marketing-department-as-a-service model to provide simple, smart and affordable full-funnel marketing solutions. As founder and CEO, she builds marketing, communications and business development strategies for clients, while positioning them for sustainable growth. The Crux team of 32 then executes on those strategies.
In January 2019, Melea joined Rick Kahle in launching a sister company to Crux, appropriately named Crux-Xcelerate, with an emphasis on accelerating revenue for emerging and small businesses.
Melea received her Executive MBA from Rockhurst University’s Helzberg School of Management in 2020 and is a fellow in the Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentorship Program (HEMP). She also serves on multiple boards in the region, including: the ECJC (Enterprising Center of Johnson County); Kansas City Repertory Theatre board of directors, executive committee and chairs the governance committee; Arvest Bank’s Kansas City board of directors; the board of directors for Crux client EnXchange; Circle of Red supporting the American Heart Association; and is a member of CEOs for Real World Learning, a collaboration among the Civic Council, KC Chamber, Aligned, Kauffman Foundation and KC Rising.
Melea is a member of the Forbes Communication Council and Kansas City Business Journal’s 2021 Women Who Mean Business class and was a recipient of Enterprising Women Magazine’s 2021 Enterprising Women of the Year Award. Crux KC was recently honored as a Greater KC Chamber of Commerce Top 10 Small Business and named to Kansas City Business Journal’s Best Places to Work for 2021.