Melissa Ciana CPA- Principal, Engagement Leader

Melissa joins the Stage 1 team as a seasoned accounting and finance executive with 20+ years of experience helping start-up and growth companies create the financial infrastructure to influence decision-making and maximize sales in highly competitive spaces. Her expertise lies in analyzing performance metrics to develop and execute initiatives that achieve market share, revenue growth, margin improvement, and capital efficiency. Melissa possesses varied and extensive industry experience spanning retail, wholesale distribution, consumer products, manufacturing, professional services and high technology.

Some of Melissa’s career highlights are below:

 Nara Logics, Inc., Cambridge, MA (2010-2015)

A.I. predictive analytics company helping global clients connect their data to customers more intelligently.

Co-founder, Investor, Finance and Operations

Responsible for the financial operations of this growing, angel- and venture-backed technology company. Helped to build the team from inception and lead all financial reporting, accounting, budgeting, analysis, risk management, legal and HR functions as the company grew its patent portfolio, clients and revenue. Worked closely with the founding CEO/Chairman and investors to create a financial infrastructure in line with the company’s business objectives and goals.

Investor Relations: Helped raise and managed $15MM in private capital, which has a current valuation of $45MM.

Business Expansion: Grew the company to 20 employees and 5,000 sf. of technology/office space.

Lululemon Athelitca International (2002-2005)

Lululemon Athletica Inc. is a designer and retailer of technical athletic apparel whose corporate culture and mission is to produce products which create transformational experiences for people to live happy, healthy, fun lives.

Served as a key member of the investment and operating company that owned the exclusive rights to the Lululemon brand in Australia and New Zealand. Helped the team grow this area of the world to include over 20 stores and with a $100MM run rate upon exit.  Prepared holding company’s tax filings and individual shareholder filings until sale of investment.  Worked directly with and reported to the executive director of Lululemon Australia/New Zealand.

 BodyGlide, Los Angeles, CA (1995-1997)

Pioneering, Global Petroleum-Free Skincare Company.

Co-founder, Investor, Finance and Operations

Delivered high-level financial insights and tax advice to the founder of this company that quickly grew to become a worldwide skincare brand. Prepared all financial statements and tax returns for the entity until its successful sale to an investor in 1997.