We’re introducing this year’s Women Who Mean Business honorees. Click here to read more profiles.
Melissa LuVisi knows what it means to work hard, lean into your talents and create a life that you’re proud of.
LuVisi came from humble beginnings, but that never stopped her from dreaming big. As a foster child and caregiver for her hearing-impaired brother, she rose to become a University of California Los Angeles graduate, an early team member of a restaurant group, a founder of her own marketing agency, and now chief strategy officer of the fast-growing tech startup tab32, which provides dentistry practice management software. Her ideas and leadership abilities have played a key role in tab32’s recipe for success. 
“In the last five years, Melissa and I have worked to grow the company 100% year after year,” said Kiltesh Patel, CEO and founder of tab32. “Her commitment, loyalty and proven track record for success will lead tab32 into its next phase of growth. She is a strong advocate for women and has transformed into an influential voice in dentistry.”
LuVisi said that her commitment to be a lifelong learner has been crucial in each stage of her career. 
“Learning is my hobby, so I am ingesting a wide variety of material all the time,” she said. “I’m constantly amazed and inspired by the people I read about, or who I interact with daily. I have a knack for growing into new roles, and my diverse work experience has helped me become a better business leader over time. After all, in any business you need to constantly be learning and seeking out new ways of solving problems and creating value.”
When asked about lessons in business that she has learned along the way, LuVisi explains that understanding how to truly listen to people — colleagues, bosses, mentors and customers — has been an instrumental part of getting her to where she is today. It has been especially important as she and her team have built the dental industry’s first full-service software.
“It’s so easy to talk at people, especially when you’ve built something you’re proud of,” LuVisi said. “But to work effectively, it’s vital to listen to and work to truly understand your customers’ pain points and perspective. It’s really only by putting ourselves in our customer’s shoes that we can learn to lead and sell with more compassion and empathy. Figuring that out took me some time. But it’s something that inspires me every day.”
LuVisi believes it’s important for women to remember that each person is a unique creation with different talents to offer.
“It’s dangerous to assume that all women face the same challenges in the workplace,” LuVisi said. “The reality is more nuanced, and there isn’t one answer that fits everyone. That’s a really important thing to remember, because the idea that all women are the same does real harm, and inhibits our ability to stand out, think differently and emerge as leaders. The next generation of business leaders will need to think flexibly and responsively to succeed, and we’ll need to bring the same level of creativity to our handling of women’s issues in the workplace.”
What’s been your biggest career mistake or biggest lesson learned in your career so far?
One of the key things I’ve learned is that it’s vital to listen to people — your bosses and mentors, your younger up-and-coming colleagues, and especially your current and prospective customers.
It’s so easy to talk at people, especially when you’ve built something you’re proud of. But to work effectively, it’s vital to listen to and work to truly understand your customers’ pain points and perspective. It’s really only by putting ourselves in our customers’ shoes that we can learn to lead and sell with more compassion and empathy.
What’s your favorite book, movie or album?
I’m a voracious reader: The book “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap … and Others Don’t,” by Jim Collins really changed the way I think about sparking and amplifying success.
Malcolm Gladwell’s “The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference,” also had a big influence on my career. It’s a reminder that even apparently small factors can have a big impact on bigger systems — and that inspires me to bring my A-game to everything I do, because you never know where it will lead.
And music? Well, I’m a big fan of Fleetwood Mac’s “Tusk.”
Our region is home to a number of businesses, new and old. Join us as we honor the Fastest Growing companies of 2022!
The Sacramento Region Innovation Awards recognize the area’s vibrant innovation community, from emerging to established companies, and their breakthrough creations.
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