Martin Melaver, CEO of Melaver, Inc., will discuss and sign brand-new
copies of "Living Above the Store: Building a Business That Creates
Value, Inspires Change, and Restores Land and Community" April 22, from
6-8 p.m. at Papillote restaurant, 218 W Broughton St.
The book, just released by Chelsea Green, has been called "visionary"
and "truly superb work." Paul Hawken, the author of "The Ecology of
Commerce," says Melaver "breaks the mold on business writing." Ray
Anderson of Interface wrote the foreword.
"'Living Above the Store' is the right book for these difficult times,
when business needs to regain trust," writes Marc Gunther, contributing
editor of Fortune. "Melaver starts with specific stories of running a
family business, sharing successes and failures, frustrations and joys,
and then broadens out to illuminate general principles for running a
sustainable business. These stories still stick in my mind, long after
I have put the book away."
The economic crash of late 2008 is just the latest evidence of the
truth that many have known for so long: that too much of our modern
economy is based on a house of cards. We need businesses that not only
factor their impact on people and places into their equations for
success but also strive to restore the communities and environments in
which they operate. How can this be done?
In "Living Above the Store," Martin Melaver provides a roadmap for
creating such a business. It's not only a "how to" but a "why to" that
challenges business as usual to change.
"Living Above the Store" brings us into the story of Savannah-based
Melaver, Inc., a third-generation, 70-year-old family real estate
business, as it evolves toward becoming a thought and product leader in
sustainable business practices. It is part business management theory
and part case study, where sustainable principles meet sustainable
practices, always grounded in day-to-day practice.
Melaver's grandmother started a corner grocery store in Savannah that
became a regional grocery chain, M&M Supermarkets. When the grocery
business was sold in 1985, the newly formed Melaver, Inc. turned its
attention to real estate holdings. Martin Melaver took over in 1992.
The company has a national reputation as a leader in sustainable
development, having developed the first all-retail LEED shopping center
in the country, Abercorn Common, including the first LEED McDonald's
worldwide. It also developed one of the first LEED certified buildings
in the U.S. which is also on the National Register of Historic Places.
"Living Above the Store" demonstrates how to:
· Adopt a business model that provides for economic success while contributing to society and the environment
· Shape a business culture that is restorative to a workforce by helping employees realize their highest potential
· Leverage an ethos within a business that "ripples outward" to foster restoration of both land and community
· Embrace a notion of limits to growth
· Reframe ideas about competition, proprietary knowledge, and business success
"Living Above the Store" is for readers who care about issues of
community and sustainability as well as for those who want to learn
more about how a socially responsible business can first redefine, and
then find, success.
Melaver grew up in Savannah and received his BA from Amherst College.
He holds a Masters and PhD from Harvard University and an MBA from the
Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern. He is a past Fulbright
scholar to Tel Aviv University, a recipient of a Mellon fellowship to
Jesus College, Cambridge University, and a Lady Davis Fellowship to
Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He is the author of numerous articles
on sustainable building practices, is the co-author of "The Green
Bottom Line," published by McGraw-Hill. He has been a featured/keynote
speaker at various conferences and guest lecturer at Harvard,
Dartmouth, and other academic institutions.
Melaver currently serves as the Board Chair of the Georgia Conservancy,
is a board member of Urban Land Institute's Sustainability Council, the
Ossabaw Island Foundation, the Savannah Country Day School, the Chatham
Environmental Forum and serves as an advisory board member for various
other companies and organizations.
Reviews of the book:
"Living Above the Store" is the right book for these difficult times,
when business needs to regain trust. Melaver starts with specific
stories of running a family business, sharing successes and failures,
frustrations and joys, and then broadens out to illuminate general
principles for running a sustainable business. These stories still
stick in my mind, long after I have put the book away."
-Marc Gunther, contributing editor, Fortune
"Living Above the Store" breaks the mold on business writing. It is a
book about the greening of business to be sure, but it is literature
first, brilliant disquisitions and narratives that place commerce
within the broader context of history, culture, and the cherished human
values that bind us together. Martin Melaver has enlarged the
vocabulary of commerce and restored it to a place of honor, a timely
gift in an era of disillusionment."
- Paul Hawken, author, "The Ecology of Commerce"
"Martin describes the evolution of his ideas and practices with
refreshing candor and humility. He is a role model for me, my students,
and anyone interested in building a values-based, sustainable
- John Vogel, Adjunct Professor
Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth
"The most sustainably growing family business leaders, I find, are
philosophers of management. 'Living Above the Store' is a compelling
example. Further, it is a wonderful story built on wonderful stories.
All business leaders will be inspired by the power of connecting
driving values with convincing stories."
- John L. Ward, Clinical Professor
Kellogg School of Management and Principal
The Family Business Consulting Group
"At long last, a visionary work that reminds us what businesses once
were, and can once again be. Martin Melaver has shared with us the
story of his remarkable real estate company, eloquently teaching us how
to run a business that is not solely about making a buck, but about
building a sustainable society. Mandatory reading for leaders from all
sectors - business, NGOs and government - who believe that our work
should make the world a healthier, kinder and more prosperous place."
- Eilon Schwartz, Director
Heschel Center for Environmental Learning and Leadership, Tel Aviv
"Martin Melaver's beautiful retelling of his family and business
experience provides valuable professional management directions for
realizing ethically based business practices that are crucial to our
society's health. General readers will also be inspired by the author's
advice, personal journey, and approaches to the challenges he's taken
- Michael Singer, artist/designer
"There is a third century teaching that says, 'Do not separate yourself
from the community.' Commentators since have interpreted this to mean
that even if one can accomplish more alone, distancing oneself weakens
the entire community. The unique contributions of every individual are
critical to the dialogue and discussion which nourish the community.
Martin Melaver offers his own commentary on the building and sustaining
of community. Each chapter is multi-layered and engaging. Not only does
Melaver aspire to connect his actions to a vision of 'Building a
Business That Creates Value, Inspires Change, and Restores Land and
Community,' but he inspires others to do so as well."
- Rabbi Nina J. Mizrahi, Director Pritzker Center for Jewish Education
Jewish Community Centers of Chicago
"Martin Melaver's 'Living Above the Store' about the transformation of
his third-generation family business is engaging and informative. It is
a story of remarkable change through a thoughtful, collaborative
dialogue of discovery with his family, colleagues and community. He
challenges conventional tenets and offers a business plan utilizing
diversity, shared values, common purpose and a land-community ethic
that is restorative for human and nature. 'Living Above the Store' is
for readers interested in realizing a business' highest potential and
regaining a more authentic sense of themselves or for anyone wanting to
develop a life plan for the 21st Century."
- Bob Berkebile, BNIM Architects
"A truly superb work, 'Living Above the Store' has challenged my
thinking about management, and Southface will be a better organization
as a result. Martin Melaver is smart and articulate, and has the
courage to be honest. Creating a sustainable economy requires a
transformational shift in the thinking of business. Melaver embraces
this challenge and his book is a compass not only for businesses, large
and small, but also for government, non-profits, and even individuals."
- Dennis Creech, Executive Director, SOUTHFACE
Responsible Solutions for Environmental Living
For more information on "Living Above the Store", visit http://www.chelseagreen.com/bookstore/item/living_above_the_store
Melaver, Inc. is a third-generation, family-owned business based
in Savannah, Georgia. The sustainable real estate developer currently
has eight LEED certified projects in their portfolio and developed one
of the first LEED certified buildings in the U.S. which is also on the
National Register of Historic Places. Melaver Inc. also developed the
first all-retail LEED shopping center in the country, Abercorn Common,
including the first LEED McDonald's worldwide. Melaver, Inc. also has
LEED consulting and construction divisions.
Contact: (912) 236-0781