Melissa Swader ‘90 runs her business with the same tenacity that she displayed on the basketball court. An All-Conference, All-American point guard from Saint Mary’s High School, Swader turned down several university offers and chose, instead, to play basketball for Phoenix College (PC). She wanted to stay close to home, start her college education, and hone her skills on the court.
Unfortunately, in her first season of basketball, she tore major ligaments in her knee (i.e. ACL/MCL) and had to undergo reconstructive knee surgery. While this felt like a huge blow to her basketball career, Swader never lost faith. She came to all the games and cheered her teammates on. The PC Men’s Basketball Coach, Troy Hudson, worked with her on her net-game after practices. Her positive energy was infectious.
Building A Dream
Swader credits her coaches and the skills she developed on the basketball court to overcoming life’s obstacles and reaching heights in her professional career. After her near career-ending knee injury at Phoenix College, Swader went back to coaching Junior Varsity basketball for St. Mary’s High School. She was a single mom, struggling to pay bills, and wanting more out of life. She had the dream to one day be a business owner and entrepreneur but the day-to-day financial obligations were discouraging.
The discipline she learned on the court and the mentoring she received from her coaches in both high school and college, propelled her to reach for her goals. At the age of 25, she grabbed the rebound, enrolled at Arizona State University to continue her education and score her dream career.
Scoring It Big
Now as both the president of her own marketing, design, and public relations firm, “Ruby Red Media, LLC”, and as director of marketing for SVN Desert Commercial Advisors, Swader continues to inspire and motivate others. In 2018, Swader was nominated as a Phoenix Business Journal Outstanding Women In Business. Ruby Red Media’s online publication, Elevate Magazine, has a growing large online readership and Swader just announced the upcoming launch of her new Video Podcast Show, Real Talk, Real Business, Real People. She was also just named “Behind the Success” in Commercial Executive Magazine’s summer issue.
As successful professional, Swader encourages other business dreamers to train, work hard, and perfect their craft, much like a coach to her players.
“Nothing’s ever given. You have to work hard. To be a visionary is to know how to execute your ideas. Stay dedicated to your vision and loyal to yourself. Believe in your product or service enough that you know it will succeed. Be bold and be original. Be consistent. Be you!” - Melissa Swader
Swader knows that without assists from her fellow teammates, she would never have reached her goals. Today, she helps small business owners advertise their services and products for little to no cost through both Elevate Magazine and her many online social media neighborhood referral networks.
Support Phoenix College athletics by attending a game. All Phoenix College alumni receive reduced pricing to home games. Go Bears!