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mel McMahon Stone

Mel McMahon Stone is an entrepreneur, podcast host, radio and television contributor, and local business activist. In 2014, Mel co-founded Indiana Originals (now known as, a promotions and branding company for Indiana-owned businesses. In 2020, she co-founded Indiana Gifts, an online gift shop featuring products made by Indiana companies now with a brick-and-mortar location on Main Street in Lebanon, IN.    

She is a graduate of Indiana University with a double major in Communications & Culture and Criminal Justice with a minor in Telecommunications. Mel graduated from Keller Graduate School of Management in 2011 with a Master’s of Public Administration and a concentration in nonprofit management. She holds many certificates including the Disney Institute and Lilly School of Philanthropy. In addition to her duties running her companies, she is the Executive Producer of the WIBC Radiothon for The Salvation Army, a WISH Influencer for Make-A-Wish, and licensed foster parent. She is a proud member of the 2013 IBJ Forty Under 40 class. Mel acts as a consultant to several nonprofits and local small businesses and is a communications committee member of National Association of Women Business Owners. Mel is the 2021 Emerging Entrepreneur Award recipient from the National Association of Women Business Owners and a 2022 finalist for Indy’s Best and Brightest presented by Junior Achievement of Central Indiana. She was also a 2022 finalist for the inaugural Nextdoor 100, a nationwide nomination contest celebrating neighbors, recognized by neighbors, for the difference they make in their community. She recently returned to the Better Business Bureau’s Board of Directors and was nominated to the Executive Committee as Vice Chairman. She is a 2022 Junior Achievement Job Sparks Exhibitor and a member of her children’s elementary school Booster Club.  She is a past board member of the Indiana Chapter of the TEARS Foundation, her high school alumnae association, and Hoodox, a documentary streaming service featuring Indiana filmmakers.  

Born and raised in Indianapolis, Mel started her career in broadcasting at the age of 19 as the receptionist at a local radio station and did everything but answer the phones. Her on-air career started in 2004 with VJ duties on Indy’s Music Channel and traffic reporting on Fox59 TV’s morning news. Her radio career included on-air duties on RadioNow 93.1, B105.7, 1070 AM, 97.1 HANK FM, 93.1 WIBC, Radio Now 100.9, and fill-in slots on The Smiley Morning Show on 99.5 ZPL. She was also the midday personality on Hi-99 in Terre Haute. Mel is a regular contributor to WISH-TV8 and Fox59, and can still be heard on 93.1 WIBC as the Executive Producer of the WIBC Radiothon for The Salvation Army. She is also the host of the podcast “Local Matters.”  

Mel’s nonprofit involvement began after the sudden death of her infant daughter, Ella, to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in 2008. Mel quickly became an advocate for infant loss survivors and hosted the first “An Evening for Ella and Friends,” an Infant Loss Memorial in October of that year. It was held annually in conjunction with the March of Dimes March for Babies until 2018. Through the years Mel has volunteered for and/or consulted with First Candle, Indiana Mother’s Milk Bank, The Salvation Army, Families First, Westminster Neighborhood Services, Coburn Place, Beacon of Hope, Beyond Homeless, Worthmore Academy, YMCA of Greater Indianapolis, and many, many others.     

Mel’s passion for volunteering eventually turned into a career. In 2010, she chose to pursue radio only part-time to become the Corporate Relations Coordinator for The Salvation Army – leading to the eventual role of Director of Major Gifts. While working there, she was honored as a member of the 2013 IBJ Forty Under 40 class and discovered her passion for working with local business owners and helping their businesses grow. That passion soon became a business.  In May 2014, she and her husband, Lance Stone, launched their own company, Indiana Originals. Indiana Originals simplifies the search for local through the promotion of Indiana products, Indiana places, and Indiana service providers. Its mission is to create healthier, stronger communities and more jobs in the state of Indiana by encouraging and facilitating a greater use of local businesses. In 2020, she launched Indiana Gifts as an online retail store carrying products made by Indiana companies. In 2021, Indiana Originals rebranded as Indiana Owned. In 2022, the first brick-and-mortar location of Indiana Gifts opened on Main Street in Lebanon, Indiana.   

One of Mel’s greatest career accomplishments is the growth of the WIBC Radiothon. As the Executive Producer, Mel took Radiothon from a three-day event raising $146,000 in 2011 to a 36-hour event $259,000 in 2014. Mel stepped away from the event in 2015, and it lived on raising a record-breaking $275,000. The three following years, 2016, 2017, and 2018, were challenging, raising only around $250,000 each. In 2019, Mel was invited back to lead the event again, and the team raised a record-breaking $316,000+ dollars. Mel returned in 2020 to raise more than $364,000 during a pandemic, and returned in 2021, with another record-breaking total of $426,000. Mel set another record in 2022 with the 28th Anniversary WIBC Radiothon for The Salvation Army raising more than $436,000.