Mel & Mona Ponder – Business Empowered Executive Team

Mel and Mona

Mel & Mona Ponder actively oversee the day to day operations of Business Empowered (BE).  Through BE, they are leading a new initiative in support of business owners and leaders, to merge and incorporate both business and spiritual excellence through relational pastoral support.

Prior to launching Business Empowered, Mel Ponder also served as the Director of Regional Marketing Programs for the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association and as the the Executive Director of Coastal Vision 3000/THE Beach in Destin, Florida.  A Florida native, Mel was born and raised in Ocala.  He attended Florida State University and received a B.S. degree in Finance.  Mel’s past positions include Senior Vice President of the mortgage division for The Bank of Bonifay, Branch Manager for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Account Manager with Hershey Foods, and Account Executive for Morgan Stanley/Dean Witter.  With Coastal Vision 3000, Mel helped in the creation and establishment of an internationally recognized branded destination for the Northwest Florida Gulf Coast region and served on the team that helped bring Southwest Airlines to Northwest Florida.  From 2002 – 2006 he served the City of Destin as a Councilman.  During this time, Mel helped institute the Destin Week of Blessings.  This annual event unites the pastors to pray blessings and protection over the fishing fleet, children, youth, families and businesses in Destin.  Mel is currently the Mayor of Destin.  He has served on several Boards in both the for profit and non-profit sectors.  Above all though, he sees his primary role as that of a husband and a father.

Mona Ponder was born in Germany, but grew up in the Destin area.  She attended Florida State University and graduated in 1990 with a B.S.  in Business Marketing and a minor in Communication.  Her career includes banking branch management, personnel management, and owning and operating several retail stores. After the birth of her daughter in 2004, Mona’s focus became ministry first to her family and then to women.  She has led various Sunday school classes, women’s bible studies, and children’s, single mom’s and women’s ministries.  She and her family are members of Destin United Methodist Church where she has served in various capacities.  Whether you are a single mom, stay at home mom, or working mom she is passionate about empowering and encouraging you to be the woman God called you to be.  Defending the rights of the poor and needy and bestowing beauty for ashes in women’s lives is something she sees as a privilege.

Mel and Mona have been married for 23 years and have 3 awesome children; Preston – 20, Casey – 18, and Grace – 10.

5 Biblical Reasons Why BE is Relevant…
  1. COMMUNITY: Enjoy the COMPANIONSHIP of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts. – 2 Tim. 2:22c, Psalm 133
  2. ENCOURAGEMENT:  When we get together, I want to ENCOURAGE you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours. – Romans 1:12
  3. ACCOUNTABILITY: As iron sharpens iron, so one person SHARPENS another! – Proverbs 27:17
  4. WISDOM: Using a dull ax requires great strength, so sharpen the blade.  That’s the value of WISDOM; it helps you succeed. – Ecclesiastes 10:10
  5. GUIDANCE: So don’t go to war without wise GUIDANCE; victory depends on having many advisers. – Proverbs 24:6, Proverbs 29:18

BE Christian Beliefs 
  1. We believe the Bible is the breathed and undeniable word of God .
  2. We believe that there is only one true God, the creator of all things - the heavens and the earth - including you and me.
  3. We believe, according to Romans 10:9-10, that if you confess  with your mouth the Lord Jesus Christ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (NKJV)
  4. We believe in Unity in the body of Christ.  That the body was formed and made up by many parts, but those parts working together make up the ”body.”  And, that according to Psalm 133 that “how good and pleasant it is for the brethren to dwell together in unity…for there the Lord commanded the blessing…” (NKJV)
  5. We believe, according to Duet. 8:18 that God “gives you the power to get wealth, that He may establish or confirm His covenant.” (NKJV)
  6. We believe the world should know us by our love for one another.
  7. We believe that Individuals, Families, Businesses, Cities and Nations will walk in joy and peace, as they apply Biblical principles.
  8. And, in Business Empowered, we serve as a “Kingdom-minded” organization and believe we are here to release His “Kingdom…on earth as it in Heaven.”  (Matt 6:10, NKJV)