About Mel

Mel Ponder doesn’t just talk conservative values – he lives them in every walk of life. For Mel, faith and family come first: he raised three children with his wife of over 20 years, and helped institute the Destin Week of Blessings, an annual event that unites area pastors and churches. He and his wife have dedicated themselves to their community, serving on the boards of many ministries and nonprofits.

Mel brought his principles to the business world too, starting his own small business to train and support local marketplace leaders, individuals, as well as ministers and others of faith to make a difference in their communities. He believes the city (and county) were meant to fit together and as each part does its own work, it will help the other parts grow so that the city and county are also growing. He believes “honor” is a part big of achieving this in our county. He also worked hard to become a leader in various industries including regionalization, small business ownership, food/hospitality, retail, sales, marketing, nonprofit, and the real estate finance industries. This experience helped him accumulate a wealth of leadership experience that he brought to the City of Destin, when he was elected to be their Mayor.

Mel wants to continue serving Okaloosa County by becoming County Commissioner of the fifth district. Mel knows that our county needs strong conservative principles, like balancing our budget and shrinking the size of government. Mel will continue to serve the people of Okaloosa County with all of the dignity and grace he devotes to his life’s ministries. He will work to protect our conservative values and ensure they have a voice!

Mel values faith, family, honor, opportunity, generations, and heritage.