Motivational Keynote Speaker |Author
Hall of Fame Radio Broadcaster
Disney TV Host
San Antonio, Texas
Meet Sonny Melendrez ~
Sonny Melendrez was born to inspire.
Motivating others has always been an important element in the life of this dynamic radio and television personality, author and inspirational speaker.
Twice named Billboard Magazine‘s “National Radio Personality of the Year,” his enthusiasm for life is evident as host of local and national radio and television programs. He was presented the National Hispanic Radio Personality of the Year Award by Ricardo Montalban, then president of the National Nosotros Organization. In 2003, he was inducted into the Texas Radio Hall Of Fame and is included in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as one of the Top 100 Radio Personalities of All-Time.
Melendrez has served as program manager and hosted at some of America’s greatest radio stations, including KIIS, KMPC, KFI, KMGG, and KRLA in Los Angeles and KTSA, KTFM, KSMG, and KLUP in San Antonio. Under his leadership, these stations enjoyed stellar ratings and received countless awards for public service.
Blessed with multiple talents, Sonny is equally at home as a TV host, actor, radio personality, writer, commercial spokesman, motivational speaker, or voice artist. He has served as TV and radio spokesperson for companies like Disney, Pepsi, McDonald’s, Sears and Sprint.
As a motivational speaker and master of ceremonies, he has presented at such prestigious events as the White House Hispanic Heritage Awards; the National “Just Say No To Drugs” Rally at the Washington Monument; and the USO 50th Anniversary Gala at the Ambassador’s Palace in Paris, France with guest of honor, the late Princess Grace of Monaco.
As host of the award-winning children’s television series, “You and Me, Kid!,” on the Disney Channel, Sonny enjoyed one of the longest runs (11 years) in the network’s history.
Sonny’s ability and willingness to rally people behind a cause is one reason he is involved in so many charities, both locally and nationally. In 1992, he was named Inc. Magazine’s “Socially Responsible Entrepreneur of the Year” and awarded the “2000 Marketing Philanthropist Lifetime Achievement Award” by the Sales and Marketing Executives of San Antonio.
In 1979, as the Los Angeles commissioner of the United Nation’s Year of the Child, Melendrez was invited to Washington, D.C. to present his idea for a national children’s holiday. Sunshine Day was officially proclaimed and celebrated in all 50 states on August 19th of that year, encouraging parents to spend the day, with their children, giving them what they most want and need: time and love.
President Ronald Reagan commended Sonny for his efforts in the war on drugs and he received the National Director’s Community Leadership Award by FBI Director, William S. Sessions. The Department of Justice lauded Melendrez with the prestigious “Modern Hero Award” for his efforts to inspire the nation’s youth to “Soar In School”. In 1990, in recognition of raising tens of thousands of dollars for youth scholarships, he was named “El Rey Feo” (The People’s King) and presided over San Antonio’s annual weeklong Fiesta celebration.
The City of San Antonio named the Sonny Melendrez Community Center located on the city’s West Side in his honor as way to say “thank you” for his community involvement, benefitting disadvantaged youth and families, including over 1400 motivational school presentations.
Programs that benefit children have always been a priority for Sonny Melendrez. One of the projects of which he is most proud is The Children of the World Project, giving talented youth and countless volunteers a way to give back by recording the children’s version of “We Are The World,” which he created in Los Angeles in 1985. Over 1500 children participated in the recording and video and proceeds from record sales benefited USA for Africa. Sonny received a Grammy nomination for “Best Children’s Recording.”
There is hardly a charity or cause in San Antonio and many nationally, that has not received a helping hand from Sonny Melendrez. It is estimated that he has been responsible for raising over 100 million dollars in cash, goods and services for local and national non-profits during his career!
As a public servant, he’s played a major role in countless city, county and state projects in the past 25 years, including his service as Bexar County Chairman of the 2010 Census.
A man of a thousand voices, he provided the voices of several characters in Hanna-Barbera’s “Jetsons” cartoon series; created many of the sounds heard in the Gremlins Movie; played opposite Walter Mathau as the voice of Bob Cratchet in the animated TV classic, “The Stingiest Man in Town“; and was even the voice of the infamous Fred the Cockatoo in the 70”s NBC TV series, Baretta. He was chosen from a field of over 140,000 as the new voice of the Parkay Margarine Talking Tub, and recently, after a nationwide search, Sonny was picked as voice of Jerry Seinfeld for a campaign promoting the Bee Movie Game for ActiVision.
Colleges, universities, school districts, and corporate groups of all types have been inspired by Sonny’s captivating motivational presentations. His topics are designed to fire up companies, teachers, students, and parents to get involved and make a difference in the world around them, while delivering above-and-beyond service.
In his new book, “The Art of Living with Enthusiasm!”, Sonny presents the benefits to be found in positive living through personal and powerful stories of encouragement, comfort, and joy.
“The Power of Enthusiasm!“
COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES:
Students are given a road map to success through a series of entertaining and relatable lessons.
“A Wave of Change, An Ocean of Opportunity”
Change is a constant in today’s fast-paced corporate environment and Sonny’s insightful presentation eases the uncertainty, provides hope for the future and inspires team members to re-commit to excellence.
"How Your Volunteerism Can Change the World”, “Your Greatest Gift is Time”, “Volunteerism Has A Sister: Her Name Is Philanthropy”
“Teaching With Enthusiasm! ”
Sonny rekindles the why teachers chose this purpose-filled profession by giving real-life solutions to challenges like, apathy in the classroom, bullying, difficult parents, budget-cuts, and more.
“When Parents Believe, Students Achieve”
Want to fire up parents to get involved in their child’s future? This program takes the Parent/Teacher/Student partnership to a whole new level. Sonny challenges parents to engage in the process of a successful education.
2010 - present
2010 - present
The Power of Enthusiasm
“100% of our conference survey responses rated your presentation as excellent! Comments included, ‘Enrapturing, inspiring, and relevant’, ‘Great way to start our conference!’ Your keynote set the tone for the entire conference!” ~Nancy Kinder, Chair, Financial Women In Texas Conference
“Your dedication lies at the heart of what has made our Nation great: Individuals taking the initiative to give of themselves for the good of others. For all the good you do, and for all the people your generosity touches, you have Nancy’s and my heartfelt gratitude, as well as that of the American people.” ~President Ronald Reagan
“Your program was the most well received and most talked about presentation that I have seen in my term as a board member. Your ability to relate to our members was AMAZING. Your gift for making people cry and smile at the same time left an impression that people are still talking about months later!” ~Trey Holman, Professional Photographers Association
“Your message was perfect, along with your delivery and enthusiasm!” ~Jim Mickey, VP MetroPCS
“Sonny is truly an enthusiastic individual and inspiring speaker– the real deal. I left the event uplifted and I’ve shared his messages every chance I get, ever since. Keep up the great work inspiring America!” ~Deborah Clary Dixon, President, Clear Channel Toastmasters
“I would recommend anyone who has the opportunity to hear Sonny speak. He is a highly entertaining and inspiring speaker. Sonny was humorous in imparting words of wisdom and inspiration.” ~Brenda Hornyak, Insurance Professionals of North Texas
“I have never heard so much appreciation voiced over any of the other guest speakers we have had over the years. Your message was delivered with such honesty and fervor and yet you were so entertaining and had everyone laughing and then listening so carefully to every thought you were presenting! You have a fascinating story of your own to tell and such a myriad of experiences to draw upon in the sharing of that story. I think we all felt renewed in our dedication – and our enthusiasm for helping!” ~Margy Lohoff, Methodist Hospitals Blue Birds of Texas
“Sonny can energize a room, while bringing event messages to life with his unique ability to make a script sound like story telling.” ~Elaine Coronado, Argus Events, Washington, D.C.
Sonny Melendrez - 2012
The Disney Channel
San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
University of Dayton
Sea World of Texas
Financial Women In Texas Association
Communities In Schools
Gas Processors Association
University of Texas at El Paso
Community Associations Institute
Case Management Association
City of Los Angeles
State of California
League of United Latin American Citizens
American Society of Composers, Authors,
& Publishers (ASCAP)
Catholic Charities USA
American Cancer Society
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
North American Transportation Assoc.
Mexican American Unity Council
ICAN – Los Angeles
National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals
San Antonio Spurs
University of the Incarnate Word
Lighthouse For The Blind
St. Mary’s University
University of Southern California
University of California, Los Angeles
Texas State University
University of Texas at El Paso
Association for Women in Communication
San Antonio Business Journal
US Air Force
Boy Scouts of America
Red McCombs Enterprises
Trinity Broadcast Network
White House Hispanic Heritage Awards
Entertainment Industry Foundation
University of Texas at San Antonio
University of Texas Health Science Center
San Antonio Council of Churches
The Walt Disney Company
University of Texas at San Antonio
Miss American Beauty Competition
Mi Casa Foundation
United Methodist Church
National Hispanic Professional Organization
United States Census
US Justice Department
Texas A&M University
San Antonio Express-News
Texas Music Coalition
Council for the Blind
Society of Leadership & Success
USA for Africa
Men of Light Conference
St. Vincent De Paul Society