Taking Off: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Making panam.captain

Taking Off: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Making panam.captain


At Mint Leaf Media, our mission is to help others tell their unique stories by maximizing the power of digital and social media. So, as one can imagine, our team was more than excited to work with the legendary Timothy Mellon to help publish his all-new memoir—“panam.captain”— as an eBook.

Mellon, a member of the Mellon family empire, is recognized worldwide as the chairman and owner of Pan Am Systems. He is without question a distinguished business leader, but there is a unique story of Mellon’s life that, until now, has remained concealed.

In Mint Leaf Media’s largest project of 2015, we helped Mellon make public his complete life story—every word written by him. The memoir divulges coveted details of Mellon’s life, offering an exclusive look into the strategy and innovation behind the man who transformed the rail and airline industries.

Challenges and Rewards

Mint Leaf Media was brought in by Mellon to take his written word and publish it online as a downloadable eBook. Additionally, Mellon wanted all of the book’s proceeds to go to three designated charities: Hillsdale College, The Landmark Legal Foundation, and the Pan Am Historical Foundation. A minimum donation to one of these charities would be required to access the book.

This was certainly one of Mint Leaf Media’s greatest accomplishments of 2015. The scope of the project was unlike anything our team had done before which, in my opinion, was all the more reason to embrace it. As a marketing partner dedicated to doing whatever it takes to achieve our clients’ goals, we were ready to venture into this unexplored territory.

The behind-the-scenes work was challenging yet rewarding. Here’s a snapshot of the core components of this exceptional project:

  • Making Mellon Digital: Our team was responsible for successfully translating Mellon’s written words into a digital format. We handled everything from designing the book’s cover page to adding interactive elements to the book to ensure an optimal user experience. For example, we worked to make sure users could easily skip between sections of the eBook with the click of a button and that they could zoom in on pictures if desired. Additionally, we had to guarantee that the book’s design and format would be compatible with any Internet-connected device (i.e. laptop, tablet, smartphone).
  • Creating Mellon’s Brand: In addition to creating the eBook, our team was tasked with building an effective and sustainable brand for Mellon. From conceptualizing logos to creating business cards, we were entrusted with building a public persona, in relation to the publication, that would resonate with Mellon’s target audience.
  • Building the Website: Perhaps most challenging was building an easily navigable website from the ground up. The website needed to allow visitors to learn more about Mellon, peruse a photo gallery of images featured in the book and, of course, purchase the eBook. This was especially tricky, as we had to build the site in such a way that it enabled visitors to make their donations, as well as have those funds be seamlessly processed and tax compliant. As such, our team had to establish seamless integration with third-party platforms to ensure a complete, user-friendly Web experience. For example, we integrated the site with online email marketing solution MailChimp in order to send automatic “thank you” notifications to donors. We also integrated with multiple payment platforms, like PayPal and Authorize.net, to ensure a flexible payment process. Lastly, we had to set up a tax tracking system in order for us, as well as each nonprofit, to effectively monitor donations.

In his memoir, Mellon encourages readers to be firm in their beliefs, to constantly pursue the next great adventure and to be refined—not defined—by life’s challenges. In these ways, our challenging yet rewarding work on this project exemplifies the spirit of Mellon himself.

This was an incredible project to work on, and I am honored to have been a part of it. I encourage you to click here to download the eBook and support one of these three great charities.


A special thanks to our partners Blacknight Studios, MBA Team and Telemachus Press.