Melvin R. Goodes earned his bachelor's of commerce degree from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in 1960, where he was a Ford Foundation and Sears Roebuck fellow.
Goodes began his career as a research associate with Canadian Economic Research Associates in Toronto, Canada. In 1960, he began the first of several positions with Ford Motor Company of Canada. He joined Warner-Lambert Canada as manager of new product development for the Adams Brands Division in 1965 and rose through the ranks to become CEO. He was named chairman in 1991.
Goodes served as a director of Ameritech Corporation, Chase Manhattan Corporation, and Unisys Corporation. He was a member of the National Council on Economic Education Executive Committee, a trustee of Queen's University, and a member of the Council on Chicago Booth. In addition, he was a director of the International Executive Service Corps, a member of the advisory board of the American Paralysis Association, a director of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, and a member of the Industry Policy Advisory Committee.