Communications & program coordination
- Over 10 years of experience in the not-for-profit and small business sectors in multiple countries
- Professional working capacity in English and Spanish
- Certified PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI) and Emergency First Response Instructor
- Website redesign as part of Community Evolution’s rebrand
Photo by Nikita Artinian
Melissa is passionate about working for a better future, doing things that matter, and collaborating with game changers to amplify their stories and impact. Melissa earned a Master of Public Health from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Her master’s thesis looked at food security and livelihoods in Northern Nigeria. Majoring in health policy and minoring in economics, she graduated early and with honors from Ithaca College, and spent a semester studying at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. Since completing her academic credentials, Melissa has built a communications and fundraising skill set which includes writing for a range of audiences and objectives, Adobe Creative Cloud, and WordPress and SharePoint development and management.
A diverse career has taken her around the world but her values have remained steady. Before becoming a Canadian permanent resident, Melissa worked as a communications and fundraising specialist for the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT, for its acronym in Spanish) in Cali, Colombia. CIAT is 1 of 15 members of the world’s largest agricultural research network, known as CGIAR. Melissa and a former-CGIAR scientist sought out hands-on farm experience and, flipped a property near Fusagasugá, Colombia, also increasing biodiversity and improving soil quality. An American citizen, Melissa has worked for U.S.-based non-profits including CARE and grassroots organizations, in addition to eco-tourism operators in Fiji, Samoa, and Peru.
Melissa focuses on creating strategies, products, and experiences that have the power to inform and inspire action. She is driven to support organizations, foundations, social enterprises, and individuals that catalyze positive change — from mitigating climate change to creating healthier communities.