Born and raised in Southern California, Melissa finds strength and motivation through quality time with her family and close friends. Her passion for supporting the growth of historically vulnerable populations comes from years of both personal and professional experience. With over 15 years of working in program and business development, Melissa brings evaluation expertise, development strategy and mentorship to service-oriented organizations. Throughout her career, she has demonstrated a talent for managing timelines and ensuring delivery of quality content for national conferences, symposiums, and large-scale projects. As a hands-on leader, Melissa motivates community partners to implement protocols and policies with the purpose of ensuring compliance with all funding requirements, as well as maintaining alignment with the organization’s mission. Mel received a B.A. in Human Development with a minor in Child Development from California State University, Long Beach and her Master of Arts in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Connecticut.