A globally-minded life enthusiast who loves a big idea, Melissa has spent over two decades working with and for visionary leaders and creative change makers. She considers herself blessed and down right lucky to have consistently worked at the intersection of arts, politics, culture, education and social change.
With early roots in high profile corporate marketing and public relations, Melissa turned her attention toward work which recognized the connection between all “systems” of life and culture with a focus on preservation and improvement of the planet. With this intention she has had the pleasure of working with a number of innovative leaders in their own fields primarily (though not exclusively) women including the production of a town hall meeting with then Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, an event to stop violence against women and girls with Eve Ensler and Gloria Steinem, field production on a new work in development by Award-winning playwright Anna Deavere Smith, several projects with singer, songwriter Holly Near (9 City Sing Out Ohio for Obama tour) and also with Lesbian “Fumerist” (feminist humorist) Kate Clinton as well as work with the pioneering Dr. Dean Ornish .
As an artist/activist herself, Melissa gets to the art and spirit of the matter by doing business as a tangible expression of her purpose by way of the partners and projects she chooses. Bioneers and the Every Woman’s Leadership Initiatives bring all of Melissa’s passions and commitment into one unified glorious whole (serendipitously underlined by mirroring the duel locations of Bioneers, having several generations of family roots in New Mexico and home bases in both Taos, New Mexico and in Oakland, Ca).
A yogi and meditator of many years, Melissa recently began studying Taiko Drumming and is also learning to play the harmonium. She has two book projects in motion and is never more excited than when she’s landed in a new country to explore. Her co-conspirator in everything is her 13 year old Jack Russell Terrier — Dot.
Melissa holds Bachelor of Arts Degrees in both Art and Sociology from Mills College, a Masters Degree in Sociology from Washington University in St. Louis, Mo and a Master of Fine Arts from San Francisco State University. She has also been a Fellow at the Women’s Leadership Institute at Mills College in Oakland, CA.