Melissa has dedicated her career to serving the youth of San Antonio by providing increased access to education and resources. She has over 10 years of nonprofit management and strategy experience, with expertise spanning administration and change management, achieving optimal results with competent planning, organization, and solutions-oriented approaches while driving organizational growth and strategic alliances.
After receiving her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts from the College of Santa Fe, Melissa began her career in nonprofits at The Magik Children’s Theatre. There, she wore many hats, from performer to events manager. She explored development, grants management, and arts administration, all while pursuing her Master’s in Nonprofit Management from Our Lady of the Lake University.
Eager to pursue a career working with children, Melissa worked as a classroom teacher and department head for NEISD, teaching theatre and hosting UIL One-Act Play competitions on the district and bi-district levels.
After a few fruitful years in the classroom, Melissa decided it was time to broaden her scope of impact by returning to nonprofits and applying her education and experience to the most underserved children in the San Antonio community. At SA Youth, she served as Chief of Staff and Project Director for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Grant which served over 1200 children daily in two school districts, overseeing a staff of 60+ and utilizing a budget of $1.1 million annually. She also founded and developed The Alliance, a community advisory board composed of young professionals, focused on program support, advocacy, networking, and board training. After three years, transitioned to the Senior Director of Development position. Even during a pandemic, she and her team raised $1 million in 6 months through government and foundation grants, annual events, and individual giving campaigns, generating 27% new donors as compared to the prior year, with a 15% increase in the number of active donors.
Melissa was afforded the opportunity to explore and garner additional marketing and advertising skills outside of the nonprofit sector in her work with Parallel, A Branding Agency. Serving as Operations and Client Manager, she was able to broaden her network and skillset during this unique opportunity, managing a portfolio of $1 million in revenue and implementing policies, procedures, and new technology to propel the efficacy of the organization.
A dedicated public servant, Melissa has participated on many boards and nonprofit committees, most recently the Advisory Board for the Emerging Leader’s Program of the United Way of San Antonio, the Artistic Advisory Committee of the Public Theatre, and the Recruitment Committee for the SA2020 2022 Board Game. She also serves on the arts committee and the U40 committee at the San Antonio Rotary Club.
A lifelong learner, Melissa graduated from the Vistage Emerging Leaders program and most recently, the Alexander Briseño Leadership Development Program. She is a member of Leadership San Antonio’s Class 46 (best class ever!).