A keen economic development strategist, Melissa is experienced in the full array of disciplines under the strategic planning and marketing umbrella. Prior to joining VisionFirst, Melissa served as part of the Enterprise Florida (EFI) executive team as Chief Marketing Officer. There, in addition to setting Florida’s economic development marketing strategy, she headed the successful creation and funding of Team Florida, a unique partnership of private sector investors and economic development leaders cooperating to promote Florida as a business location. Under her leadership, Team Florida in its first 24 months raised $2.5 million in private funding and secured public funding totaling $10 million.
Melissa and her team developed and launched the state’s first collaborative campaign to position Florida as an ideal destination for business. She launched a similar successful program in Mississippi while leading the state’s economic development marketing efforts as CMO for the Mississippi Development Authority. The Team Mississippi partnership of the state’s electric utilities successfully collaborated to promote the state for business investment and job creation. Additionally, Melissa guided the state’s strategic marketing and communications efforts through the aftermath of both Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill, successfully positioning the state as open for business.
In addition to her expertise in economic development strategy, Melissa has built a reputation for leading effective facilitation sessions for strategic outcomes. Melissa earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi and is certified in marketing management by the Accreditation Institute of Sales and Marketing Executives International, Inc.