4601 Central Avenue
Columbus, IN 47203
As Director of the Center for Business and Economic Development at Indiana University – Purdue University – Columbus (IUPUC), Melissa is primarily focused on economic development initiatives via talent development. Collaboration with university faculty and staff, as well as corporate and non-profit subject matter experts, enables Melissa to significantly expand the university impact in the region. She created and manages the IUPUC “Lead by Design” series of community discussions focused on the impact of equity, diversity, and inclusion on economic development. Her business-facing portfolio of services includes customizable talent development seminars and certification programs, management consulting, coaching, and support for entrepreneurship, innovation, business start-ups and professional networking events.
Sharpening her skills for over thirty-two years, Melissa has expertise in C-level business ownership, operation management, sales, marketing, and talent development with manufacturing, broadcasting, in-home healthcare and publishing corporations. Her passion for higher education and mentorship is reflected in the early career decision to serve as adjunct professor of management communication in the Tulane University A.B. Freeman School of Business and as a consultant for Pearson Learning Solutions.
Melissa leverages her MA in communication from The University of South Florida, BA in communication from Indiana University – Bloomington, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Practitioner Certification, EQi 2.0 / 360 Emotional Intelligence practitioner certification, Predictive Index ambassador designation, Six Sigma Green Belt certification from Cummins Inc., and candidacy for certification in professional talent development (CPTD) in all aspects of her community involvement. She currently serves as a member of the Indiana University Council for Regional Engagement & Economic Development, president of the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, member of Monday Literary Club, Jackson County Education Coalition, ASPIRE Johnson County Economic Development, Professional Education Organization (PEO) and on the following boards: Southeast Chapter of the American Red Cross of Indiana, Greater Columbus Economic Development, and Columbus Rotary Club. Notable professional awards include the My Cummins Worldwide Contributor, Advertising Club of New Orleans Salesperson of the Year, Turning Point Domestic Violence Distinguished Service Award, and the North American Comfort Keepers Franchise Rookie of the Year.