Melissa has a twenty-year history of starting, growing and advising private companies and non-profit organizations and is a frequent speaker on the topic of business plan development.
Considered an expert in the field of business planning and entrepreneurship, Melissa has led business plan and capital raising seminars as well as judged business plan competitions for, executives, investors, students, and nonprofit organizations across the country – including Cisco Systems, Columbia University, IBM, Independent Sector, MeadWestvaco, New York Angels, New York Software Industry Association, New York University, Northern Trust, Office Depot, Social Enterprise Alliance, Women Presidents' Organization, The Miami Herald, The World Bank, and Yale University.
Since 1998, Melissa has worked with over 800 companies that have raised approximately $1 billion in investment capital using business plans developed by Venture Architects. Prior to launching Venture Architects, Melissa was recruited as the President of Tyber USA, the US subsidiary of a European fabric manufacturer and fashion company, where she was responsible for its full P&L start-up activities – including the organization of its import and distribution system, negotiation of an international licensing agreement, and the management of its sales, marketing and public relations efforts.
Melissa also played a key role in the strategic planning and launch of three national nonprofit organizations. Melissa created social marketing programs with several Fortune 500 corporations for Do Something and developed national management and leadership seminars with world-renowned experts for the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management. Melissa began her career at The Points of Light Foundation where she co-organized a White House-sponsored, multi-city community service celebration.
Melissa holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University. She currently serves as a board member of The Miami Foundation, Ransom-Everglades School Alumni Board and Locust Projects.