Melissa brings strong management, organizational, marketing, writing and promotion expertise to Tropicbird Entertainment. A native New Yorker who moved to Kauai in 2006,Melissa has more than 25 years of experience in global marketing, corporate communications, public relations and promotions as an executive for multinational companies.
A strategic thinker and detail-oriented project manager, she delivers consistently successful results through creative problem solving and strong organizational abilities. She is the recipient of 40 industry awards for her work on internal and external newsletters, booklets and brochures, annual reports, videos, and internal communications programs.
Melissa, who holds a BFA from Parsons School of Design, started her career in the news media in 1976 at the New York Daily News, the largest daily newspaper in the United States. At the News, she served for five years in a number of editorial positions as well as assistant manager of public relations and producer of , a nightly news radio show. She moved on to become promotion manager for United Media Enterprises, a newspaper syndicate, where she developed sales and promotion strategies for the company’s five media divisions. During this time, she also worked as a freelance photographer for theater and dance companies.
Melissa left the media in 1982 to help grow a newly founded public relations agency, G.S. Schwartz & Co. Public Relations, where served as vice president and group supervisor for six years. In this position, she supervised media relations and marketing activities for numerous business-to-business and consumer clients and headed the agency’s employee relations department.
She moved into corporate communications in 1988, working at MasterCard International, where she served in a variety of positions in her eight years there, including vice president of Corporate Communications. She worked closely with senior management to provide strategic direction, implementation of communications and public relations programs in support of the company’s global internal culture change initiative to become a built-to-last, visionary company.
In 1997, Melissa joined Deloitte & Touche LLP, a global professional services and accounting firm. During her five-year tenure, Melissa served as director of Creative Services and Internal Communications. She employed her team-building expertise supervising a department of seven professionals responsible for the production of the firm’s corporate marketing materials, including writing, video, graphic design and printing.
Melissa excels in entrepreneurial, start-up situations, creating a number of organizations over the years, including: Conscious Singles Connection, Astral Connections and Blue Hill Communications. In 2012, Melissa founded Kauai Island Singers Showcase. KISS offers up-and-coming singers the opportunity to sing on a regular basis with live musicians in front of a supportive audience. The highly popular program is unique — the singers pay the musicians and the concerts are free to the public. KISS gives singers the opportunity to develop their performance skills in a variety of venues with different musicians, while developing their repertoires.
Melissa is passionate about personal growth and collaborating creatively with others to serve the community through the arts and entertainment. Melissa has volunteered in a number of community organizations, including: the Rotary Club of Kapaa, where she was a board member for five years, and in Kauai Voices, the 40-member auditioned choral ensemble, where she sings as an alto and is responsible for publicity.
Melissa has sung in many Kauai Sings productions to benefit Malama Pono, and has acted in a number of plays produced by Kauai Community Players and Women in Theatre. She volunteers her graphic design and publicity skills to Kauai Writers Inc., the non-profit organization that produces the annual Kauai Writers Conference.
Most recently, Melissa was a board member for two years for Women in Theatre, a non-profit community theater organization, where she also served as president. During her tenure as WIT president, her publicity and promotion efforts more than tripled audience attendance for the organization’s last two productions — raising the bar on community theater turnout. Emma’s Last Dance, written and directed by David Penhallow Scott, was seen by more than 1,000 people over one weekend at Kauai Community College’s Performing Arts Center, and a dinner-theater presentation of Christopher Durang’s deranged comedy Beyond Therapy, sold out all seven shows a week in advance of the opening