Melissa is the Emergency Management Director of Clay County, Missouri. Previously working as a detention officer, Melissa discovered her passion for Emergency Management (EM) in 2015. A graduate of Northwest Missouri State University with a bachelor’s degree in communications (Public Relations emphasis), Melissa paired her passion for EM and communications to receive a lengthy list of accomplishments since beginning her EM career. She trained at FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute (EMI), graduating from the Advanced Public Information Officer (PIO) Training in 2017, and the National Emergency Management Basic Academy in 2018. She then completed the Master Public Information Program in 2019 and the National Emergency Management Advanced Academy (NEMAA) in 2021. She earned her IAEM-USA Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) designation in November of 2022 and is one of nine inaugural recipients of the Center for Public Safety Excellence PIO Designation.
Evans completed the National Emergency Management Basic Academy Train the Trainer course and is a certified trainer for the FEMA Emergency Management Institute and the State of Missouri. National Emergency Management Basic Academy courses include The Foundations of Emergency Management, Science of Disaster, Planning, HSEEP, Basic Public Information, and Advanced Public Information. Melissa is also on the committee restructuring the Master Public Information Officer training curriculum.
Melissa served as the Deputy Chief PIO for the regional Multi Agency Coordinated Group (MACG) from 2019 to 2021 during the COVID-19 Pandemic, is a Missouri Certified Emergency Manager Level 1 (MoCEM), and serves as a representative on several Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) committees including the Metropolitan Emergency Managers Committee (MEMC) and the HazMat and Emergency Preparedness Alliance (HEPA). Melissa is an honored Doniphan Fellow (Cohort 24) through the Doniphan Leadership Program at William Jewell College and is a proud member of the National Information Officers Association (NIOA), the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM), the Missouri Emergency Management Agency (MoEMA), and the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).
Melissa continues to further her professional development while pursuing a master’s degree in business administration from Northwest Missouri State University where she is scheduled to graduate in the fall of 2023.