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 long list of accolades 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. Melissa earned her IAEM-USA Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) designation in November of 2022. One of the nine inaugural designees of the Center for Public Safety Excellence - PIO designation.
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 a representative on several Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) committees including the Metropolitan Emergency Managers Committee (MEMC), Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC), and the Regional Association of Public Information Officers (RAPIO). 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), the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), and the Northland Chamber of Commerce.
Melissa continues to further her accomplishments while pursuing a master’s degree in Business Administration from Northwest Missouri State University.