Born and raised in neighboring Plant City, Melissa has spent the majority of her life in eastern Hillsborough County. She graduated from the University of Florida (BSJA ‘79) with a degree in Advertising and Marketing.

After graduation, Melissa began her career with The Fernandina Beach News-Leader in advertising sales. She was named Outstanding Advertising Salesperson of the Year in 2003 at The Tampa Tribune.

Community and civic involvement have always been important. Melissa continues to serve as a board member for The Brandon Foundation and The Outreach Clinic.

Melissa is an avid sports fan and has been a season ticket holder for over 23 years for the Florida Gators and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.