Hi There, I'm Melissa
I was widowed when I was nine months pregnant. I am a single mom to one. I am most content when I am being of service to others. My life feels deep and meaningful when my voice and actions serve a multitude of people and purposes. Being of service to others has helped me emotionally thrive during the shattered moments of my life. We all have the choice not just to survive in life, but to thrive in life. Out of heartache and from the wreckage, my voice became consistent and focused. Being an advocate has helped me to build something new and strong for my family. My purpose is to equip, uplift and resource individuals and organizations. God gifted me this life to serve and encourage.
I am not just an Advocate. I am your Advocate!
I Believe that Authenticity Fosters Empowerment
Today, my passion lies in building strong, organized advocates. I have created the “Universal Approach to the 5 Stages of Advocacy” that will incite both organizations and individuals to take action! I will guide others to take strength from challenges faced, learn from them and make positive choices that will impact and benefit the lives of others.
As President of the National Coalition for Safer Roads (NCSR), Melissa has set out to change highway safety and reduce the number of injuries and deaths caused by traffic collisions. NCSR’s mission is “To connect and empower survivor advocates of traffic related tragedies with the tools and resources needed to take actions supporting an end to road violence.”
In addition to her commitment to NCSR’s mission, Melissa is dedicated to facilitating support for children in grief. She is the Founder and President of The Mark Wandall Foundation, a 501C3 non-profit organization. The initial focus affords provisions and assistance to grieving children & teens who have lost a primary family member or guardian.
Furthermore, Melissa is an active Coalition member of Alert Today Florida, an organization that works to implement Florida’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Strategic Safety Plan.
Consistent, focused and with a natural ability to engage others, she utilizes her personal life story as a springboard to effect positive change. Known as a passionate presenter by numerous insurance companies, government agencies and business leaders, Melissa’s genuine spirit influences the hearts of her listeners inspiring motivation and purpose.
As an Advocacy Consultant, Melissa actively travels the U.S. and internationally, participating in speaking engagements and workshops sharing her message by encouraging authentic leadership, inspiration, and resolution.
AWARDS AND ACHIEVEMENTS
- 2020 Community Partner Award
- 2018 SRQ2 Local Philanthropic Hero Award
- 2018 (November) MADD SuperHero
- 2018 Professional Women in Advocacy Nominee – Excellence in Advocacy by an Up and Coming Advocate
- 2018 Professional Women in Advocacy Nominee – Excellence in Advocacy for a Controversial Issue Campaign
- 2017 Professional Women in Advocacy Nominee – Excellence in Advocacy Up and Coming Practitioner
- 2016 Distinguished Service to Safety Award Winner – The National Safety Council
- 2016 Professional Women in Advocacy Nominee – Excellence in a State Issue Campaign
- 2013 President of the National Coalition for Safer Roads
- 2012 State Farm “WHERE ARE THEY NOW” Award
- 2011 Bay News 9 EVERYDAY HERO Award
- 2010 Instrumental in the passage of the Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act
- 2010 State Farm Embrace Life Award
- 2008 MDRT Main Platform Speaker
- 2008 Sara Griffin Hughes Award
- 2006 Real Life Story Recipient by the Life Foundation / Newsweek
- 2004 Founded The Mark Wandall Foundation