Melissa was born and raised in northern California and has lived in the Pacific Northwest for 40 years. She attended California State University at Chico for three years. During that time, she has participated in five mission trips to Ensenada, Mexico to help in an orphanage and conduct outreach in an impoverished area; while there the team provided food, clothing and a children’s bible program. In addition to her other work, Melissa volunteered in the cancer treatment center at Tacoma General Hospital for three years. She has a diverse business background that includes management positions in retail, owning a Cutters Point Coffee Shop for five years and co-owner and President of Baywood Construction, Inc. for 15 years. She has been a volunteer for the Harbor Hope Center since its beginning and serves as board secretary and volunteer coordinator.