Melissa is a familiar figure to the residents of Eagle Mountain, Utah. She earned a reputation of concern for her fellow residents while serving on the City Council. She answered calls for help from them in difficult situations and connected them with resources to solve problems in their neighborhoods. One would be hard pressed to find a social media page used by Eagle Mountaineers that didn’t have Melissa helping residents and answering questions. One Board member couple tells of first encountering Melissa when she answered their call of concern regarding a planned development that threatened a cherished and unique section of wildlife habitat. Melissa showed up to see the area for herself. Despite rain, rough muddy terrain, and wearing a pair of “clogs,” she unflinchingly followed out into wash to see for herself how she could help. Since finishing her term on the City Council, she has moved on to another position of service as President and Executive Director of the Eagle Mountain Chamber of Commerce.
Melissa’s passion for service has been evident through her dedication to preserving open space and protecting wildlife while on City Council. Melissa developed an appreciation for nonprofit organizations and, because of this deep belief in service, has assisted in forming a number of them. She has likewise been an advocate and supporter of the work of the Eagle Mountain Nature and Wildlife Alliance. Melissa has consistently answered our calls for volunteers, regularly showing up and contributing snacks and beverages for those working on planting and other service projects, offering moral support. She not only encouraged the formation of our own non-profit corporation, she has dedicated many hours to us, guiding our application effort, including the creation of our Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws. She continues this advocacy for the Alliance and our efforts on behalf of wildlife and natural open spaces with community businesses and leaders. What was it that engrained in her such a strong ethic of service and compassion?
Early in life, Melissa learned the meaning of service. She grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the daughter of a single mother who fought through some difficult circumstances to rase her. In her mid-teens, Melissa went to live with her father and stepmother. During the summers she visited with each of her grandmothers, Bernice and Shirley, in rural Minnesota. They modeled this value of service and encouraged it in their young granddaughter. Melissa later moved to Utah to attend college at Utah Valley College (now Utah Valley University). She met her husband Nathan at work. They married in 1998 and moved to Eagle Mountain in 2008. Together they have raised four beautiful daughters.
Thank you, Melissa! We and our local wildlife owe you a debt of gratitude for the positive changes you’ve helped create and the lasting legacy that will remain for future generations.