MELISSA


PRESS / ARTICLES


Speaking

I would love to speak at your next event. I have a passion for sharing my experiences as a non-profit founder & Executive Director, business owner, "mompreneur," and an all around expert-of-nothing but trier of everything. I love reminding audiences of the beauty found in the margins of society. Its always icing on the cake when I am able to encourage women to step out into what God has called them to do in life and remind them how they more capable than they think!

 

Podcasts & Videos

Podcast: Jamie Ivey's Happy Hour Podcast

Podcast: Happy Playces Podcast

Podcast: -  Polished Podcast

Podcast: Thriving Beyond Belief Podcast

Video: IF:Equip (IF:Gathering) Arise Series - Day 1, Arise Series - Day 3, Arise Series - Day 4,

SPEAKING: 2019

January 8th - First Baptist Church Grapevine - Grapevine, TX

January 25th & 26th - Proclaim Truth Conference, Dallas, Tx

February 7th - Texas Christian University’s Human Trafficking Symposium, Fort Worth, Tx

February 20th - Texas Christian University Neely School of Business, Fort Worth, Tx

March 27th - Texas Christian University’s “Dinner with an Entrepreneur”, Fort Worth, Tx

March 29th & 30th - Sparrow Conference, Dallas, Tx 

May 8th - Women’s Policy Forum, Fort Worth, Tx

May 9th - Polished, Fort Worth, Tx

May 14th - UBC Fort Worth - At The Well Women’s Event

June 25th- Survivor Employment Panel, Fort Worth, Tx

July 3rd - 5th - THERE {4} GATHERING, Rwanda, Africa

July 20th - Paradox Church Justice Conference, Fort Worth Tx

October 9th - The Hills Church Student Conference, North Richland Hills, Tx

Speaking: 2018

January 26th & 27th - Proclaim Truth Conference, Grapevine TX 

February 16th & 17th - THERE {4} GATHERING, Fort Worth TX

March 3rd - The NET's Purchased Training - educational session on Human Trafficking, Fort Worth, Tx 

March 5th - Cowtown Republican Women - Fort Worth TX

March 7th - Rise Ceremony - Hosted by Judge Carr & The NET, Fort Worth TX 

April 12th - The NET's Survivor Leader Luncheon - Fort Worth Club, Fort Worth TX

April 13th & 14th  - Sparrow Conference, Dallas, TX

April 17th - Keynote at the Challenge Dinner, Fort Worth Club, downtown Fort Worth

July 9th - IF:Equip, Dallas, TX

December 5th - CREW FW, Fort Worth, Tx

About me

My name is Melissa and I am originally from Dallas, but I now call Fort Worth my home. Growing up my dream was to be a stage actress, but after going on a 2 month trip to West Africa in 2002 the bright lights of Broadway faded and my entire worldview shifted. The trip shaped a lot of my 20’s and my newfound trajectory. For the first time I realized that there are people all around the world completely different than me, but equally as valuable, and absolutely worth pursuing. In fact they are beautiful people with amazing stories that I wanted to get to know. And in the process of getting to know them, I would I hear a gentle whisper over and over, “Melissa, life isn’t all about you”. This undertow was refreshing and relieving from my previous consumeristic existence. Thus began my journey to see more of the world and work with NGOs and other ministries that care for people in poverty. My very unorthodox college experience was not spent joining a campus sisterhood in the form of a sorority or cheering and chanting at football games. Instead I spent Ramadan in Morocco, taught dance to children in Nepal, and karaok-ed Celine Dion and other popular power ballads in small KTV rooms all across China. However, my true and not-so-covert mission in these endeavors was serving and sharing the love of God with different people all around the world.

I have always wanted to start a non profit or somehow make a career out of helping others, specifically the marginalized and the poor. God opened that door, and after following the careful instruction of Stan Hutton and Frances Phillips’s advice found in the ever helpful, Non Profit Kit for Dummies, I was able to launch and found my own 501c3 called The NET in 2012. Jamey and I, alongside some other brave, potentially naive friends, started a restaurant/coffee house called BREWED that same year. And in an attempt to add to the crazy, we were also remodeling and investing in historic homes in our neighborhood. Did I mention Jamey was on tour with his band Green River Ordinance and that I was going to school in the evenings to get a degree in social work as well? Whew!

Although I wouldn't suggest the insanity of the way we got here, I am thankful for our crazy unconventional and very full lives. We currently live in our dream house and through our remodels, and my husband starting 6th Avenue Homes, I discovered my passion for eclectic decor and design. Our current house was built in 1920 with 20 foot cherry trees, a big ‘ole front porch, complete with a white picket fence that makes it all feel mildly fictitious while I watch my children play in the front yard . Renovating and restoring homes while humbly attempting to redeem and restore lives is definitely our sweet spot and where we find purpose. Our goal as a family is simple: follow where God leads and not be afraid to do the next right thing!


FUN FACTS

I’ve been married to my rockstar sweetheart for 11 years and we have two girls. Rosie is 3 years old, Justice (who joined our family through adoption), is about to turn one!

I am obsessed with lipstick and believe in wearing it no matter the occasion.

Don’t get mad…but I have yet to join the yoga pant revolution. I do not wear athleisure clothing unless I am actually working out.

When I’m not busy with my role of being Executive Director of The NET, you can find me doing one of the following:

  • Speaking at events, sharing with audiences about the joy I’ve found in the margins!

  • Trying to listen to one million podcasts and audio books while I do all the things: laundry = podcast, driving = podcast, cooking = podcast!

  • Enjoying urban living and walking with my family to our favorite coffee shops, ice cream shops, barbecue joint and wine bar because I’m pretty sure I live in the coolest neighborhood ever!