Melody joined the United Way of Northwest Arkansas in April 2016. As the Vice President of Community Impact, Melody is leading the United Way’s strategic efforts to create a pathway to prosperity for children and families struggling financially. This includes building the capacity of individuals through programs like Arkansas 211 and the Free Tax Services Initiative. Recognizing that nonprofits play a vital role in building thriving communities, Melody also leads United Way’s community investment and grantmaking process, and provides programs that strengthen a nonprofit’s ability to fulfill its mission and enhance its impact in the Northwest Arkansas community.
Prior to finding her way back to Arkansas, Melody served as CEO of Volunteer of America Texas and Chief Operating Officer of Big Thought. Her corporate experience includes leading multi-disciplinary teams in the transportation, consumer package goods and high tech industries. She earned her BS in Theoretical Math from the University of Arkansas and an MBA from the University of Dallas. During her doctoral studies, Melody was awarded an Archer Fellowship through the University of Texas System and participated in their Graduate Program of Public Policy in Washington D.C. Melody has channeled her passion for the education and welfare of women and children through her leadership on several nonprofit boards and her ground level volunteer work, including international humanitarian missions to Mexico, Nicaragua and India. In addition, she was elected to three terms as a Board Trustee of Plano (TX) ISD, a suburban school district serving over 50,000 students.