Melissa graduated from the University of Florida Warrington College of Business with a BS in Finance in 1990. She worked for NCR Corporation as a financial analyst prior to attending and graduating from the University of Florida College of Law with Honors in 1995. Following graduation, Melissa practiced law for 12 years, including 8 years with McGuireWoods LLP, where she specialized primarily in employment litigation.
Lyme disease and various co-infections have profoundly impacted Melissa and her family. Once she discovered first-hand the tremendous challenges Lyme patients face to obtain a proper diagnosis and effective treatment, she put her research, analytical, advocacy, and organizational skills, to work, even as she continues to fight to recover from debilitating symptoms.
Melissa founded and is the President of Florida Lyme Disease Association, a 501c3 non-profit, where she works with doctors, researchers, the media, and patients to spread awareness about the threat of Lyme in Florida. She is also the founder and organizer of The Lyme Disease Challenge, Take a Bite out of Lyme Disease, the leading global Lyme awareness campaign since 2015. Celebrities, athletes, public figures, Lyme patients and their supporters, have embraced the campaign each year, generating over 100 media stories, and thousands of social media posts from 45 countries in 35 languages.
While very sympathetic to the plight that adults with Lyme face, the children who silently suffer from the ravaging, debilitating symptoms of Lyme from the confines of their home, without answers or hope, truly fuel her passion for advocacy. Melissa helps administer the largest Facebook group for parents of children with Lyme disease and associated infections in an effort to guide and support families. Melissa is excited to collaborate with the talented, passionate and dynamic professionals at Project Lyme.