Melanie has more than 20 years of experience as a community relations and communications strategist. She joined Avista in November 2018 as one of six Regional Business Managers. In this role, she works closely with municipalities, business and civic groups in the greater Spokane Valley and West Plains to improve the quality of life in the communities served by Avista. She works to strengthen the economic vitality of our region through community partnerships, public policy, sponsorships and economic development initiatives.
Before joining Avista, Melanie worked as the Community Affairs Director for Spokane Valley Fire Department where she was responsible for all external relations strategies. Prior to that, Melanie was Director of Communications for Central Valley School District where she directed communications, marketing, community relations and public affairs strategies for the district. She has enjoyed challenging leadership roles in a variety of industries including public education (K-20), public health, telecommunications, public transportation, outside sales and retail management.
Melanie holds a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) with an emphasis in marketing from Seattle University, a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Washington Station University and has held an international Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) since 2003.
Currently, Melanie serves on the Board of the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce as well as Partners Advancing Character Education (PACE) and Spokane Public Radio’s Community Advisory Board. She is also active in the West Plains Chamber of Commerce and serves on the Economic Development Committee. She is a member of the Greater Spokane Valley Rotary Club, Greater Spokane Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and is an active community supporter of many non-profit organizations including YWCA Spokane and Valleyfest.
Melanie has been a member of Team Blaze Spokane, a triathlon club, since 2009 and enjoys racing during the warmer months. She also enjoys snow skiing, live music, dancing, travel and spending time with her family and friends. She has two grown sons and has lived in the Spokane area since 1994.
Excited to participate as a member of the Spokane Valley CTE General Advisory Council, Melanie is passionate about education and strengthening the ties between schools and business to spur workforce development and economic growth. Career and Technical Education plays a vital role by providing students with the hands-on opportunity to explore career options and develop relevant skills before graduating from high school. This is a win-win for the student, potential employers, community and economic vitality.