Melissa joined the Collins Center in 2013 after moving to Harrisonburg with her husband, who grew up in the area. In March 2014, she transitioned to the role of Executive Director. She works closely with the Board of Directors, staff, and multiple stakeholders to fine-tune existing programs while carrying out the goals and objectives of the agency’s strategic plan. Prior to joining the Collins Center, Melissa was Chief Operating Officer of Friends of the High Line, the non-profit organization responsible for the planning, funding, and operation of New York City’s High Line. She has extensive background in program management and non-profit capacity building, and she was named to Crain’s New York’s 40-Under-40 List in 2012 for her contributions to the High Line project. Her work in the field of violence against women dates back to her time as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Tanzania, East Africa, where she worked on community development and women’s health initiatives from 2001-2003, including an anti-female circumcision campaign. Melissa has two young boys, enjoys gardening and riding her motorcycle, and is fluent in Swahili.