Raised in Apple Valley, CA, Melinda graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and a minor in Eastern Religions. Prior to United Way, she served as Assistant Director of Guest Services for the Santa Barbara Zoo, overseeing more than 100 staff members. In 2019, Melinda was recognized in the Pacific Coast Business Times 40 under 40 report which profiles 40 up-and-coming business leaders under the age of 40.
Since joining the organization in 2013, Melinda has helped UWSBC develop and expand new community partnerships, improved the quality of existing programs, expanded UWSBC’s community reach, and engaged numerous funders to advance the sustainability of our initiatives. Melinda leads dynamic, multi-faceted external partnerships, with a broad range of stakeholders ranging from local teachers to county education officials, to CEOs, to parents, to financial professionals to donors and community volunteers. Most recently, Melinda has managed UWSBC’s growth in various crisis response and recovery efforts (Thomas Fire and COVID-19) that continue to benefit thousands of community members in need.