Melissa is in her second term as a member of Washington Environmental Council and her first term as a member of the Executive Committee.  She is a native of Oklahoma City, and spent eight years in Washington, D.C. as legislative staff to a U.S. Senator, one year with Washington state’s Speaker of the House, and four years as professional staff to an Oklahoma Governor. After being admitted to the Washington Bar in 1991, she clerked for King County Superior Court Judge Charles W. Mertel. She joined the Law Offices of Cynthia B. Whitaker in 1994 and practiced family law until her retirement in 2014. An active volunteer, Melissa was a member of People For Puget Sound for 20 years. She served on the board for 13 years and served as Board President from 2006 to 2008. Currently, Melissa is serving on the board of the Seattle Aquarium and co-chair of the Aquarium’s Conservation and Education Committee in addition to membership on the Public Partnerships Committee and the Executive Committee.  She is a member of Friends of Cooper Island, a 501(c)3 supporting a 40 year bird study on a remote island of Alaska which was until recently threatened by Shell Oil Company’s plans to drill off the coast of Barrow. Melissa is a triathlete who enjoys a variety of activities including jazz singing, backpacking, sailing, swimming, biking, and fundraising for her favorite causes with Puget Sound issues topping the list.