We Will Miss You, Melissa!

 In Explore Ecology

You have probably seen our intrepid Development Director Melissa Brooks at an Explore Ecology Art Workshop, in the Art From Scrap Creative Reuse Store, at Sustainable Table, or one of our other events. If she wasn’t attending our social gatherings or making sure they ran smoothly, Melissa was behind the scenes working hard on grants and cultivating relationships with donors, funders, and the community.

Since 2009, Melissa has dedicated the past 15 years to growing Explore Ecology. Thanks to her hard work we are stronger than ever, yet it is time to announce that Melissa is retiring from her position as Development Director of Explore Ecology. We will miss her immensely!

During her tenure as part-time Development and Finance Director, Melissa worked in partnership with Lindsay Johnson, Executive Director and Jill Cloutier, Public Relations Director. Together over the last ten years, Explore Ecology has more than tripled its impact, reaching many more youth and community members throughout Santa Barbara County.

Lindsay Johnson, Executive Director, says, “Melissa has been an instrumental member of the Explore Ecology team for a very long time. My gratitude for Melissa’s passion, expertise, and professionalism is immeasurable! She has been a mentor for me, acting as a confidant and cheerleader in the face of both challenges and accomplishments. Most importantly, Melissa has become a dear friend and although I am excited about the new adventures awaiting her, I will greatly miss having her here by my side.”

Melissa has been involved in the Santa Barbara nonprofit world for over 26 years. Before she started working with Explore Ecology in January of 2009, she was the Executive Director of the Santa Barbara Vocal Jazz Foundation, now run by the Lobero Foundation. Melissa served as the Research Committee Chair of the Woman’s Fund of Santa Barbara for two years and has volunteered with numerous organizations throughout town.

Melissa says, “I believe strongly in the mission of Explore Ecology and wish Morgan Coffey, the new full-time Director of Development, all the best in continuing to grow the mission to bring environmental education to all of Santa Barbara County.”

Melissa and her husband Ron will be traveling this year, skiing in Mammoth, snorkeling in Hawaii for two weeks on Kauai and Maui, and then traveling to England, France, and Sicily for another six weeks. Next year’s plan includes New Zealand, Costa Rica, and hopefully, Ecuador. We wish Melissa the best in her travels and in retirement.

Showing 2 comments
  • Carla Trott Lejade

    Have fun Melissa
    You deserve it !!

    • Jill Cloutier

      Thanks, Carla!

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