Melissa Ellen Penn is curious about people, in fact she thinks they are fascinating. An unabashed extrovert, Melissa gallops through the world with wide-eyed wonder, encouraging, examining, educating, and empathizing with those she meets.
Melissa began her working career at the age of 13 as a waitress, and by 17 was an Assistant Manager of Bicycle Jim’s in Ann Arbor, MI. Since then she has progressed in her management career, and leveraged her love of people into a joy of sales. She has served in executive positions as VP of Sales and Marketing for start-ups, and for profit business ventures. She consults with nonprofits to help them give up their “poverty consciousness” and thrive.
Communication is Melissa’s strong suit and she has developed this ability into a powerful writing style that has served business’ throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Some of her client’s are: Give Something Back, Bayer Pharmaceutical, Sonitrol, TemPositions, and of course the University of California.
Melissa’s passion for people is joined with her willingness to “pitch in and help,” and she has served many nonprofit organizations throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Melissa helped create the computer lab at Glide Memorial Church, where she also volunteered for years. Her work with P.E.P - People Employing People served to create career tracks leading to well-paying positions for the disadvantaged. Melissa mans phones at the annual Phone-a-thons of the Jewish Federation, builds homes with Habitat for Humanity, and served as a Spiritual Director at the Listening Post, a center in the heart of the Tenderloin District of San Francisco, CA.
Then a friend invited her to serve at the Marin Cancer Institute. This work caught her heart as she began to work with cancer survivors through equine-assisted therapy. Melissa witnessed the power of horses to heal, and this work served to inspire her to begin her first novel, become a horse masseuse, and then move to Colorado to create a program that combines the benefits of equine-assisted therapy with the horse programs of the 4-H Club, the Cavalry of Healing™
While waiting for funding, and because she loves new ventures; when Melissa met Scott Armstrong, heard his mission, she knew that this was the start of a beautiful working relationship. Like Melissa, Scott believes in giving back to the community. Scott’s company, AboutBoulder.com, his mission, and his zeal are a cause Melissa can believe in. In May 2014, Melissa joined Scott to take About Boulder to new heights.
Melissa is now the Director of Giving for About Boulder. Her blog Boulderthropic will report on what the citizens of Boulder are doing to fund, inspire, create, demonstrate, and innovate a better world for all.
Melissa worked with the CTRC - Center for Therapeutic Riding to help forward research investigating the benefits of equine-assisted therapy by Children’s Hospital. Here is a video by the Denver Post featuring Melissa with one of the children of the program, Zane. http://photos.denverpost.com/2012/10/25/autism-study-uses-horses-for-therapy/
She performs during the Yuletide season with the Rocky Mountain Revels company, and is now able to negotiate the streets of Boulder without a Google map. She lives in NoBo with her two cats: Kefir, a lynx—point Siamese, and Sabiya, a seal-point Siamese. She is also known to hang with the folks at BoulderEXO.
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