90's pop culture knowledge
CEO + Chief Impact Strategist
Melissa is an award-winning social entrepreneur with a passion for adopting innovative PR solutions to campaigns that solve social and environmental issues.
She began her PR career over a decade ago while living in New York City where she cut her teeth at one of the city’s most creative PR agencies, working with luxury lifestyle brands including St. Regis Resorts, Patrón Silver Tequila and Perrier Water. While the city lights and future looked bright for Melissa in NYC, in 2008 she made the move to Vancouver, British Columbia – a global epicenter for social innovation.
In 2011 Melissa founded Yulu Public Relations, a PR agency mandated to champion socially innovative organizations that are making a positive social and environmental impact. With the belief that stories have the power to drive behavior and social change, Melissa embarked on the development of a new industry – an evolution of public relations. Enter Impact Relations. Impact Relations is the discipline of using powerful stories to make a positive impact. Today Impact Relations is an emergent industry of change makers across North America with a shared mission to use PR as a force for good.
Notable milestones in Melissa’s career include being ranked by Marketing Magazine as a 30 Under 30 marketing pro, shaping the country’s PR industry. From 2011 to 2016, Melissa sat as Chair of Communications for the Urban Land Institute of BC, a nonprofit education and research institute focused on the responsible use of land in order to enhance the total environment. She’s played a key role behind impactful, global campaigns including Fuck Cancer, where she earned her agency an International Stevie® Award for Best Global Social Good PR Campaign of 2012; and World Housing, where she launched a PR strategy for the world’s first one-for-one home gifting model (inspired by TOMS Shoes), resulting in more than 120 media articles and homes for more than 2,000 Cambodians. In 2014 Melissa’s agency earned the title of “Top Agency for Corporate Social Responsibility” by PR Daily’s ACE Awards. In 2015, Yulu became Canada’s first PR agency to become a certified B Corporation.
Melissa relishes the opportunity to be creative and a little wild with her campaigns. She is known for pushing boundaries that challenge the status quo and achieve strong results – helping her clients reach their goals, while also having a positive social impact. While Melissa calls NYC her second home, she’s a native New Mexican who holds strong to her roots and will challenge anyone to a chili cook-off. Any takers?