Melissa was born & raised in picturesque Honolulu, Hawaii by her Japanese mom and maternal grandparents. Intrigued by her father’s Mexican & Italian cultures, with which she had little contact, Melissa chose to pursue Latin and Spanish in school for her language studies requirement. She was blessed to be able to attend Punahou School from kindergarten through senior year, as it laid the groundwork for her to grow into an insightful, compassionate, motivated, and engaged citizen. For her college pursuits, Melissa chose to attend Willamette University in Salem, Oregon where she graduated with a Bachelor of the Arts in Classical Studies. Since then, Melissa has worked as a barista, an event coordinator, travel program administrator, and an organizing support specialist for SEIU Local 503 in Portland. She’s proud to be a part of this dynamic and empowered staff.

In her spare time, Melissa serves in many volunteer capacities in the community: volunteer coordinating for the Portland Area Theatre Alliance annual city-wide auditions, hospitality volunteer with Cerimon House, committee member for the City Club of Portland, and occasionally with Backyard Habitats, Oregon Food Bank, Late Night Library, and Rockwood Farmers’ Market. When not otherwise committed, Melissa can be found on-stage or on-screen (commercials & indie-films) acting or singing. She loves live theatre, entertaining books, vegetable gardens, native plants, harmonizing with the radio, snuggleable pets, delicious & healthy cooking, and her supportive partner, Brian.

Gender pronouns: She/Her/Hers