Melissa Koester develops and manages global cross-sector partnerships with corporations, individuals, and organizations in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors, helping to create a positive impact in society and generating measurable business value. Melissa has 7 years experience in strategic philanthropy, cause-related branding and global project development, impacting Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives. She collaborates with a strong network of global partnerships that align with Project C.U.R.E.’s objectives to achieve the goals of a company’s core business or an individual, to create positive social change.
In 2004 Melissa traveled to Southeast Asia where she lived in Trang, a province of Thailand and taught English to children for 2 months. Throughout her teaching experience, she traveled throughout Southeast Asia and learned first-hand about the various challenges children and families were experiencing in the region.
Following her stint in Asia, she returned to Colorado and for 7 years developed and managed a Corporate Social Responsibility global program for a billion dollar shoe company. Through this program, she distributed more than 4 million pairs of shoes in more than 40 countries, to families affected by natural disasters, and to support the U.S. Military and veterans, with numerous strategic partnerships. She was responsible for developing strategic philanthropy projects with key international nonprofit and for-profit partners making a positive environmental and positive social impact, as well as managing employee volunteer events and community initiatives. These programs included cause-related and co-venture fundraising initiatives to help build the reputation of the brand, as well as engaging stakeholders, customer and employees.
Melissa has traveled extensively to various developing countries throughout Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East and Africa. She has lead trips with her partners for artists, athletes and VIP’s to help distribute shoes and so they could experience first-hand the needs in these communities. She has a passion for traveling the world, experiencing many exciting cultures and helping to make a difference for families in developing communities. Her time spent in the field opened her eyes to not only to the immense need of shoes to protect feet from disease, but also other medical needs that nonprofits like Project C.U.R.E. address. She is passionate about working with the world’s largest distributor of donated medical supplies and equipment. For her work, she has received awards and recognition from the Ladies’ Home Journal, American Airlines, US Marines from Camp Leatherneck Afghanistan, Kuwait Humanitarian Center, the First Lady of El Salvador, First Lady of Panama, USO, University Of Haiti, The Carma Foundation in Haiti, and SHUZZ Foundation.
Melissa serves on the Board of Directors for Boulder Shares®, LLC, an organization supporting children and women in Haiti and the Caribbean.
Melissa was born and raised in Columbus, Indiana, lived in Michigan for a short time after graduation and spent the last 11 years in Boulder, CO. where she currently resides. She graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science in Physiology and a Minor in Communications.