Food & Beverage Director
Melissa has been involved in the hospitality and events business for as long as she can remember. Growing up with her father as a pastor and her mother hosting, cooking and baking for weddings, holiday parties, and celebrations, she has been around special events since a small child. She truly found her niche as a freshman at the University of Iowa , when she was hired as a Catering Server for IMU Food Services. Throughout her four years of college, where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish, she worked her way up from Catering Server to Catering Supervisor.
After graduation, she moved to Macomb, IL, where she served as Catering Manager at Western Illinois University for three years. She then accepted a position at AVI Foodsystems, based out of Warren, OH. With AVI, she served interim positions at Kenyon College in Gambier, OH, Baruch College in New York, NY and Hiram College in Hiram, OH. During that time, she was also the acting Spanish Translation team lead for the Human Resources department during AVI’s acquisition of Food Service operations at Sarah Lawrence College in Westchester County, NY.
Wanting to return to Iowa, she transitioned to the hotel side of hospitality for a year as a Front Desk Supervisor at the Sheraton and hotelVetro in downtown Iowa City. When a Catering Sales position opened at the University of Iowa, she saw a chance she could not give up - which was to get back into food and beverage at the place where she fell in love with Banquets and Catering. During this time, she worked closely with the University of Iowa Foundation, the President’s Office, the Center for Conferences, and numerous University of Iowa Athletic Teams. Within a year, she was promoted to Catering Operations Manager, where she oversaw all operational aspects of catering for the University, Kinnick Stadium, Carver Hawkeye Arena, and many private homes. After three years with the University, she returned to the Sheraton and hotelVetro when she accepted their offer to serve as their Food & Beverage Manager. During this time, she oversaw all aspects of banquets, the restaurant, concierge lounge and in-room dining.
Melissa leads the Food & Beverage Department, overseeing all banquet and a la carte dining and events. One of her favorite things to do is help members with their private event planning needs, no matter the size. Call her to help plan a beautiful wedding, shower, family reunion, anniversary, retirement party, or a fun themed children’s birthday party. She’ll help you with the event design, menu planning, wine pairing, and finding the perfect florist, DJ, and other vendors to make your event a special one.