Melissa Early has been employed with SunTrust for nearly five 5 years and joined the culture enablement team last fall as an inclusion consultant. She is the mother of two amazing children and proudly served in the United States Army prior to joining SunTrust. In addition to the YLS, Melissa serves as a board member on the YWCA Young Women’s Leadership Alliance, the Junior Achievement YP Board, and the Richmond Chapter of the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities. For this Young Leader Spotlight, Melissa takes your questions and shares why she chooses to LIVE UNITED.
What made you want to become involved with United Way? I initially became involved with United Way at work through the SunTrust annual United Way campaign. I found connections to agencies I was actively involved in as I learned more about United Way. I’m fortunate that SunTrust is passionate about helping the community philanthropically and through volunteerism.
How long have you been a member of United Way Young Leaders Society? I have been a member of the United Way Young Leaders Society for just under a year now. I joined the YLS in April of 2016 after a fellow board member of the YWCA YWLA invited me to a Think + a Drink event.
Fill in the blank: “If you really knew me, you’d know ____.” I am passionate about volunteering and hope to inspire others to become more involved with their community.
When are you the happiest? I am the happiest when I am with my kids. They are the light of my life and bring me so much joy. I also love to be surrounded by people, especially volunteers because I find myself energized by the passion and positivity of people who are supporting their community through volunteerism.
What qualities, talents, or skills do you look forward to contributing to the Young Leaders Society? My hope is help connect people with the YLS. I would love to see the membership grow and have more members actively engaged.
What is your favorite locally-owned establishment in our region and why? The Boathouse at Sunday Park is one of my favorite places because it’s a great place to meet up with friends for dinner, sit by the water and watch the sunset.
If you ruled the world, what would you change on Day 1? I honestly would never want to rule the world, but if I had some magical ability where I could do anything I wanted, on day 1 I would find a way to feed and shelter those who are hungry and without a home.