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40 Under 40 - Class of 2021
Business Observer Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021 2 months ago

Melissa Mitchell, 37

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Director of Marketing & Business Development, Priority Marketing
by: Beth Luberecki Contributor

In addition to managing client accounts, Melissa Mitchell works to promote Priority Marketing itself and bring new business to the firm. A veteran of the nonprofit sector, she likes that Priority Marketing has deep roots in the community and supports local causes and organizations in a variety of ways.

Mitchell, for one, has been involved with the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce and its foundation for years, working on several networking, education and professional development efforts as well as the relaunch of the EXCELerate business mentoring program this fall. “I love being able to make connections between different companies and organizations and people, because I think we have such a giving and generous and supportive community,” she says. “If you’re able to connect with the right group or right person, then a lot of great things can happen. And I love being that conduit to making connections with people.”

She counts Teri Hansen, founder, president and creative director of Priority Marketing, as an influential mentor for her career. Helpful and approachable, Hansen has demonstrated how to work through tough problems and is known to literally drop everything to offer guidance and advice.

“Everything she does, in both her business and personal life, is just handled with such professionalism and grace,” says Mitchell. “She just models excellence in everything she does.”

Hansen encourages the Priority Marketing team to remain humble, coachable and teachable, a lesson Mitchell takes to heart. “It’s about being not only somebody who is able to learn, but somebody who is excited about learning and willing to learn and listen,” says Mitchell.

Mitchell understands the impact Hansen and other mentors have had on her career, and now the new mom hopes to share her insight with younger members of the Priority Marketing team and through her involvement with the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce.

“I want to pay it forward and pass down knowledge and tips and tricks to the next generation of marketing professionals, or just young professionals in general,” she says. “I have seen how much great mentors have added value to my life and helped propel me and support me. I definitely want to give back in the same way.”

 

Name: Melissa Mitchell

Age: 37

City of Residence: Fort Myers

Employer: Priority Marketing

Title: Director of Marketing & Business Development

Birthplace: Plantation

Years in the area: 15

Marital Status/Children: Married with our first child (boy), Radlee Coast, 6 months (born 3/1/21)

Alma Mater/Degree: Florida Southern College (Bachelor of Arts), Florida Gulf Coast University (MBA)

What community group or organization are you most involved with? The Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce

What's the weirdest job you've ever had? In 2006, as the development director for Island Coast AIDS Network, I was promoting the organization’s Handbag Happy Hour fundraiser. The theme that year was Medieval Soiree, and I dressed in a full Middle Ages costume for a TV segment on Fox 4.

What's your top tip for being productive? Keep lists organized by priority/deadline; Break large projects into smaller tasks; Focus on the projects in your court that other's cannot work on until you complete your part (keep projects moving so you're not the bottleneck)

If you could have a side hustle, what would it be? Photography

What's your favorite off-hours activity? Chasing the sun... now with my little dude, Radlee Coast

Have you gone to the movies in 2021? If yes, what did you see? No

What's the top item on your bucket list? I haven't traveled everywhere, but it's on my list!

Where is your happy place? The beach... day or night, rain or shine

Describe yourself in three words: Creative, Resourceful, Passionate

Who is your mentor for your career and why? Teri Hansen, Founder, President and Creative Director of Priority Marketing. Teri exemplifies professionalism, excellence, grace and generosity. I have observed her in both business and personal situations, and she always models these characteristics.

What are the biggest lessons you have learned from your mentor? Always remain humble, coachable and teachable... be able and willing to learn new things with a positive and open-mind. Be receptive to feedback, listen a lot, and check your pride and ego. Know that you can always grow and improve and that everyone adds value.

 

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