The below projects were either undertaken by Community Roots, LLC or during Melissa’s time at Yellow Wood Associates.
Blueberry East Food Ventures. 2012.
Worked with the Blueberry East Food Ventures (BEFV), a cooperative of blueberry growers in Maine, to evaluate the feasibility of establishing a fruit processing facility for conventional and organic blueberries in Washington County, Maine.
Town of Johnson Commercial/Industrial Park Market Study. 2011 – 2012.
Managed a market study for a commercial/light industrial park in the Town of Johnson.
Strategic Planning, Evaluation and Measurement
Community Resilience Organizations. 2018. Designed and facilitated a strategic retreat with member communities to develop ideas for future projects.
Helping Overcome Poverty's Effects (HOPE). 2018. Designed and facilitated a Board of Directors retreat to discuss progress on previous goals and objectives as well as the future direction of HOPE.
HomeShare Vermont. 2017. Designed and facilitated a Board of Directors retreat to discuss progress on previous goals and objectives as well as the future direction of HomeShare Vermont.
Lower Mississippi River Foundation. 2015 - present.
Working with this nonprofit organization on strategic planning, measurement and financial sustainability for the next 5-10 years.
Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy. 2016-2017.
Coached the Project Conserve staff around more effective metrics for measuring knowledge, attitude and behavior change of programs undertaken by AmeriCorps members.
Land Trust Alliance Metrics: Phase 2. 2015-2016.
Worked with the Land Trust Alliance on pre-testing the assessment, planning and measurement tool developed in Phase 1. Once the pre-test is completed, the tool will be revised and finalized for use by the land trust community nationwide.
Land Trust Alliance Northeast – MassLIFT Evaluation. 2015.
Worked with the Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust to evaluate an AmeriCorps initiative designed to support regional and all volunteer land trusts.
Land Trust Alliance Metrics: Phase 1. 2014-2015.
Worked with the Land Trust Alliance on metrics for community conservation. This involved facilitating a series of webinars and an on-site meeting to determine the best ways to measure community conservation.
Town of Waterbury, Vermont. 2015.
Worked with the Town of Waterbury Conservation Commission on strategic planning for their future, through a series of three facilitated meetings.
Verde River Valley Nature Organization. 2014-2015.
Worked with the Verde River Valley Nature Organization on strategic planning, development of measures, coaching, and financial sustainability planning.
Wallace Center, Nourishing Networks – Improving the Food Environment Project. 2012 – 2013. Worked with the Wallace Center for Sustainable Agriculture to assist food hubs around the country with strategic planning and measurement of outcomes.
Wallace Center at Winrock International, Expanding Sustainable and Community-based Food Systems Project Evaluation. 2008-2010. Assisted in the evaluation of the Wallace Center’s sustainable agriculture programs.
Evaluation, Capacity Building, and Technical Assistance Services for The Community Foundation of Greater South Wood County. 2009-2010. Conducted an evaluation of Workforce Central, a workforce development program in Wisconsin.
Village of Derby Line, VT, Village of Derby Line Border Station Impact Study. 2007. Researched the economic and fiscal impacts of a border station expansion in Derby Line, Vermont
Massachusetts Trust for Public Land. 2006. Researched the full range of economic benefits of public land and produced paper with Mt. Auburn Associates, “Parks and Beaches: Common Cents for the Common Wealth.”
Vermont Environmental Consortium, Vermont’s Environmental Sector: Identifying Green Workforce Training Needs and Opportunities. 2009. Conducted a study of the environmental sector in Vermont.
Northeast Kingdom Creative Economy Study and Strategic Plan. 2018. Working with a team, in addition to the Vermont Arts Council and Catamount Arts, to study the creative economy of the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and develop a strategic plan for moving the creative sector forward.
Vermont Forestry Systems Analysis. 2014-2015. Worked with the Forestry Subcommittee of the Working Lands Enterprise Board to determine opportunities for investment in the forestry sector in Vermont.
Business Plans and Feasibility Studies
Natural Capital Investment Fund (VC2) and Wayne County Economic Development Authority. 2017-2018. Worked with the Wayne County Economic Development Authority on a business plan for a produce aggregation/distribution facility at a portion of the former Fort Gay Elementary School in Fort Gay, West Virginia. Also worked on a scoping study for potential uses at the larger school building on the same property, including value-added processing, food store/restaurant, coworking space, and more.
Land Trust Alliance Northeast. 2015. Worked with the Land Trust Alliance Northeast Region to investigate the needs of regional land trusts and all volunteer land trusts in the Northeast with respect to additional capacity. This project also is studying a variety of business models to provide additional capacity to land trusts.
Maine Coast Heritage Trust, Feasibility Study for Blueberry East Food Ventures. 2012. Managed a pre-feasibility study for a value-added wild blueberry processing enterprise in Eastern Maine.
Town of Johnson Retail Food Enterprise. 2011. Managed a feasibility study related to a community grocery store.
Coaching & Training
The Conservation Fund/Appalachian Mountain Club. 2018. Worked with The Conservation Fund and Appalachian Mountain Club to design and facilitate a workshop to plan for strategies around destination marketing and information related to their outdoor recreation value chain. This also involved coaching the working groups that came out of this process.
National Joint Powers Alliance. 2016.
Facilitated training around WealthWorks for municipal leaders and NJPA staff in northern Minnesota.
Region Five Development Commission. 2016.
Facilitated training around WealthWorks for municipal leaders and nonprofit organizations in northern Minnesota.
WealthWorks Training for Coaches and Coordinators. 2013 – present.
Developed curriculum for 9 month training for coaches and coordinators who want to learn and apply the WealthWorks approach. One of three trainers facilitating and mentoring coaches and coordinators-in-training.
Walton Family Foundation, Meeting Facilitation and Integration of Demand Research for Nature-Based Tourism Grantees. 2013 – present.
Coached nature based tourism grantees along the Lower Mississippi River in an effort to develop WealthWorks value chains.
Center for Rural Entrepreneurship, Technical Assistance and Coaching for the Alabama Tombigbee Regional Commission / Black Belt Treasures. 2012 – present.
Coached Black Belt Treasures, an arts based group in the Alabama Black Belt, through an exploration of an arts tourism economic development and arts education WealthWorks value chain.
Walton Family Foundation, Nature Based Tourism Workshops and Coaching and Demand-Side Research Services to Nature-Based Tourism Grantees in the Lower Mississippi Delta. 2011 – 2013.
Presented two workshops on the wealth creation approach and measurement to nature based tourism grantees of the Walton Family Foundation in the Lower Mississippi River Valley and the Verde Valley of Arizona.
Ford Foundation, Wealth Creation in Rural Communities (WealthWorks). 2010 – 2013.
Coached Alabama and Mississippi grantees and managed Central Appalachian grantees of the Ford Foundation’s WealthWorks initiative (formerly the Wealth Creation in Rural Communities – Building Sustainable Livelihoods initiative).
The Conservation Fund/Appalachian Mountain Club. 2018. Worked with The Conservation Fund and Appalachian Mountain Club to design and facilitate a workshop to plan for strategies around destination marketing and information related to their outdoor recreation value chain.
Land Trust Alliance Northeast and 1772 Foundation. 2014.
Facilitated a meeting of farmland preservation grantees to focus on the questions of how land trusts in the Northeast can effectively preserve farmland and ensure that more preserved farmland is utilized for food production.
Town of Hinesburg Economic Development. 2014.
Facilitated a public meeting focused on economic development goals for the Town of Hinesburg, Vermont.