About Melissa

Prepared By Her Working-Class Roots

Born in St. Petersburg, Melissa Howard was raised in Middle America in a blue-collar, manufacturing town where working hard was expected and traditional values were celebrated. Money was tight, so Melissa understood at an early age, if she wanted a better life, she would have to work for it. The first in her family to attend college, she waited tables at Ponderosa and saved enough from summer jobs to complete her education. Upon graduation she worked for large (Marriott and Microsoft) and small companies before launching her own marketing business that today serves clients throughout the world.

Committed Conservative to Her Core

Her dad was a devotee of Milton Friedman, the legendary conservative economist, so Melissa Howard grew up with a healthy respect for the value of a dollar.  She still fondly recalls her father’s favorite saying: “If you put the Government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years there would be a shortage of sand!”

Melissa was among the many Americans captivated by Ronald Reagan’s skills as an orator and his leadership of the conservative cause.  Barely 16, she listened with rapt attention as President Reagan warned the nation that federal welfare programs were wreaking havoc on our society, creating a “poverty trap” that kicked families out and kept too many people dependent on Government. 

From that State of the Union address to this very day, Melissa has been a steadfast believer in the conservative principles that continue to shape state and national policy.  

Dedicated to Her Neighbors in Need

Melissa Howard is well-known throughout the Manasota area for her good works that benefit the most vulnerable among us, particularly struggling seniors and innocent children.  She’s been an active volunteer for at-risk kids for 16 years, and, as a court-appointed Guardian Ad Litem, she acts as the court system’s “eyes and ears” on behalf of foster kids.

Along with her work on the Guardian Ad Litem, Melissa has personally raised over $2.3 million over the past five years for non profits like Easter Seals of Southwest Florida, Southeastern Guide Dogs, and the Junior League.

The daughter and wife of military veterans, Melissa raised $25,000 to put area vets on an Honor Flight to the World War II Memorial in Washington.  She has also chaired or co-chaired events for a number of local charities and causes that raised more than $2.3 million for critical needs in our communities.