If anything, growing up in a small farm town makes a girl want to dream big. Immediately after college graduation, Melinda took off to Thailand to plant rice fields at orphanages, teach English and ride the occasional elephant. Afterward, she moved across the country to California to start a career in communications and design.

She has spent the last five years at Cadence, an award-winning company with three divisions (business travel, meetings and incentives and leisure travel). As Marketing Communications Manager, she handles the company's brand identity, digital outreach, PR and content marketing initiatives.

The best part about working for a travel company? Knowing the amazing, endless travel possibilities out there and getting to tell those stories. From quick weekend trips to rustic wineries in Guadalupe Valle to the invitation-only wine cellar at the luxurious Four Seasons George V in Paris (and many other experiences not limited to wine), she¹s always up to discover her next adventure!

Through YTP San Diego, Melinda hopes to help create a bond between young travel professionals, strengthen the local travel industry and inspire a deeper passion for travel in her peers.