My name is Melissa James, and I'm just a creative bee—I never seem to run out of ideas. That's why I enjoy working with so many different clients. Since starting Creative Copy & Design LLC in 2013, I've written, edited and/or designed for more than 40 organizations. Most are small businesses and nonprofits, but some of my clients have been large organizations, including Home Depot corporate, Regent University and the College of William & Mary.
I've worked in communication since 2001, and am married with two elementary-age children. I'm an active volunteer in my community (Yorktown, Virginia) and especially enjoy mentoring high school and college kids who want to go into the communication field. I also enjoy art, directing theater, ringing in my church handbell choir and singing... all additional forms of communication!
The Curtis Group
October 2014 – December 2017
Virginia Beach, Virginia
In my role with The Curtis Group—a respected team of consultants to nonprofits, with a focus on fundraising—I expanded the firm's client base across Virginia, as well as helping the nonprofits they serve to step up their branding and communication efforts.
Public Relations and Marketing Director
Downtown Hampton Child Development Center
February 2008 – August 2014
I created all marketing materials and campaigns, as well as managing all media and public interactions, for DHCDC, a nonprofit preschool and child care center.
Managing Editor, Products Division
The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
September 2005 – February 2008
I headed up the writing team for the home furnishings brand WILLIAMSBURG, writing and overseeing the other writers, and editing for co-workers throughout the division. I also ensured language and brand consistency throughout our various materials, including hangtags, print ads, catalog and web copy, and packaging.
Rings & Things
February 2003 – September 2005
In this writing position, I created catalogs, edited for co-workers, and wrote web copy, ads and reference materials for a wholesale jewelry supplies company. I also learned to make my own jewelry!
October 2002 – October 2004
I edited reporters' stories for grammar, clarity, punctuation, AP style and accuracy, and also wrote headlines.
San Angelo Standard-Times
October 2001 – October 2002
San Angelo, Texas
I edited reporters' stories for grammar, clarity, punctuation, AP style and accuracy, and wrote headlines. I also wrote two feature stories (one that ran nationally), and laid out a section of the newspaper every day, including the front page.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Bachelor's, Journalism and Mass Communication,
Second major in Spanish
1997 – 2001
Graduate with distinction
Activities and Societies:
Alpha Delta Sigma (National Advertising Honor Society)
Academy for Nonprofit Excellence, TCC
Certificate of Nonprofit Management,
2010 – 2014
In this renowned program at Tidewater Community College, I gained a well-rounded knowledge of nonprofits across a broad spectrum of topics. The Academy provided me with expanded skills and knowledge to increase effectiveness, build capacity, and enhance the mission of the nonprofits for whom I provide marketing services.
AWARDS & HONORS
Top Forty Under 40
Inside Business Magazine
This award is given to young business leaders in Hampton Roads who have demonstrated both success in their field and a deep level of community involvement and volunteerism.
MultiChannel Merchant - Silver Award Winner WILLIAMSBURG Catalog, Copywriter
National Advertising Honor Society (Alpha Delta Sigma)
American Advertising Federation
Alpha Delta Sigma (ADS), a national honor society sponsored by AAF, recognizes and encourages scholastic achievement in advertising studies. ADS is the only national, professional advertising honorary society in American higher education. Each year only hundreds of students from AAF college chapters are nominated and inducted into Alpha Delta Sigma.
To be eligible, the student must have a minimum GPA of 3.25 (on a 4.0 scale) in all advertising studies and all other courses.
Career advice book, 2011
Quoted about public speaking.