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!


Marketing Director

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

Hampton, Virginia

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

Williamsburg, Virginia

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

Spokane, Washington

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!

Copy Editor

The Spokesman-Review

October 2002 – October 2004

Spokane, Washington

I edited reporters' stories for grammar, clarity, punctuation, AP style and accuracy, and also wrote headlines.

Copy Editor

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.


Top Forty Under 40
Inside Business Magazine

October 2018

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

April 2008

National Advertising Honor Society (Alpha Delta Sigma)

American Advertising Federation

May 2000

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.




How to Become a Nonprofit Rock Star

Career advice book, 2011

Quoted about public speaking.