Melanie, a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Mississippi State University, holds a Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in Management and a minor in Communication. After having worked in computer and electronics retail, media ministry for the United Methodist Church and earning her Series 6 securities license working in the Financial Services industry, in 1987 Melanie joined Olen in the ownership and daily operations of the business. Operating this successful broadcast engineering, SCADA, and consulting business for over 30 years with a client retention rate over 90%, Melanie’s strengths lie in administration and relationship building.
Applying her gifts of teaching and hospitality, Melanie is also a wine educator. She teaches Wine Appreciation, Personal Enrichment classes at Mississippi State as well as private classes and hosts individual, civic and charitable events. She is a certified Wine Cellar Manager by the International Wine and Spirits Guild and a member of the Society for Wine Educators. She is continuing her education to attain the Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW), the Certified Wine Educator (CWE) and the Court of Master Sommeliers basic certifications. A long-time resident of Starkville, MS, she is an active member of the First United Methodist Church where she is active in the Television/Media Ministry and is the Chairman of the Spiritual Formation committee. She has taught women’s studies for over 15 years. She is an Honor Ring recipient from the international fraternity, Zeta Tau Alpha, and works with the ladies of ZTA’s Gamma Zeta chapter at Mississippi State University. Melanie is from a close family with 3 wonderful sisters. Her daughter, Bradley (27), and her son, Preston (21), bring her great joy, and her day would not be complete without the affection of her 9-year old chocolate Labrador, Bella. She loves traveling, gardening, cooking, entertaining, the outdoors and sports – including hiking (especially the Appalachian Trail), camping, golfing, all things “water”, MSU sports and the NFL. A long-time fan of the MSU Lady Bulldog Basketball team, she is confident that a National Championship is just around the corner.