Wheeler Named OWIG Member of the Month
OLA Member Melissa Wheeler Named Ohio Women in Government's February Member of the Month
Melissa is a former OWIG officer who decided to forgo her position this year to give others the chance to take on leadership roles. That genuine selflessness and penchant for mentorship is so characteristic of the person Melissa is!
Name: Melissa Wheeler
Hometown: New Riegel, Ohio (Seneca County)
Place of Work: Westfield
Tenure at Current Place of Work: 4 years
OWIG Involvement: member for 14 years (on and off), member of Steering Committee for 4 years
Melissa’s nominator wasted no time in recommending her to be featured as soon as Melissa had resigned her officer position and was eligible to be a Member of the Month. Describing her as someone “everyone should know,” her nominator noted the consistency of her contagious smile at OWIG events and around Cap Square, saying that she is always introducing herself to people and making time to help others make connections.
Those who know Melissa know this is all too true, and furthermore, that she invests a deep, genuine interest in every new interaction. Melissa herself reports that meeting new people is one of her favorite things about her job, which is fortunate given she covers seven states as a Regional Government Relations Manager. She also chairs the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies’ Federal Affairs Committee, the West Virginia Insurance Federation Board and the Indiana Insurance Institute’s Legislative Steering Committee (wow). Constantly on the road between statehouses, Melissa counts her relationships - which are always there, unmoving, for her - as her biggest professional and personal motivator. In her words: “The opportunity to build and nurture relationships with so many different people is a great fit for me and keeps me motivated even on the long travel days.” Similarly, she has found that taking advantage of mentorship, both as a mentor and mentee, created the experiences that have defined her career the most over her years in the legislative sphere. “The smaller moments usually turn out to be the ones that matter most,” she says. Appropriately then, her advice for fellow OWIG members is to seek out a new face at every OWIG event. Or, better yet in her eyes, connect two members who could mutually benefit from the introduction. She does this herself even in her personal leadership activities, as a Board Member for the Hunger Network of Ohio and as a member of Church Council at All Saints Lutheran Church in Worthington. There are many people out there who have Melissa to thank for a professional stride - we feel lucky to have her as a part of our group!