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Melissa Gelner

Melissa Gelner

Melissa Gelner

Chief Kinship Officer, Chocolate University Executive Director

A recent addition to our team, Melissa Gelner works to define and elevate our partnerships for good across the globe. After 8 years of the entire Askinosie team pitching in to help make Shawn’s vision of our CU program what it is today, Missy's role was added to help us coordinate efforts and to define and fulfill our social mission to grow deeper into the communities where we live and work. Missy refines the programming and the initiatives we already have in place to make us better able to serve and strengthen our kinship with local students, cocoa farmers and communities at origin, and even our own team.

Missy built her marketing and strategic planning knowledge during her 14 year career at Tyson Foods as the Director of National Account Customer Marketing. She traces her fondness for food (and the universal familiarity food brings to so many experiences) to her early-career roots as an account executive at Noble & Associates, a food marketing agency. She graduated with a management and marketing dual major from the University of Tulsa. Missy enjoys sharing marketing and business insights in her role on The Summit Preparatory School Board of Trustees, where her 2 children, Cadence and Whit, attend school. She is a Junior League of Springfield sustaining adviser and serves in the children's ministry at her church. Missy and her husband, Brian, enjoy trying with new recipes (usually on the smoker/grill, complimented by a cold beer). She is also working to build her yoga practice, amateur sewing projects and enjoys time to get her hands dirty in garden soil.