Melissa represents clients in land use and development matters, as well as assisting with government affairs, legislation, and procurement of government contracts. Her current practice also includes performing pre-acquisition due diligence and counseling real estate clients on local government entitlement processes in connection with redevelopment in Miami’s emerging neighborhoods.
Prior to joining Akerman, Melissa served as Chief of Staff for City of Miami Commissioner Francis Suarez where she worked on a number of key policy initiatives, including transportation related legislation as well as workforce and affordable housing legislation.
During her time with the City of Miami, Melissa interfaced regularly with the City Manager’s Office, the City Attorney’s Office, various Department Directors, and a number of other local and regional governmental entities including the Southeast Overtown/Park West Community Redevelopment Agency, the Omni Community Redevelopment Agency and Miami-Dade County’s regional transportation policy-making board, the Transportation Planning Organization (TPO).
Before joining the public sector, Melissa practiced in the area of complex and commercial litigation in state and federal courts.
- J.D., University of Florida Levin College of Law, 2003, cum laude, Florida Law Review, General Board Member, 2000-2003; Symposium Editor, 2002-2003
- B.A., Florida International University, 2000, summa cum laude
Bar Admissions : Florida
Court Admissions :
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida
- U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida
Professional Experience :
- Office of Commissioner Francis Suarez, City of Miami, Chief of Staff, 2014 – 2017
- Richman Greer, P.A., Attorney, 2003 – 2010
- The Honorable Shelby Highsmith, Southern District of Florida, Summer Intern, 2001
- City of Miami, Miami Forever Bond Program Citizens’ Oversight Board, Chair
- Leadership Miami Class of 2012
- United Way of Miami-Dade Impact Council, Member, 2009-2013
- The Florida Bar, Section of Environmental and Land Use Law, Member
- Dade County Bar Association, Environmental Land Use Law Committee, Member
- Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Miami, Programs Committee, Member
- Latin Builders Association, Member
- Urban Land Institute, SE Florida/Caribbean Council
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