Melissa Koester

 

Special Advisor - Global Networking
Director of Corporate Development, Project C.U.R.E.

Melissa Koester

Melissa Koester is the Director of Corporate Development at Project C.U.R.E.

Project C.U.R.E. is the largest non-profit in the world that provides donated medical equipment and supplies to more than 130 developing countries. She develops and manages global cross- sector partnerships with multi-national corporations, individuals, and organizations.

Through customized strategic Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs she helps companies achieve economic, bottom-line and humanitarian goals where they do business to create shared value and a greater societal impact, resulting in powerful healthcare transformations. Melissa has nearly 10 years experience in strategic philanthropy, cause-related branding and global project development to positively impact CSR initiatives.

In 2004 Melissa traveled to Southeast Asia where she lived in Trang, a province of Thailand, and taught English to children for 2 months. Throughout her teaching experience, she traveled throughout Asia and learned first-hand about the various challenges children and families were experiencing in the region.

Following her stint in Asia, she returned to Colorado and for the next 7 years Melissa developed and managed the Corporate Social Responsibility program for Crocs, Inc. Through this program and with various partnerships she distributed more than 4 million pairs of shoes in more than 40 developing countries for families in need, to those affected by natural disasters and to U.S. Military and Veterans. She was responsible for developing strategic projects with key International non-profit and for profit partners to help make a positive social impact. Her responsibilities also included managing global employee volunteer events and community initiatives.

Melissa currently serves on the Board of Directors for Boulder Shares®. Melissa has worked with BoulderShares since 2007, and in collaboration with partners such as American Airlines, the Carma Foundation and Airline Ambassadors, delivered more than 50,000 pairs of Crocs shoes throughout El Salvador and Haiti. BoulderShares supports several projects throughout the year with a focus in Haiti and other locations throughout the Caribbean, bringing resources to those with the greatest potential to improve the lives of women and children in the regions.

Melissa has traveled extensively in more than 20 countries throughout Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East and Africa. She has led numerous trips with corporate partners, athletes, celebrities and dignitaries, support the needs in countries they choose to support.

For her work, she has received awards and recognition from the Ladies’ Home Journal, American Airlines, Camp Leatherneck Afghanistan, Kuwait Humanitarian Center, the First Lady of El Salvador, First Lady of Panama, USO, University Of Haiti, The Carma Foundation, and SHUZZ Foundation.

Melissa was born and raised in Columbus, IN., lived in Michigan for a short time after graduation and spent the last 11 years in Boulder, CO. where she currently resides. She graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science in Physiology and a Minor in Communications.