FARMINGTON, MI (September 27, 2011) Melissa Andrade, Farmington resident and founder/teacher of Silver Tree Yoga, was recently appointed to the Farmington Downtown Development Authority Board of Directors. Andrade filled the vacancy created when Michele Jakacki resigned. Melissa’s term will run through February, 2013. “I’m so impressed with the people of this community that I thought it was time to deepen my commitment to them,” explained Andrade.

She joined the DDA Main Street Organization Committee as a volunteer approximately two years ago, is a member of the committee’s Downtown Farmington Press Corps and especially noteworthy, the Volunteer Coordinator for DDA events. During the past year Andrade has been instrumental in organizing, managing and growing the volunteer base which supports DDA events, such as the upcoming Sept. 22-24 Harvest Moon Celebration. “Last year I was extremely impressed that of the 186 volunteers for this event, only two were unable to keep their commitment to assist. This is a fine example of the wonderful community support in Farmington,” continued Andrade.

Another key factor in her decision was the personal respect and support Andrade received from Barbara Hatch of Barbara Hatch School of Dance, and Mike Greer of Mike Greer Photography, when she approached them to use their facilities for her Silver Tree Yoga classes. “It amazes me how helpful and generous both individuals are in assisting me to grow my small business in Downtown Farmington,” shared Andrade. “I am hopeful through my Board position that I may assist other start-up small businesses in a similar fashion.”

“My area of expertise is in communications and writing. I was responsible for media events and press conferences for more than ten years at a large, global corporation. I’d like to help the community polish the image we present to prospective new businesses, the media, etc. We must be sure our message is clear and consistent. I would like to see us recruit businesses to downtown that will attract residents and visitors alike.”

Bob Rock is pleased Melissa’s appointment was approved by the Farmington City Council. “She will be a good addition to our Board with her strong marketing and communications background. I think she will make a real, positive contribution. What she did for the volunteer program is a fine example of her capabilities,” said Rock. “Adding a second female perspective on the Board will also be good.”

“Melissa is a welcome addition to the DDA Board,” commented Annette Knowles, DDA Executive Director.  “Her contributions to Downtown Farmington already are too numerous to mention. She is a shining star in our corps of volunteers and we look forward to more improvements in communications and volunteer management with her at the table.”

Andrade has lived in Farmington for 13 years; she is married to Bradford Lowell. One reason Melissa enjoys volunteering in Farmington is how it helps her 2-1/2 year old daughter, Sofia, grow. “Sofia is often with me when I’m downtown at the Farmers Market or other events and many people regularly acknowledge her and say hello. I like to think that the community will know her and be there to watch out for her as she grows,” said Andrade.

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