As Chief Advancement Officer, Melissa Conner is responsible for leading the Foundation’s Advancement team, where she oversees the organization’s resource development, grant writing, marketing, communications, and external relations efforts, as well as the Foundation’s fiscally sponsored programs.
Conner has over 12 years of experience and proven results in guiding communications and advancement for public, private, and non-profit entities. She joined the Foundation in 2006 to oversee the organization’s marketing and communications strategies and initiatives.
- Supporting statewide Student Success initiatives through the California Student Success Center and the Student Success Flagship Initiative.
- Developing branding, marketing, and outreach strategies for multiple campaigns, including LaunchPath, the newly developed student internship matching and badging technology tool, and website and the award-winning Step:Forward student awareness campaign and website to increase momentum towards improving student success in the California Community College system.
- Securing over $6 million for workforce development initiatives, including recent funding to develop a mobile app for educational planning with a focus on Career Technical Education programs in the Inland Empire.
As part of the Communications and Technology department, Conner and her team have been recognized with over 40 awards at the state, regional, and national level for excellence in marketing, communications, and design, including the gold CASE award for rebranding the Foundation.
Prior to her work with the Foundation, Conner was Director of Admissions for the Los Angeles Film School, and also taught English at the high school and university level for over six years. Conner holds a master’s degree in English from the University of California, Davis, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia.