Melissa Wilson

(4.5 min read)

My first encounter in the Event Planning world was support staff for an outdoor event production team, festival gigs in Detroit including Michigan Taste Fest, Detroit Festival of the Arts, and Montreux Detroit Jazz Fest. I did booth management, beverage inventory, sponsorship fulfillment and even did some sign designing! Out of college, my first jobs were in Marketing and Sales, and it seemed to me that these events jobs were just that.

For 10 years, I explored the industry as a freelancer in a variety of event types  including wedding coordination, fundraisers for schools, product sales at home events, I even led our community PTA for a few years, keeping all the events rolling with the best people in place to run them. I found out organically that I LOVED working all aspects of events and decided to broaden my experience.  My LI Profile includes chamber of commerce non-profit fundraisers and silent auctions, black tie donor events, private parties, corporate conferences, and day-of wedding coordinating. In 2012, I decided to find some stability in my event professional, self-taught skills. 

In 2012, I was hired by the Michigan Science Center as their sole event manager where I managed all venue rentals, the annual formal Gala and launched the branded After Dark event series. After successfully establishing several signature events and managing the venue rentals and fundraisers there, ONE ANNUAL EVENT stood out as a game-changer for me.

The Construction Science Expo.  An event that introduces Detroit Public School teens to careers in construction design and professional tradeskills by inspiring young people using a hands-on, integrative and energy-filled format.  At first I represented the Science Center, but this event became the reason I moved from an Event Planner to a Professional in Workforce Development. I am now their annual Event Manager and Advisory Board Member. I am also an entrepreneur. 

This event inspired me to launch Pathway X Events in 2018. I blend my event planning skills, marketing & sales experience, PTA School Volunteer experience, and my desire to present viable career routes to young people in our signature event: BUILD IT: Construction! in order to both serve the youth and the businesses that want to learn more about career pathways in construction and take action on getting hired. Pre-pandemic, our business model was to produce these events ourselves. Post pandemic, we've grown to see that we don't have to produce them...we can teach the pro's how to create them and grow the movement to expose construction careers to young people. 

At Pathway X, we inspire businesses, schools and families to begin to plan their pathway to purposeful and valuable work. 


If you've read this far, here's a little more "about me" :

I have a college degree in English and Fine Arts, but my work has been a mix of marketing, design, sales and event production.  I have three adult kids that are all on unique pathways of their own, including cyber security engineer son,  my middle daughter a film director and talented musician, and my youngest daughter, besties with her sister, a competitive soccer player and illustrator/creator. 

 

I love adventure traveling, attending events (really!), being with my rescue dog and practicing yoga as often as I can. 

My goals in 2022 are to continue exploring our country in my Teardrop trailer while working remotely on Pathway X, to begin public speaking on workforce development, female confidence & perseverance and planning on going to Europe and Australia in 2023 to expand my program and reach more communities.  I also will be throwing pottery on my wheel when I can.

Too much? Maybe...but, that's me :-)

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Melissa

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