Melissa Barnett is a Proposal Manager in our Louisville, KY headquarters. Her experience and talents are an important part of our team's success! In her free time, Melissa enjoys a ton of fun activities and has a few interesting hobbies as well. Learn all about Melissa here:
What is your experience in? What brought you to V-Soft?
I spent 10 years as a Paralegal before becoming a Technical Writer. The legal background and the ability to write contracts led to a natural progression into technical writing. As the child of 3rd generation Marine, I grew up in the Government world. I grew up living and breathing the Marine Corps. When an opening was announced for a Technical Writer for a Marine Corps project at SAIC, it was a natural fit for me. My first projects were focused on armored vehicles and the technology integrated into them, along with some really cool radio systems for troop communication.
I worked at Space and Naval Warfare (SPAWAR) and loved it. I began as an entry level writer and when I left that position, I was leading a team of 10 Technical Writers. Then, the transition from technical writing into proposal development came naturally when the Business Development Team needed a Proposal Writer. I quickly dove into the world of proposals and was managing a Proposal Team within a year of learning proposals and haven’t looked back! Somewhere in between, I finished my education at the Citadel and graduated with a business degree. My mentor at the time was a Citadel Alum and helped me push through to the finish line.
I absolutely love the world of proposals. The tight deadlines and vague requirements can be a unique challenge, but it ensures that “boredom” is never something I experience.
Now I’m with V-Soft. V-Soft found me. So far, I love it. It feels like a great fit – a great company with personable, friendly coworkers. I am hoping to help to lead V-Soft into a higher level of contract acquisition and break us into the Government space.
What has been the best part of working at V-Soft, so far?
The best thing here is the people. Work is truly a second home. We spend more time with our coworkers than we do with our families. Working with good people is the most important thing about any position. V-Soft has some great people on the team and I am really enjoying getting to know everyone. I’m terrible with remembering names and I may not be very good at pronouncing some names, but I try my best.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years, I will be managing a very successful multi-million-dollar proposal team. With V‑Soft’s incredible capabilities and Carissa by my side, I have no doubt that we can achieve the utmost level of greatness! I plan to still be part of the V-Soft family in five years.
I would like to make a move to the Pacific Northwest eventually.
What do you like to do in your free time?
When I find this elusive free time, I love to hike, swim, go camping, fly fish, SCUBA dive, kayak, and even surf! I love being outdoors. Growing up on the ocean means I’ve always been very involved in water sports. Here in Kentucky, it just changes to lakes and rivers. I love to travel and try to take a fun trip somewhere every year. This year it was Maui! In 2018, I’ll be hitting the Caribbean and possibly a trip to snowboard or whitewater kayak in the Northwest. I also love flea markets and am guilty of wasting entire days in a flea market.
What is a fun or unique fact about yourself?
I’m full of fun facts!
- I was born and raised in South Carolina and grew up just south of Charleston, SC. I’ve been in Kentucky for 3.5 years.
- I live in Elizabethtown and I commute daily to see everyone’s smiling faces. (Thanks to the commute I make down country roads to the interstate, if we get more than a few inches of snow, you’ll only virtually see my smiling face because I don’t make it very far!)
- I have two natural children – sons, ages seven and four – and an adopted daughter who will turn 18 in February
- I have three dogs… Rocky, my 10 year old Pit Bull; Teddy, my three year old MinPin/Chihuahua mix; and Princess, a 10 week old Pit Bull baby… a Chin Rabbit named Bugsy (who is bigger than Teddy)… and my daughter has two hamsters and a guinea pig!
- I became a volunteer dog trainer and rehabilitator for a Cocker Spaniel rescue between 2001 – 2006. I took in a lot of “mean” Cockers and worked with them to teach them to trust people. I got my first Cocker when I was 18.
- I founded South Carolina Pit Bull Rescue in 2007 and ran it until I moved in 2014. I’ve rescued and rehomed over 100 pit bull type dogs, rehabilitated some horrible abuse and neglect case dogs – like you see on TV – and never lost one. I’ve never been bit by a pit bull, but I’ve been bit by plenty of Cockers… and attacked by a Basset Hound!
- Last month (November), I spent a week in Maui learning to surf. It was amazing and exhilarating!
- I’m a breast cancer survivor. You will see me wear a compression sleeve regularly, which is a permanent result of having lymph nodes removed. I have some great insight into the support organizations in our area, and hope I can provide feedback when it comes time to support charities.
- I volunteer with Active Heroes and have a dream of one day having a non-profit organization devoted to training service dogs for veterans. I began following Paws for Veterans after their facility in South Florida was flooded by the past seasons’ hurricanes and they ended up in Nashville with their dogs, riding out the hurricanes. Organizations like these are so vital to our veterans!