Following 20 years of public and private sector work, including education, nonprofit, and national and state politics, Melissa established GillilandMarks, LLC, a company dedicated to providing executive counsel and project management throughout the southeastern United States and beyond. Prior to establishing GillilandMarks, she was the sole proprietor of Gilliland Brown Consulting, managing her own clientele and serving as an independent contractor to the J.F. Smith Group specializing in comprehensive capital campaigns. Melissa was also a co-founder of Gilliland & Company, a national political fundraising company with offices in Richmond, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
Melissa has a long history of providing executive counsel in the nonprofit industry specializing in designing sustainable development and management programs. She led an effort to found, and then served as the inaugural executive director of The Alabama Alliance and the Alabama Alliance Network; nonprofits created to bring together high net worth individuals who pool funds to build permanent infrastructure in support of progress and policy change. She is a co-founder of, and provides ongoing fundraising counsel and project management to the Alabama Election Protection Network (AEPN). AEPN is a collaborative of three nonprofit civic engagement organizations dedicated to increasing participation in the electoral process.
With decades of front-line experience, Melissa and the GilliandMarks team combine expertise with a hands-on approach, helping clients develop and execute plans that assure what they do today empowers their tomorrow. She and her team have a proven track record of success revitalizing under-producing programs and founding new entities. She specializes in building short and long-term advancement and management programs that incorporate her client's mission and core beliefs. The GillilandMarks team is accomplished at the employment of techniques that build trust, influence stakeholders, and position organizations for optimal achievement.
Melissa combines her work with a passion for community engagement. She has served on numerous nonprofit boards including the Peninsula YMCA, Junior League of Hampton Roads, The Ordinary People Society, and One Alabama. She served on the Community Advisory Team for Hampton Sentara General Hospital, the Historic Preservation Committee for Hampton’s Comprehensive Planning Commission, and Hampton’s Kecoughtan Corridor Revitalization Planning Committee. She has volunteered on behalf of the Children’s Hospital of the Kings Daughters, GirlSpring, and other nonprofits. She has a history of coordinating community partnerships with organizations such as HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, Westminster Christian Academy, Lincoln Village, the Huntsville Museum of Art, and Huntsville High School.
Stephanie Patton, Director of Internal Assessments and Technology is responsible for designing, compiling, and analyzing Feasibility Studies and Internal Capacity & Readiness Assessments. Ms. Patton is responsible for data analytics, business management systems and financial management and accounting systems. Additionally, Ms. Patton conducts Internal Readiness Assessment interviews.
Patton is an accountant by profession. She has been involved in management, financial management, and accounting for partnerships, corporations both private and publicly traded, and non-profits in a variety of industries including veterinary medicine, medicine and wellness, restaurants, Canadian and U.S. supply chain management and distribution, education and insurance entities. She has also worked within these industries in the selection and implementation of software, working closely with IT professionals, to develop and maintain processes and provide solutions to manage business programs and requirements.
Patton is a founder and previous board member of the Field of Dreams, a non-profit created to construct and maintain an all-accessible playground and sports fields for the Verner Elementary school and Tuscaloosa area community in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. She is a co-founder of Shades for Sage, a corporation developed to raise funds for Doheny Eye Center UCLA, a nonprofit ophthalmic research institute located in Pasadena, CA. She also has previously and is currently involved in various other philanthropic activities.
Jessica Arenth, Feasibility Study and Campaign Specialist has worked with GillilandMarks since January 2019. Mrs. Arenth specializes in the planning and implementation of feasibility studies, conducting feasibility study interviews, and assisting with compiling and analyzing feasibility study results .Mrs. Arenth also provides administrative support services to the GillilandMarks team.
Arenth has worked in the field of Nuclear Medicine as a Nuclear Medicine Technologist since 2003. She is a graduate of Advent Health University where she received her A.S. in Nuclear Medicine. Before working in the field of Nuclear Medicine, Arenth worked as a Manager and Trainer with Walt Disney World, an entertainment complex in Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Previously, Arenth was a small business owner of M/J Designs where she designed bespoke clothing.