Melinda Colón, CMP

Vice President of Meetings and Events

About Melinda

“Working hard for something we do not care about is called stress, working hard for something we love is called passion.” – Simon Sinek

Melinda Colón is an enthusiastic meeting professional with a track record of exceptional meeting and conference management experience. She is passionate about event planning and uses her extensive knowledge of what makes a great event to develop, coordinate, and execute successful in-person and virtual meetings, workshops, conventions, networking activities and more. She has 20 years of association management experience and a diverse skillset and knowledge base includes governance, membership, award administration, program content, and budget development. Melinda believes that the most effective events are informative, allowing participants to gain knowledge or learn new skills, but should also be engaging, fun, and memorable, so that participants are still talking about it for months or even years afterward.

Before joining Collaborative, Melinda served as Director of Conferences and Events at the Society for Conservation Biology, where she produced conventions all over the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, and Asia, an event that promoted the science and practice of biodiversity for a global audience of up to 1,500 attendees. At the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, Melinda worked to advance education for health professionals through continuing education programs, conferences, and seminars. At the Society for Neuroscience, Melinda honed her speaker preparation skills and ability to provide customized, top-tier service to VIP speakers.

Melinda has a bachelor of arts degree in political science from the University of South Carolina and earned a professional certificate in event management from George Washington University. She has been a certified meeting professional (CMP) since 2012, and is committed to professional development, trends, and innovations in the industry. She is an active leader in the Professional Convention Management Association.

Eliza Panike

Senior Associate

About Eliza

“The world needs a sense of worth, and it will achieve it only by its people feeling that they are worthwhile.” ― Fred Rogers

Eliza has long understood that strong, vibrant communities are built by providing young people the tools and resources they need to succeed. For the last decade, she has built her career supporting government and non-profit organizations working to improve the lives of children and families. Most recently, she developed key messaging and content for delivering Common Sense Media’s ratings and reviews to parents and caregivers. Prior to that, she provided support to California’s First 5 system through program management, event planning, and public policy campaigns.

Eliza excels at project management and will be using her skills to create effective communications campaigns for her clients.

Born and raised in Northern California, Eliza currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology with an emphasis in child development from San Francisco State University.

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