Melissa Sines is a dynamic leader and project manager and one of the co-founders of Colmena Consulting, a BIPOC-led benefit LLC organized as a worker co-op. She is also the Board Chair at the Maryland Center on Economic Policy, a think-tank and research house dedicated to advancing innovative state policy ideas to foster broad prosperity.
Melissa brings deep expertise to her work with public sector organizations, focusing on building collective vision, nurturing emergent strategy, and developing and holding meaningful spaces for building community, learning together, and supporting leadership at all levels for nonprofit and philanthropy boards of directors, executive leadership, and program and operations staff.
Prior to co-founding Colmena Consulting, Melissa worked as the Programs and Knowledge Director at PEAK Grantmaking, where she was the chief architect and author of their learning strategy and programming centered around operationalizing equitable grantmaking practices. During her time there, she regularly developed assessments, curricula, and templates to support funders who were working to align their justice and racial equity values with their grantmaking practices. As a facilitator, she developed communities of practice, cohorts, and half-, full-, and multi-day sessions to support peer-to-peer learning in this space.
Before joining PEAK, she was the Director of Education & Accreditation at Maryland Nonprofits and the Standards for Excellence Institute, where she supported nonprofits of all types and sizes to implement better governance and management practices. Before her time as a nonprofit employee and while pursuing her MPA, Melissa was a consultant that supported leaders at nonprofit and funding institutions to develop strategies and improve their boards, management, and structures. Throughout her career and her work as a volunteer and organizer in her own community, she has touched every part of nonprofit governance and management structure and processes: as a founder, as a funder, as a board member, a committee member, a programs professional, an event planner, an operations and financial professional, a database administrator, a fundraiser, and a volunteer manager.
At her core, Melissa’s purpose is to build deep and authentic connections, share knowledge, and be the voice that questions assumptions and challenges the status quo. She is a sense-maker, connector, and network strategist that can help navigate the space between what we are and what we have the ability to become - a sector full of people, movements, and organizations that center intersectional racial equity, have thriving cultures, and live our values through our work.