Melissa J. Anderson
Grove City Council, Ward 2
Melissa J. Anderson, a strategic marketing and creative operations manager, has a passion for leadership and business and is running for office for the first time. As a small business owner herself, she is a strong supporter of the entrepreneur and small business community. As an openly gay woman she has always supported and encouraged women in her life. She has four kids, three of whom are girls and she is raising them to be strong females and is raising her son to support and encourage strong females). If elected, she will help Grove City maintain its family friendly community, while ensuring smart economic growth.
Meet the Candidate
Can you tell our members a little bit about your journey to filing as a candidate?
My personal experience to run was based on my non-profit volunteer work and wanting to get even further involved to have a seat at the table for more representation of women to be able to affect change. In addition, once I started my campaign, I had an experience during my campaign. Recently, one of my male opponents told me in a public meeting that “this is not your time” and “not the right race for you”. Women are made to feel not enough, intimidated and marginalized constantly, and this experience of telling me, as a woman, to wait my turn, completely lit that already burning fire in my belly to a 5-alarm warehouse fire, and I’m running even harder now!
Tell our members about a friend or family member who inspired you to become a leader.
I have been blessed to be around numerous strong women, family and friends, and watching other women persevere, be leaders in their communities, be mentors to others, and keep going even through hard times gives me the strength to keep moving forward towards my goals. I want my 4 kids, (my son and 3 daughters) to see me as a strong woman and be inspired to not let any ‘ceiling’ hold them down from dreaming and achieving everything they want. Also, my wife is my complete rock and has always stood by my side and encouraged me throughout my career.
Some of you are military veterans, some small business owners, some professionals, some mothers and grandmothers, some homemakers. How did one of these experiences shape who you are as a person and leader?
My life experiences as a working Mom in the corporate world, with 4 kids, my non-profit volunteer work, and owning a small business have all been valuable in shaping who I am as a person and a leader. My experiences in all these areas has taught me how to be a collaborative leader and work with others who have a difference of opinion, has taught me how to influence others, has taught me how to be a servant leader to our community, has taught me how to be a passionate listener, has taught me how to gain valuable insight by hearing what others needs are, and has given me a voice for those who are marginalized.
The Matriots PAC has a goal to see 50% of all elected offices in Ohio held by women by 2028. What is your vision for Ohio in 2028?
My vision for my community in 2028 matches that of the Matriots vision of 50% of elected offices in Ohio to be held by women. Currently our Grove City Council is comprised of five elected seats (4 Wards and 1 At-Large) and an elected Mayor. All but one of these six seats are male. If elected, I’ll be the second female, but it will not yet be at 50%.
Tip O’Neill famously said that “all politics is local.” What are the top-two issues your community or our state face today?
Two very important issues for women both community and state-wide that are very near and dear to my heart are equal pay and paid maternity leave. I’m a working Mom with a 20 year marketing career in the private sector, who has four children, and has taken four maternity leaves, all structured very differently. As a working Mom, it is extremely important that women’s pay is 100% equal to our male counterparts and that we are recognized financially in the same regard for the same job. I also believe that women need access to paid maternity leaves as that time with your newborn is the most important bonding time for a working Mom.
Tell us something personal about yourself.
Something fun about me is that my family owns a cabin in Hocking Hills that we love to escape the city and get away to, reconnect with nature, and spend valuable time together as a family of six! In a day and age where life seems busier than ever, and we have new distractions with technology at our fingertips, my wife and I love taking hikes with our four kids, and introducing them to the outdoors for adventure!