Melissa Walker is a compelling speaker and facilitator who can lead planning retreats or custom design a workshop that meets the needs of your organization. She has delivered keynote talks and led workshops and board and staff planning retreats for a variety of organizations including: 

  • American Revolution in the Southern Backcountry Group of National Park Service

  • Spartanburg Area Conservancy

  • South Carolina Business and Professional Women

  • Wofford College

  • Wake Forest University

  • Southern Association for Women Historians

  • Celebrate Women Summit, United Way of Anderson County

  • Spartanburg County Foundation Non-Profit Connect

  • Upstate Women's Leadership Conference

  • Queens University, Belfast, Northern Ireland

  • Texas Tech University

  • Mississippi State University

  • Clemson University

  • University of South Carolina

  • Humanities South Carolina

She combines inspiring real-life stories with practical strategies, reflective exercises, small-group activities, and audience interaction to create engaging retreats and workshops that provide participants with the tools to move forward in achieving their goals.   

Topics include:

Navigating Transitions: A Group Coaching Series

Building a Vital Life: Design Your Way to the Life You Want

Transitions, Second (and Third) Acts and Encore Careers

Your Personal Mission Statement:  A Blueprint for Personal and Career Decision-Making

Harnessing the Power of Personal Story to Transform Your Life

Mapping Your Path to a Meaningful Career: A Workshop for Liberal Arts Grads

Self-Care Begins at Work: Practical Strategies for Work-Life Balance

Life Stories: Inspiration for Re-invention

The Mid-Career Treadmill: Strategies for Academic Women

Is There Life After Academia? Navigating the Non-Traditional Career Path for Ph.D.s

What participants say about Melissa's workshops:

I was recently a participant in Melissa’s session dedicated to Transitions and the classes couldn’t have come at a better time in my life. I’m not sure what made the course so incredibly meaningful – but I believe it was a combination of a small group setting with great women, thought-provoking material and Melissa’s ability to create a safe space for authentic dialog. This sweet and (sometimes) stormy journey we call life is so full of flux and change. But being intentional about the process of moving through the transitions we face or forge makes all the difference in the world. Thank you, Melissa Walker, for a rich and incredibly enriching learning experience. —from Sally Jeter Gregg (formerly Hammond), a Navigating Transitions Group Coaching series participant

The “Transitions” seminar was amazing. Melissa facilitated important conversations and sharing coupled with extremely insightful exercises. I would highly recommend this for anyone facing a major change. It will make a real difference.--from KM, a Navigating Transitions Group Coaching series participant

I liked the juxtaposition of the workshop pieces and yoga asanas; they seemed to flow together well.  Each "yoga break" correlated to the exercises enough to allow for the community elements as well as the introspective elements. The exercises helped me reflect and step back from energy-sapping activities. I enjoyed the small groups for feedback, as well as the opportunity to share within the larger group.  I just loved the heck out of this workshop and I felt very renewed afterwards.  --from a "Building a Joyful Life" participant

Thank you for the program about harnessing the power of storytelling. I have been struggling to figure out how to put my thoughts into words. Walking through the guided exercises helped me get back into gear. Today has already helped me find my center and my confidence in my ability to accomplish everything I aspire to. --from a "Harnessing the Power of Personal Story to Transform Your Life" participant

Melissa's media credits include scholarly commentary in "Cheating the Stillness" and "Hearts of Glass," both documentary films featured on South Carolina Educational TV and "The Kiss," a NASCAR Productions film. She is the author or editor of eight books and numerous articles. Her op-eds have appeared in The State (Columbia, SC), Charlotte Observer, Knoxville News-Sentinel, Spartanburg Herald-Journal, and her feature writing has been published in Town Magazine. She has been interviewed by reporters from numerous outlets including the Associated Press, WYFF-TV4, South Carolina Educational Radio, and WSPA-TV7.  She has been featured on "Walter Edgar's Journal," a production of South Carolina Educational Radio.