Melanie Akins

Chief Development Officer

Melanie is the Catalight Foundation’s Chief Development Officer.

She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in both building development strategies and securing funds from a variety of donors. Previous accomplishments include being on the core team that created the American Heart Association’s women and heart disease initiative, “Go Red For Women” and its diabetes and cardiovascular disease initiative, “Take Diabetes to Heart,” securing multi-million dollars in initial funding as well as setting up ongoing funding streams for scalability and sustainability. Most recently, Melanie’s work secured funding to help employers with inclusive hiring for people with autism or other intellectual development disabilities and creating an autism friendly designation program for customer-facing businesses.

In her free time, she enjoys exercising, playing golf with her husband, watching her son play soccer and spending time with her daughter.