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Shining Light

“It is wild who God puts in your life and why.” True words spoken from the mouth of Melissa Fitzgerald. God gives us people for seasons in our lives, people to help us, people we need, and people that love us through the thick and thin. There is a quote by C.S. Lewis that reminds me of Melissa’s spirit. It says “Don’t shine so others can see you. Shine so that, through you, others can see Him.”

Melissa is from the historic city of Richmond, Virginia. She said that colonial houses always remind her of home and it makes her “want to come in and sit down because that is what you want your home to be like… cozy and relaxed”. Melissa went to Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia. In 1995, Melissa’s freshman year, the college established the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership as the only all-female corps of cadets. She attended college on a scholarship embracing the life of combat boots, room inspections and wilderness events. As she takes on any life event she enjoyed those around her! She created a lifelong friendship with her two roommates from college and received her degree in Arts Management with an emphasis in Music.  As Melissa says “make the best of everyday”! During college she lived everyday to the best, she loved everything about VWIL, and pursued her love for music by participating in three different choirs.

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Newspaper article with photo of Melissa. She is leading the marching band in a parade as an officer in the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership

Melissa is a music lover! She graduated from school and made her way to Nashville in 1999 with a friend.  What has kept her tied to Nashville since then is her husband, David. He is a seventh generation Franklinite. Their home is in Franklin where she resides with her husband and their daughter. They live in the home that David grew up which is filled with many memories. It was a home from Nashville and was moved to the family’s Franklin property which was then added onto.  The property was owned by Ms. Elsie, David’s grandmother. Melissa was very fond of Ms. Elsie she lovingly reminisced about how this spunky woman would say “I’m just fat and sassy”.

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As Amy Grant once said ” I need music like I need water” Melissa Fitzgerald lives and breathes music. When Melissa moved to Music City after college she threw herself into the music industry. Her first job in Nashville was as a waitress on the General Jackson Showboat as she searched for a job within the music industry. Through calling all the contacts she read about in Music Row Magazine she got herself a position with an entertainment company as a receptionist just two weeks after moving to town. She said that half of getting anywhere is “walking in a room, shaking hands and looking others in the eye, meeting people, knowing people, and the ability to introduce yourself to others”. This advice she learned from her college leadership classes. “You can do anything” with practicing this piece of advice. She said she watched her father do this in his own life and she said she loved watching how he “could work a room”. Over time and her hard work, Melissa became an Executive Assistant to the VP through the contacts she made there she was introduced to the world of television production, a field she has been in for 10 years now. Working with Travis Television and Greg Travis she has booked talent with GAC’s Country Music Across America, produced for Access Hollywood, and Entertainment Tonight and run productions like The Dailey & Vincent Show, which airs currently on Friday evenings on RFD-TV. When we asked which project impacted her the most she said it was “Amy Grant- How Mercy Looks From Here“. She was on-site for the shoot as well as post-produced the project. She said it was “Full of faith”. One of the biggest projects for Melissa was producing The Dailey & Vincent Show at the Franklin Theatre. It’s a music variety show that she often worked 16 hour days on, not unheard of in production. From line producing, run of show, logistics, to post-production there was about 40 people that Melissa was overseeing. Melissa hired Jeanette Jolley and Jillian Ellis to help her with production which she says were “God sent”. This particular job spanned from May 2015 to January 2016 but the actual shooting of the 26  episodes spanned over about 12 days. For this working woman, her summer is her busiest time typically. She cherishes the work as well as the industry.  Over her time in the music industry she has evolved as a person. She is a wife and mother which now comes first above all else.

Melissa said “family gets me up everyday” and she enjoys her days doing life with her friends. She’s learning to say no when needed and she is opening her eyes to new things. Her goal is to be the “best child of God I can be”. She said her advice is to look at life, see what is important and make those things a priority. You can’t compare your life to others. You must have faith in God that everything will fall in its place. We should all stay focused to do what is in front of us. Melissa believes God will reward us for our good deeds and that we should pay attention to God’s answers and blessing in all situations. This amazing woman definitely finds the silver lining in life’s events.

Blessings,

Lindsay

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