Melissa P. Armas
Community builder | Connector | Recovering ENTJ | Adaptable | Self starter
My belief in collaboration and diversity led me to co-found the Arizona Blockchain Initiative, a tech-ed nonprofit that empowers communities with access to the knowledge and opportunities offered by decentralized technologies. Through strategic alliances with socially conscious organizations, colleges, local decision makers and tech community leaders, the Arizona Blockchain Initiative prepares Arizonans for a modern workforce.
The same principles guide me in my work as a board member of the Cybersecurity Council of Arizona. This nonprofit organization, built by women for people of all ages and skill levels, helps prepare jobseekers for a career in cybersecurity. I understand the crucial role organizations like CCofAZ play in bolstering the tech workforce because it was how I transitioned into the tech space in 2017 when I sought out volunteer opportunities and joined what was then Project Athena.
The skills I honed through nearly two decades of working in operations management for multinational hotel and resort companies gave me a solid foundation on which to pivot to the nonprofit field. I managed up to 90 associates at a time for companies that include Diamond Resorts, Marriott and Fairmont in international environments that ranged from the Caribbean and Venezuela to the United States. Like a startup, it was a fast-paced, dynamic workspace that requires both the ability to adapt but also execute initiatives with precision.
Being a member of the global workforce showed me the importance of collaboration and diversity, but it has been my work in the nonprofit space that has allowed me to implement those principles in tangible ways. I hold a bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management from the University of North Texas, with a College of Business minor in Organizational Behavior.
Featured in the GPEC insert of the AZ Business Magazine.
Copper State Advisory Board, Arizona - Member, 2019 to date
Leading For Change, Arizona - Fellow, Class of 2019-2020
Swedish American Chamber of Commerce, Arizona - Advisory Board Member, 2019 to date
Cybersecurity Council of Arizona - Board Member, 2018 to date
Latino Outreach Committee MCDP - Founding Member, 2016 to date
HSMAI- UNT Student Chapter Founding Facilitator, 2010
HSMAI - Hospitality Sales & Marketing Assoc. Int’l. - Member, 2009 - 2011
Eta Sigma Delta – Hospitality Mgmt. Honor Society Member (Initiated), 2009 - 2012
NSMH - The UNT Chapter of the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality – Member, 2009 - 2012
National Society of Collegiate Scholars -NSCS -Member (Initiated),
2009 - 2012
Alpha Lambda Delta – National Honor Society -Member (initiated), 2008 - 2012
UNT - SMHM Leadership Council, 2007 - 2009
NSMH - The UNT Chapter of the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality | Founding President, 2007 - 2009
HONORS, AWARDS & SCHOLARSHIPS
Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International – Student Excellence Award, 2010
NSMH National Awards - New Chapter of the Year ,2009
Women’s Foodservice Forum – Reach for your Dreams Award, 2009
Marriott Hospitality Management Scholarship, 2009
JW Marriott Scholarship, 2008
The Club at Gateway - College of Merchandising & Hospitality Mgmt. Scholarship, 2008
NRAEF Salute to Excellence Award - University of North Texas Delegate, 2008
Thomas Clayton Staff Scholarship - University of North Texas, 2008
Multicultural Scholastic Award - University of North Texas, 2008