Melissa Torres-Silva, director of annual giving at Guadalupe Center, has been appointed to the Board of Directors for the Immokalee Chamber of Commerce.
The chamber represents more than 80 businesses and organizations in Immokalee, Ave Maria and Big Cypress, promoting the region’s economic footing in agriculture, economic development and free trade zone. The chamber’s slogan is “Where worlds of opportunity begin,” a near match for Guadalupe Center’s “creating endless possibilities through education” tagline.
Torres-Silva was raised in Immokalee’s Farmworkers’ Village as the youngest of 12 children to migrant workers. She attended Village Oaks Elementary, Immokalee Middle and Immokalee High schools, and became the first member of her family to pursue a college degree.
“I am uniquely aware of the challenges that young people, as well as businesses and nonprofits, are facing in Immokalee,” Torres-Silva said. “Hopefully my experience as a lifelong resident of Immokalee will help the chamber as it continues to promote the community’s assets and resources for both current and future members.”
Torres-Silva has served in multiple roles for Guadalupe Center over 10 years, including office manager, database assistant, database manager and assistant to the president. As director of annual giving, Torres-Silva creates and executes a year-round fundraising plan that includes generous corporate partners, nonprofit organizations and individual donors. She also has established a dynamic annual fund committee and an outreach program that demonstrates the importance of philanthropic giving. Under her leadership, the annual fund has provided much-needed financial support to help fund three educational programs: Early Childhood Education, After-school Tutoring & Summer Enrichment and Tutor Corps.
Torres-Silva’s prior experience includes serving as office manager for Naples Equestrian Challenge, housing counselor for Everglades Housing Group and property manager for Immokalee Housing & Family Services. She received an associate degree in business administration and management from the University of Phoenix and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business management from Hodges University.