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CHR executive director to speak at ABWA's Women in Leadership series

December 3, 2018
Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

The Sanibel Captiva Charter Chapter of the American Business Women's Association will host its monthly luncheon on Dec. 18, with the next guest in its Women in Leadership Speaker Series.

Melissa Rice, executive director of Community Housing and Resources, will present "When Business and Compassion Collide." She will share stories and lessons about leadership in the collision zone.

Rice built her career in South Florida on both coasts in commercial real estate investment and management, including apartment communities, land, shopping centers, warehouses and residential. Holding degrees in finance and economics, she is a licensed Florida real estate broker and Certified Commercial Investment Member.

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Melissa Rice

Rice also has a strong commitment to philanthropy, and immediately began volunteering when she arrived in town 12 years ago. She has served on the SanCap Cares Committee and as treasurer for both The Sanibel School PTA and CHR.

"The most important aspect of bringing philanthropy and business together is managing partnerships," Rice said. "For example, support from the city of Sanibel, community participation in Give Back Wednesdays, generous women's education grants from Zonta and scholarships from Sanibel-Captiva Kiwanis are critical to CHR."

CHR provides affordable housing to full-time island workers and longtime residents who are retired or disabled. It manages 88 housing units, including 74 rentals and 14 Limited Equity Ownership homes.

"We anticipate an inspiring discussion with Melissa on the intersection of compassion and business," Gloria Garrett, president of the island chapter, said. "CHR's amazing impact is changing lives every day, but Melissa will reveal the hard-nosed business leadership required to keep the operation alive."

The chapter meets on the fourth Tuesday of the month at the Sundial Beach Resort & Spa, at 1451 Middle Gulf Drive, Sanibel. Networking starts at 11:30 a.m., with lunch and a speaker from noon to 1 p.m. The cost is $20 per person. The meetings are open to the public.

To RSVP, email or register online at Eventbrite.

For more information about the chapter, visit



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