Commissioner Melissa McKinlay was elected to the Board of County Commissioners in November 2014. She most recently served in the Palm Beach County Legislative Affairs Office from 2010 through 2014. As the Legislative Delegation aide, she provided administrative and legislative support to the director of Legislative Affairs and the executive director of the Palm Beach County Legislative Delegation, on behalf of the Board of County Commissioners and the 13-member Delegation. Her primary focus has been analyzing and tracking legislation affecting children and families on a local, state and federal level, mostly through her work as chairwoman for the Junior Leagues of Florida State Public Affairs Committee and her most recent position with Palm Beach County.

Previously, Commissioner McKinlay worked in the West Palm Beach office of U.S. Senator Bill Nelson. Her public service involves working at all three levels of government, including the US & Florida Houses of Representatives, the Florida Department of Community Affairs, and the Sarasota County Budget Department.

Commissioner McKinlay has been a resident of Palm Beach County since 2004 and has three children in the public school system. She is very passionate when it comes to the current challenges that families face: balancing the household budget, paying attention to the quality of education in our schools, and providing good paying job opportunities. She is very proud to have been part of the team that developed The Butterfly House, Palm Beach County's first sexual assault response medical services center.

This passion led Commissioner McKinlay to spend much of her career volunteering with groups such as:

  • Junior League of the Palm Beaches
  • Junior Leagues of Florida
  • Voices for Children of Palm Beach County
  • Village of Wellington Education Advisory Committee
  • West Palm 100
  • American Cancer Society
  • School charities in West Palm Beach, Wellington and Sarasota
  • VillageWalk of Wellington Homeowners Association
  • Teen Court of Sarasota
  • President Bill Clinton's advance team for official visits in New Orleans

Commissioner McKinlay also serves/served on:

  • Junior League of the Palm Beaches Advocacy Committee - chair
  • Junior Leagues of Florida State Public Affairs Committee - president
  • Boys & Girls Club of Boca Raton Board of Directors
  • ChildNet Board of Directors
  • Homeless Coalition Legislative Policy Committee
  • Community Health Planning & Safety Net Network
  • Palm Beach County Sexual Assault Response Team - founding member

She has received multiple awards for her advocacy efforts including:

  • 2006 Child Advocate of the Year Award from the 15th Judicial Circuit of Florida
  • 2008 Girls Power Award from the Girls Advocacy Project
  • 2009 Junior Leagues of Florida Advocacy Award
  • 2011 Distinguished Achievement from the International Association of Fire Fighters
  • 2014 Florida Council Against Sexual Violence SART of the Year (Team Award)

Commissioner McKinlay is a member of the following Palm Beach County boards and committees:

  • Palm Beach Metropolitan Planning Organization
  • Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council
  • Early Learning Coalition
  • County Coalition for Responsible Management of Lake Okeechobee
  • South Florida Fair Board of Trustees
  • Palm Beach County 15th Circuit Juvenile Justice Advisory Board
  • Palm Beach County Juvenile Justice Re-entry Task Force

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