Melissa Florell

Melissa Florell
Kearney, Nebraska

Growing up near the Center’s home office in Lyons, Nebraska, I was aware of the organization from an early age. I now live outside of Kearney, Nebraska, with my family, but my connection with the Center has lasted most of my career.

I obtained my master’s degree in nursing management policy and leadership through Yale University. To complete that degree, I held an internship with the Center that focused on rural health policy. Not only did the internship help further my education, it also landed me a position on the Center’s Advisory Committee in 2010. And, in 2011, I was elected to the Center's Board of Directors.

Currently, I’m working toward my doctorate, which focuses on rural health systems, and I also teach at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. As a passionate rural health care advocate, focusing on the accessibility and quality of rural health care has been my area of practice since I received my master’s. That part of my background has always helped during Board meetings.

Some of the most interesting and intelligent people I’ve met, I’ve met through being on the Board. It gives me hope that there’s always been this group who’s paying attention to the things I thought needed to be brought to the forefront. The Center is helping small family farms be competitive and rural communities be a viable part of the conversation. Their work has always maintained focus on rural economic development and small business entrepreneurship. That’s why I continue giving my time to the Center.

Melissa is on the executive committee of the Board of Directors. To learn more about Melissa, visit our blog.