Celebrating an exceptional career

Melissa Borders Retires.

An inimitable career at the Washington Athletic Club has entered a new chapter. Hired in 1977, Melissa Borders began as a front desk clerk on the lobby level. Forty years later, Melissa retired as Vice President Club Programs on June 30.

Melissa joined the “social activities team”—now known as Club Programs—five months after her first day at the WAC. Her title: Typist. “I was basically an event planner with a typewriter,” she recalled from her 9th Floor office. “I’ve been doing that ever since.”

How’s this for trivia: Melissa planned 30 Jubilee anniversary parties!

“Melissa Borders’ influence is everywhere in the WAC,” President & CEO Chuck Nelson says. “She built an entire organization of team members and member leaders who create what the WAC is all about—unique experiences, strong relationships, and a vibrant community. Her calm enthusiasm and high standards shone through in everything she did.”

Melissa rose to Club Programs assistant director and director before being named vice president almost 20 years ago. Asked about her fondest memories, Melissa spoke about the team members she worked alongside and the people she met along the way.

“It’s been amazing to get to know so many smart, interesting and special people,” she said.

She specifically recalled some of the wonderful speakers she met for WAC lectures, including famed reporter Carl Bernstein (she helped him pick out a tie), chef and television personality Julia Child (they chatted over a turkey sandwich and a bag of chips), and U.S. Rep. Shirley Chisholm (the first black woman elected to Congress).

Melissa plans to move full-time to Marysville—she owns the same home where she grew up—and will soon marry her longtime partner, Wally.

“For a girl who likes to bloom where she’s planted, I’m changing my entire life in one fell swoop,” Melissa said. “But I’m looking forward to spending less time in traffic and reading all my beloved books beyond page 30.”

As published in the July/August 2017 issue of WAC Magazine.

—Posted July 1, 2017

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