Melbourne Regional Chamber leadership team smiling together

Leadership Team

Michael Ayers headshot
President ​& Chief Executive Officer

Michael Ayers

Director of Finance and Human Resources, Melody Lane Buller headshot
Director of Finance and Human Resources

Melody Buller

Mel Thomas headshot
Vice President of Business Development

Mel Thomas

Vice President of Communications & Marketing​, Michelle Salyer headshot
Vice President of Communications & Marketing​

Michelle Salyer

President ​& Chief Executive Officer

Michael Ayers

Michael Ayers has served as president & CEO of the Melbourne Regional Chamber since January 2018. A strategic leader with experience in managing government agencies, political campaigns and community-based organizations, Ayers brings to the role nearly 20 years in government relations, management and political marketing in Washington, D.C., Illinois, Tallahassee and Brevard County.

From 2015 through 2017, Ayers served as the director of government relations for Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute at Lake Nona. In this capacity, he was responsible for generating funding for the institute’s biomedical research and maintaining a positive relationship between the institute and its government partners. Prior to his service at SBP, Ayers served as the chief of staff at three state agencies, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, the Department of Economic Opportunity and the Agency for Workforce Innovation (AWI) as well as the legislative director at AWI. In this capacity, he directed the agency’s legislative and budgetary priorities during each session and coordinated communication between the agency, Governor’s Office of Policy and Budget, and various trade groups and associations throughout the State of Florida.

Born and raised in Central Illinois, Ayers graduated in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, then relocated to Washington, D.C. to begin his professional career. After a brief stint with the United States House Committee on Government Reform, he joined the Office of U.S. Congressman Robin Hayes (NC-8), where he served as a legislative assistant with responsibility over Economic Development, Labor, Trade and other issues. In addition to his time in Washington, Ayers has served in various capacities in several state and federal campaigns and multiple stints with the Republican Party of Florida.

Director of Finance and Human Resources

Melody Buller

Buller has spent nearly 30 years in leadership at the Melbourne Regional Chamber, including 25 years at CFO. In her current role, she oversees all financial and human resource functions, as well overseeing the annual audit process and maintaining the accuracy of the database and accounting connection.

She left the Melbourne Chamber for five years to serve as executive vice president/CFO of the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce in Appleton, Wisconsin. Throughout her career, she has gained expertise in finance, fundraising, organizational management, leadership, budgeting and analysis.

Buller earned a Bachelor of Arts in History with a minor in Accounting from the College of William and Mary; an Associate of Arts degree in Basic Programming from Wor-Wic Community College and an IOM designation from the Association of Chamber Executives. She serves as a board member for the LPGA Amateur Association and was a founding member of CASA. She also has participated in the United Way Loaned Leader Program.

“Working at the Chamber has allowed me to build the local community by helping our local businesses grow, said Buller. “This chamber has been and continues to be the catalyst for positive growth and change people think just happens.”

Vice President of Business Development

Mel Thomas

Melody Thomas was promoted to vice president of business development after serving the organization for 18 months as the director of business development. In this role, Thomas drives new partnership sales and tactics, as well as overseeing the development and implementation of retention operations, efforts, and initiatives.

She brings to the position 20 years of experience in hospitality, hotel sales, and food and beverage. Prior to joining the Melbourne Regional Chamber, Thomas served as area director of sales and marketing for LaQuinta Hotels by Wyndham in New Orleans for more than eight years and served on the board of directors for the Gulf South LGBT Chamber from 2014 to 2019. She currently serves on the board of directors for the SPCA of Brevard.

Thomas attended Appalachian State University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, majoring in English.

Of her role at the chamber, Thomas said, “I’ve always been involved with local chambers in my various roles and owe much of my sales success and results to the connections I made and the information I shared. When the opportunity to work on staff here at the Melbourne Regional Chamber presented itself, I didn’t hesitate. I think my experience in client management and customer service within the hospitality industry gives me an edge when forming partnerships that are mutually beneficial.”

Vice President of Communications & Marketing​

Michelle Salyer

As vice president of communications & marketing, Michelle Salyer develops and implements strategic marketing and communications programs, drives awareness of the chamber brand, manages the investor program, and maintains the MRC’s Five Star accreditation status, among other duties. 

She brings to the role more than 25 years of experience in marketing, advertising, public relations and journalism. Prior to taking on the staff position at the Melbourne Regional Chamber, she served as a member of the board of directors from 2017 to 2020 and served as vice-chair of the marketing committee from 2018-2020. Most recently, she spent six years as director of marketing & communications for Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy in Melbourne.

As well as operating her own public relations/ communications/freelance writing business for many years, Salyer has worked for companies including Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Visit Orlando, Eddie Bauer Worldwide, Edelman Public Relations and Austin Kelley Advertising. Her experience spans industries including education, food and beverage, hospitality, attractions, space, non-profits, arts and culture, clothing/retail, gaming and more. In her free time, Salyer volunteers with Florida Wildlife Hospital and PFLAG Melbourne/Space Coast.

“Throughout my career, I’ve been focused on building and promoting businesses across a variety of industries, through public relations, marketing and news content,”  said Salyer. “In my role at the Melbourne Regional Chamber, I can continue to support both large and small businesses on a broader scale for the betterment of Space Coast community.”

Salyer earned a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of South Carolina with a cognate in Marketing, as well as a certificate in non-fiction writing from the University of Washington.