Chamber Staff

Michael Ayers headshot
President ​& Chief Executive Officer

Michael Ayers

Vice President of Business Development

Mel Thomas

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

Melody Buller

woman smiling
Partnership Relations Manager

Staci Donovan

Communications and Marketing Manager

Isabella Serrano

Event Manager

Megan Szucs

Office Coordinator, Judy Petramale, Melbourne Regional Chamber
Office Coordinator

Judy Petramale

Partnership Coordinator

Nisha Westerman

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.

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.”

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.”

Partnership Relations Manager

Staci Donovan

In her role as partnership relations manager, Staci Donovan works with both new and existing members to help them make the most of their membership benefits and optimize their investment. She also serves as the staff liaison for the Small Business Council, Ambassador Committee and Leads Groups.

Of her role, Donovan said, “My goal is to effectively communicate the chamber’s vision, purpose and mission to help grow lasting relationships with our members. For those members who don’t participate in person, my goal is to communicate all the things the chamber advocates for on their behalf  that have made a difference in the community.”

Donovan brings to this role more than 30 years’ experience in sales, retention and customer relationship management. She has served as an active volunteer with Brevard Public Schools for more than 15 years, currently serving as Board President of West Shore Junior/Senior High School Theatre, where she was named 2021 Volunteer of the Year. Additionally, she has served as a facilitator and leader for various children’s and women’s ministries.

Donovan added, “I feel my greatest impact comes from using my strengths in relationship building and listening to establish lasting partnerships with our members.”

She attended Queens College, City University of New York (CUNY).

Communications and Marketing Manager

Isabella Serrano

Isabella brings to the role 5 years of experience in digital design, marketing, and storytelling. Serrano has advanced experience in brand awareness and holds the key to many fundamentals needed to impact communities and touch the hearts of individuals. Prior to joining the MRC team, Isabella worked as a freelance graphic designer and content creator.

She earned a Bachelor of Science in Media Communications from Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida. Isabella uses effective neuromarketing techniques and storytelling to reach the hearts of the community and build relationships.

With her new role, Isabella said, “I am beyond excited to get involved with the community and meet so many individuals while developing strong relationships with our partners. I look forward to implementing my creative ideas into our marketing strategy to make people feel welcomed and at home when they are with the MRC.”

Event Manager

Megan Szucs

As Event Manager, Megan Szucs oversees the strategy, administration, and execution of all chamber events and programs. Her responsibilities include managing all aspects of chamber events including revenue and expenses, outreach, preparation and planning, development, promotion, and production as well as providing event planning and execution for all chamber committees and councils.

Office Coordinator

Judy Petramale

As Office Coordinator, Judy Petramale is responsible for meeting and greeting visitors, managing the front desk, and performing administrative tasks that support the executive team in all clerical functions.

She brings to the role 25 years of experience in various administrative positions. Prior to working at the Melbourne Regional Chamber, she worked in the insurance industry, including 20 years as an account manager specializing in commercial lines of insurance.

Petramale earned a degree in Business Administration at Ulster County Community College, in Stoneridge, NY.

“I chose to work at the Chamber because it allows me an opportunity to utilize my administrative skills and support the chamber’s mission to enrich local business development,” Judy said. “I enjoy making a positive impact by representing the Melbourne Chamber in a helpful welcoming manner. In my current role, I provide administrative support that allows the chamber to grow and maintain a thriving business environment.”

Partnership Coordinator

Nisha Westerman

Nisha Westerman joined the Chamber in October 2021 as Partnership Coordinator, bringing to the role more than 20 years of experience in sales and marketing. Prior to joining the MRC team, she worked in various sales/marketing positions, as well as in dealer relations, at Ford Motor Company (US) and at Jaguar Land Rover of Thailand.

She earned a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Pennsylvania State University and an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh.

On her new role, Nisha said, “I am excited to grow and develop strong relationships with our partners and the community. I look forward to us becoming the one-stop shop for our partners to engage with us, and to make connections with other partners and resources.”