Member Spotlight: Melanie Lashus

Member Spotlight: Melanie Lashus

Melanie is the owner of Live Your Lightning, Inc. where she specializes in empowering professional women to slay their life and career goals.  

Melanie has traveled the US speaking and coaching on interpersonal and career skill topics since 2012. She has over a decade of experience as a hiring manager and over 20 years of experience leading, training, supervising, mentoring, and coaching others – from college students all the way to senior executives.  

Before moving to Florida in late 2021, Melanie served as an Executive Leadership Coach for the U.S. Intelligence Community.  She additionally served as the Deputy Chief Learning Officer for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) where she directed the day-to-day functions of the NRO University and its professional and interpersonal development programs.  

From 2001-2019, Melanie served as a federal civilian with the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA). She began her career in Dahlgren, VA, providing engineering, testing, and technical program management for a major ballistic missile system program (yes – rocket science!).  She continually found herself pulled into larger and larger leadership roles and quickly realized that serving, developing, and empowering the people on her teams was the most important and fulfilling part of her work.  

These leadership roles inspired a formal career “lane-change” into workforce development and in 2015 Melanie joined the senior leadership team at NAVSEA Headquarters in Washington, DC where she developed and led enterprise-level talent management programs for the 80,000-person organization. Her proudest career accomplishment is designing and facilitating a national award-winning leadership and supervisory development program for NAVSEA that is still in use today.  

Melanie is passionate about teaching others how to play to their strengths.  She takes great joy in empowering her clients to find their purpose, make career changes, ace job interviews, build authentic leadership and interpersonal skills, and intentionally create the dream life each one of us deserves.  

What you wouldn’t know by reading about her awards and successes, or even from meeting her, are the adverse circumstances, abject failures, and impossible-seeming obstacles Melanie has overcome both personally and professionally to bring her own ideal life to reality.  By embodying what she coaches, Melanie has created her dream oasis at home and has aligned her work to her life’s purpose: enabling other people to succeed.   

Melanie grew up in rural North Carolina and is proud to be a first-generation college graduate. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from Virginia Tech.  She is a certified coach through ACT Leadership and Performance Coaching and is a member of the International Coaching Federation.  As a professional woman who personally came up the ranks within a male-dominated field, Melanie is passionate about causes related to women in the workplace and strongly identifies with the mission of BPW and its partners.

Melanie resides in St. Petersburg, FL where she volunteers with a local animal rescue, sings and plays guitar, and enjoys paddling the local waterways with her dogs and friends.