I-O Psychologist
Author . Artist . Researcher


Known to friends and colleagues simply as Steach, Melissa is an award-winning artist, best-selling author, certified ergonomist, and
Doctoral Candidate in I-O Psychology with certifications in positive psychology interventions. She's also a human factors and ergonomics specialist at Herman Miller, Inc.

A visionary who combines art with research, Melissa explores personal / organizational culture and behaviors to understand how our environment can better engage, empower, even shape how we engage ourselves and each other. 

Above any education, Melissa considers her experience growing up in housing projects in the South and subsequent search for self through trying on many different careers, to be her most valuable credential.

Areas of expertise include: Implicit Bias, Personnel-Org Fit, OD Strategy, Ergo Interventions, Human Factors, Aesthetic Influence & Impact
ARTISTIC know-how + I-O PSYCHOLOGY insights

Providing companies and communities human centered insights that support their greatest asset:  People

Author, Artist & Researcher
Keynote Speaker
"Melissa is the true definition of a "Business Creative." Her ability to blend natural artistic instincts and a mind for business towards the use of aesthetic in ways that advance the business agenda are forward thinking and inspiring. You can always count on Melissa to lend thoughtful advice or a new perspective on how I-0 Psychology and design together can positively impact all aspects of business economics."

-- Kibibi Springs, M.A. I-O, CEAS I
Wellness Advocate, Life on Springs
Human Factors & Ergonomics Specialist, Herman Miller
Melissa is an inspirational speaker...she recently keynoted a talk at the FUSE London conference on the need to marry compassion with business. Her talk, and her overall presence at the conference, left a strong impression on the audience...and as the conference chair, I had numerous folks comment on the power of her words. We should all live with that much compassion and conviction.

-- Soon Yu
Bestselling Author of "Iconoic Advantage"
The Intangible
The Built Environment
The Human Environment
Topics for Engagement

Bringing It All Together for the Greater Good

  1. Why it Pays to Give a Shit: The Importance of Compassion in Business
    The purpose of this presentation is to inform and inspire compassion as part of regular business practice within our organizations not only because it's our innate state as humans to feel compassion, but because it impacts our business bottom lines. Primary take-aways: - Why compassion counts in business - Why compassion counts in design - Why compassion counts toward the bottom-line (Available as a keynote and facilitated workshop)
  2. Belonging at Work: How Workplaces Can Connect People to Each Other and the Organization
    Dr. Martin Seligman observed that, "Much of what human beings do is done in the service of belongingness." This talk first investigates how the need to belong shapes the way we think, feel, and behave; then gives insight into implicit bias, personnel-organizational fit, and organizational citizenship behavior so that Leaders can give their best to, and get the best from, their workforce. (Available as a keynote and facilitated workshop)
  3. Workplace Design: Creating an Environment Where Innovation Thrives
    Following human capital, companies spend more on workplace real estate and design than most any other asset. More than 70% of Millennials cite a great (looking) workplace as paramount when choosing their employer. After the architects and designers leave, how do you put those shiny new tools to work for your company? Gain insights and share ideas on how to activate your investment in space to get the deliverables you desire: creativity, engagement, productivity, collaboration, increased attraction and retention.
  4. Ergonomics and Organizational Change: Why It’s OD’s Next Hot Trend
    Many ergonomic interventions focus on body mechanics only, missing important cognitive and social dimensions. I-O Psychologists look at the whole person and can help HR and EHS professionals collaborate with ergonomics experts to support organizational change. Learn: - how to get involved. - what org change looks like when it involves ergonomics and OD. - how ergonomics improves collaboration, productivity, workers’ health... (Available as a keynote and facilitated workshop)

Herman Miller CEUs

Feel better. Work better.

  1. Human Factors in Workplace Design: Designing Spaces That Are More Naturally Human
    When we feel better, we work better. That's one of the many reasons it's critical to consider human factors in workplace design. An office that takes the whole human into consideration - that encourages movements large and small throughout the day, allows us to initiate and regulate social interaction, and considers factors like personal space, psychological / physical proximity, and territoriality - helps improves our well-being. This CEU will help participants design ergonomically healthy workplaces. (IDCEC CEU - AIA CES approved)
  2. Cognitive Ergonomics in Workplace Design: States of Mind for Individual Work
    Offices can be taxing environments. Understanding ergonomics - not just physical, but social and cognitive ergonomics - can help all of us understand how to make them less taxing for ourselves and others. The result is workplaces that are more naturally human. By introducing participants to cognitive ergonomics and its implications for office design, this CEU will help employees make the most of their workplaces which will create a healthier experience for everyone. (IDCEC CEU - AIA CES - SHRM -CP & SHRM-SCP PDC approved)
  3. Social Ergonomics in Workplace Design
    A workplace that helps us initiate and regulate social interaction, and that takes into consideration factors like personal space, physical and psychological proximity, and territoriality helps us feel better. And when we feel better, we work better. By introducing participants to social ergonomics and its implications for office design, this CEU will help them design workplaces that are healthier for everyone. (IDCEC CEU - AIA CES - SHRM -CP & SHRM-SCP PDC approved)
  4. Physical Ergonomics in Workplace Design
    Design starts with the person. The products and how to apply them follow. This CEU explores how and why the body experiences pain at work and gives practical tips for minimizing discomfort by designing the furnishings, surroundings, and tools to fit the person. Some of the topics covered include standing versus sitting, ROI of ergonomic work tools, plus the most frequent work tasks related injuries and how to avoid them. (IDCEC CEU - AIA CES - SHRM -CP & SHRM-SCP PDC approved)
Upcoming & Past Keynotes
  1. Stay Tuned!
  2. Winter 2019
  3. Fall 2018
  1. Fall 2018
  2. Summer 2018
  3. Fall 2017
  1. Spring 2017
  2. Winter 2016
  3. Fall 2016
Writings & Musings

Empowered People EMPOWER PEOPLE

  1. E: The Magazine for Today's Female Executive
    Read Melissa's global business column in E, the magazine for today's female executive by ETM Media
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Buy the Bestselling Book
The little book that started it all. When Melissa wrote The Housing Project, she was feeling her way toward her own Ikigai only she didn't know that at the time. In the years since, she has gained a wealth of experience and education. Adding discipline and study to insight and personal experience, Melissa isn't just a talker - she's a doer.

  • 25+  years of corporate & working artist experience
  • 7 years of formal fine art training
  • Certified in Ergonomic interventions
  • Certified in Positive Psychology interventions
  • Doctoral Candidate in I-O Psychology
Questions? I'm an open book.