How long have you been an SNA member?

I have been a member of the Tennessee School Nutrition Association (TSNA) for 27 years and of SNA since 1998.

What is most important about school nutrition to you?

School nutrition programs help to shape children’s future. There is no greater sense of accomplishment than to know you have helped prepare a child to learn. I am very passionate about school nutrition because I believe we are doing something that will have a lifelong impact on children.

Do you see yourself as a leader?

I consider myself both a leader and a follower. I believe that to be a good leader, you have to learn from others and benefit from their expertise and experiences, which can only help you become a better leader yourself. I am always ready to share my knowledge and provide guidance to those who are learning.

Introvert/extrovert: Which are you?

I consider myself an extrovert! I enjoy the company of others but I don’t mind spending some time alone either. Sometimes everyone needs their own space!

What was your best vacation?

My best vacations always involve visiting family on Florida’s southwest coast. I can get away from daily stresses, enjoy free time, do it with family—all in an amazing tropical location!

What cause or volunteer service excites you?

I am very passionate about involvement in my state association. I love the people and the passion they demonstrate for all they do.

What is the best way to cheer you up on a bad day?

Ask me about all the positives in my life and remind me how blessed I am with family—especially my husband, who puts me first and gives me unconditional support, as well as the joy of my children and grandchildren—plus faith and my career, which has led to so many friends and cherished relationships that will last a lifetime. This perspective makes most bad days a small obstacle to overcome!

What was the last book you read, and how was it?

I don’t actually “read” books, I “listen” to them. I have an hour’s commute each way between work and home. Over the past several years, I have listened to many audio books. My favorites are mysteries and my favorite authors include Lee Child, David Baldacci, John Sanford and Karin Slaughter.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Treat others how you want to be treated.

What is one thing few people know about you?

Many people do not know that I started my professional career as a school nutrition substitute, before working my way up to program director. I have worked in all areas of the school nutrition program, including cook, site manager and in the central office.

Melissa Livesay headshot

Melissa Livesay

Director of School Nutrition

Winchester, Tenn.

Franklin County Schools