Get To Know Melissa

Skydiver | Author | Speaker | Yogi

Melissa is a born entrepreneur. As a child, Melissa insisted on playing ‘business’ and would set up makeshift stores from restaurants with hand-drawn menus, to plastic stapled to paper with crayon-colored MasterCard logos. Melissa’s wealth of experience came from skydiving. Her father was a pioneering skydiver and businessman and unbeknownst to her, she followed in his footsteps.
Melissa kept the entrepreneurship fire burning by continuing to branch off into other industries and hobbies. She’s also a Private Pilot, P2 Paraglider Pilot, earned her Advanced Communicator Bronze in Toastmasters, authored and published 3 books, became a keynote speaker, and most importantly – is a wife and a mother.


Through skydiving, Melissa’s leadership skills helped her organize several well-known events such as the USPA National Skydiving Championships, International Skydiving Museum & Hall of Fame, Sponsorship Liaison to the World Meet, and several boogies.

  • Over 11,000 Skydives
  • 23 World Records (2003 – 2018)
  • US Nationals Medals in Freestyle, Freefly & 10-Way
  • USPA D-License, Instructor & Pro Ratings
  • 2011 Stephan Banic Award
  • Co-Creator of Vertical Formation Skydiving
  • Lead Organizer for Events Nationwide
  • Organized Events Around The Globe

My Life Story

I grew up on a drop zone in the middle of the cornfields in a small town called, Sandwich. My dad was a skydiving pioneer and drug smuggler, which didn’t exactly make me the most popular kid in school back in the 1980s! But the abstract life in which I grew up, gave me the opportunity to see life in a whole different light and gave me the freedom to live my dreams.

Check out my resume to see the accomplishments I’ve been fortunate to accumulate throughout my life!”

Melissa made her first jump in 1982 at the age of 5, making her a third generation skydiver. She has over 10,000 jumps and is an AFF Instructor/Evaluator with a USPA Pro Rating. However, what makes Melissa stand out of the crowd is the she is 3-time National Champion in Freestyle, has 13 World Records and is a mom!

Melissa co-organized the successful 2003, 2005, 2007, 2010 & 2013 Women’s Vertical World Records (WVWR). She has also organized all over the United States including famous boogies such as, Skydive Chicago’s “Summerfest,” Skydive Carolina’s “Carolina Fest,” Skydive Elsinore’s “Chick’s Rock”, and Skydive Orange’s “Orange Boogie,” as well as organized events in Canada, Mexico, Australia and Italy.

Melissa is also the creator of 4-Way VFS competitive skydiving, was a co-owner of Skydive Chicago from 2003-2007 and has just recently published her first book, Sugar Alpha.

Melissa also writes for many skydiving industry magazine articles including Parachutist, Blue Skies Magazine, and and


Melissa’s father Roger Nelson was a pioneering skydiver and a controversial character who spent nearly five years in prison for his drug smuggling escapades. Roger had written his story from his memoirs during his indictments. The manuscript set on a desk for years after Roger was released from prison. In 2003, Roger had a skydiving accident which took his life. A year after his death, Melissa made it her mission to share her father’s legacy. Melissa had quite a task at hand as the entire manuscript had to be rewritten for the non-skydiver or for people who did not know him. After an arduous five years, the first book was published, and another five years later, the second was published.

buy on amazon
buy on amazon

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