Melissa Ann Santora

Author Profile


Melissa Ann “Mellie” Santora is the State Administrator at Arizona Statewide Independent Living Council, where she is responsible for collaborating with a variety of stakeholders to ensure successful outcomes for the statewide initiatives she manages. Mellie acquired the first of her disabilities as a young adult, and actively embraces those she has more recently acquired. For over 30 years, Mellie has served people who have disabilities in a myriad of capacities, and is highly regarded for pioneering projects, programs, and practices that promote access, inclusion, and engagement. Although she has lived in the West for decades, Mellie is proud to be a native New Yorker, and is grateful for the experience of being raised in an Italian neighborhood, surrounded by rolling hills, autumn leaves, and the sun and swim of Lake Ontario. In addition to the growing number of youth who consider her their “otha motha,” she and her husband have a dozen children between them, and the most adorable grandson ever. Mellie loves people, cooking, sports, entertaining, writing, Africa, and the 1980’s.

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