Melissa Hilsabeck, EIT

Nominated Categories
Outstanding YMF Officer, Outstanding Branch Officer
Other Categories

ASCE LA Section Airports and Ports Project 2016 Project of the Year – Port of Long Beach: West Basin Approach Borrow Project – Project Team Member

2016 Younger Member Group for Large Groups, ASCE Society (Member of multiple committees)
2017 ASCE OC YMF August/September Board Member Spotlight
2017 Outstanding Younger Member Group Project, ASCE OC Mentorship Program (Committee Co-Chair)
2018 Younger Member Group for Large Groups, ASCE Society (Member of multiple committees)
2021 Younger Member Group for Large Groups, ASCE Society (President-Elect; member of multiple committees)
2021 Outstanding Section and Branch Website, ASCE Society (Committee Member)

Additional Files

Additional Information

Candidate Information

Melissa Hilsabeck, EIT
ASCE Member?:

Name: Port of Long Beach, Construction Management Division
Address: 415 W. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90802


California State Polytechnic University, Pomona - BS in Civil Engineering (2015)

Other leadership Trainings:
US Hydro 2013 Conference (New Orleans)
Western Region Younger Member Council 2017, 2018 and 2021
ASCE National Convention 2012 (Montreal), 2014 (Panama), 2019 (Miami)
ASCE OC & Project Management Institute OC – Project Management Seminar 2021


Melissa Hilsabeck, E.I.T. is a Capital Projects Coordinator in the Port of Long Beach’s Construction Management Division. She has over six years of experience in civil engineering design, dredging activities, and construction administration and management. Her diverse project experience includes maritime facilities, mixed-use residential and commercial spaces, parks and recreational trails, affordable housing, healthcare buildings and educational campuses. As a Design Engineer, Melissa’s responsibilities included taking the lead on various utility designs, rough and precise grading designs, calculations, analyses, technical reports, and drafting entire sets of construction drawings. She has developed numerous project SWPPPs, performed weekly stormwater inspections and managed project accounts on SMARTs. In her current role, Melissa assists with overseeing on-call construction contracts, developing project procurement documents, and performing constructability reviews on construction drawings, specifications, and technical reports. Below are a few prominent projects where Melissa had a significant role.

Affordable Housing Communities
Century Villages at Cabrillo – Anchor Place and Social Hall
The Century Villages at Cabrillo Anchor Place and Social Hall project consists of converting existing, hazardous naval housing facilities into a four-story residential building for low income and veteran housing in Long Beach. Melissa was a project engineer and CAD designer that performed the demolition, grading, drainage, and utility design for the three acre site. Melissa performed the hydrologic and hydraulic analyses and prepared the hydrology study for the storm control and management system that contributes to the overall campus master drainage plan consisting of underground detention and above ground basins for 27 acres. Melissa also prepared the sewer capacity study to evaluate the project’s needs and the anticipated discharges through a sewer lift station into the public system. Melissa prepared the project SWPPP and performed weekly QSP Inspections throughout the duration of construction.

West LA Veteran Affairs Campus
The Veteran Affairs West Los Angeles Campus Master Plan will revitalize 1,200 units on 388 acres for homeless and at-risk veterans and their families. Melissa was part of the master plan team where she provided the civil utility feasibility study and coordinated with project stakeholders and community partners to determine the overall phasing plan of the redevelopment and associated utility upgrades. Melissa was the project engineer and CAD designer that provided the design documents and project specifications for the master plan’s first phase, Building 207. The project consisted of maintaining the existing exterior of the building and converting the interior from an office space to housing units. Melissa also performed the hydrologic and hydraulic analyses for Building 207 contributing to the overall multi-agency drainage master plan.

Port Facilities
Port of Long Beach – West Basin Approach Borrow Project
The Port of Long Beach’s West Basin Approach Borrow Project provided fill for the Middle Harbor Terminal, Phase 3 while improving navigational safety within the West Basin and other areas around the Harbor District.  Melissa was the design engineer and CAD designer during the construction support phase that assisted with attending weekly construction progress meetings, performing dredge quantity calculations and comparing data to Port and contractor data, survey renewals to verify demolition removals and achievement of designed dredge depths, submittal reviews, responses to RFIs, and coordination with Port stakeholders to ensure compliance with design intent.

Port of Long Beach – South Battey Exchange Building
The Pier E Battery Exchange Building will be the Middle Harbor Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) charging facility. As a Project Engineer, Melissa provided logistical coordination with Port stakeholders, the design team and members of adjacent Middle Harbor projects to perform grading, paving and utility design, and provided design documents and project specifications.

Port of Tacoma – Washington United Terminal Intermodal Yard Pavement Resurfacing Project
The Washington United Terminal Intermodal Yard project scope included resurfacing a portion of the terminal to eliminate a half mile stretch of ponding areas along each side of the intermodal rail loading yard tracks in addition to improving existing concrete utility structures. Melissa was the project engineer and CAD designer that provided design documents and construction support for the pavement repairs and structural upgrades to the adjacent concrete utility structures. The project construction schedule required a short working window to minimize Port operation impacts and to avoid inclement weather conditions.

Port of Seattle – SeaTac Airport – CCTV Upgrades Project
The Sea-Tac airport improvements included $13M upgrades to the CCTV and Video Management System to support security enhancements desired by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) as well as Port of Seattle Security, Port Police and Operations. Melissa provided project management services that included preparing cost estimates, commission authorizations, design coordination, schedule maintenance, and permitting and construction support while coordinating with Port of Seattle project stakeholders.

Port of Seattle – SeaTac Airport – Security Breach Control Exit Lanes
Melissa provided Project Management assistance for a $7M project to upgrade the exit lanes between the secure and non-secure areas of Sea-Tac Airport by installing automated exit lane breach control equipment at four airport terminal concourse security exits.  As a project manager, Melissa led the coordination of project activities between design consultants, stakeholders, and Port departments, in addition to assisting with developing a scope, schedule and budget following Port processes, and providing general team direction, coordination and progress reports.


Dear Evaluation Committee,

Having learned of the call for nominations for this year’s OC Outstanding YMF Officer Award, I am writing today to endorse a highly suitable candidate, Melissa Hilsabeck. In many ways exceeding the challenging requirements and expectations for the award, Ms. Hilsabeck’s ambition, intelligence, and accomplishments precisely complement the stellar community of past recipients and make her highly deserving of the honor and opportunity bestowed by ASCE. For the past six years, Ms. Hilsabeck has been involved in multiple ASCE committees, technical institutes and outreach programs with the goal of promoting and encouraging civil engineering in the community. To further support this nomination, I would be please to express in more detail my personal insights into Ms. Hilsabeck’s unique leadership and qualifications. Please feel free to contact me at any time.

Lisette Bice, PE, QSD, ENV SP
Project Manager, Ardurra
O: 949-387-2210
M: 562.208.3173

Like many of her ASCE OC YMF President predecessors, Melissa embodies numerous leadership qualities that I admire: she is poised, reliable, resilient, thoughtful, manages people and time well, and has good ideas.  She has been responsible for helping elevate people through ASCE, which I experienced personally.  During her time with the ASCE OC Mentorship Committee, which is when I first met Melissa, she encouraged me to become a mentor in the program.  Aside from the direct benefits of being involved in mentorship, the corresponding increased involvement in ASCE helped fuel my own advancement within the OC Branch.  Not surprisingly, I was thrilled to find out that Melissa would be my OC YMF counterpart during my term as OC Branch President.  Her support was and continues to be invaluable to me, particularly during such unusual terms as presidents.  My endorsement for this nomination is the least I could do to offer the same support in return. - Clint Isa, OC Branch Past-President

Contribution to the Profession:


- Past-President (2021-Present) - Advisory role to the current Executive Board and lead of the Awards and Recognition Program recognizing Younger Member Forum members for their contributions.  Active member of OC YMF planning committees of events and oversee the YMF Government Relations Committee, Programs Committee, Technical Institute Liaisons, PALs and Membership. This year there is a huge focus on member recruitment and retention, and how to adapt to the future engineer returning to a hybrid working environment.

- President (2020-2021) – Virtually led the OC YMF during the second year of the global pandemic with a focus on personal health and safety. Despite a reduction in membership and participation, OC YMF held over 60 events varying from social to technical with a Board of over 40 members. We successfully hosted the following annual programs virtually: the Branch/YMF Mentorship Program with 12 pairs, YMF/University Students Mentorship Program with 27 pairs and implemented a Meet the Mentors Series, the Pathways Academy which hosted 25 scholars, and the K-12 Popsicle Stick Bridge Competition which received 28 team submissions accounting for over 100 students. During this fiscal year I also organized the revitalization of the ASCE OC YMF logos, implemented a new initiative called YMF Technical Institute Liaisons, supported the PE Review’s new program: the FE Review Course, coordinated a secondary Mid-Year On-Boarding Seminar and supported the Construction Institute’s Women in Construction Week. With hosting virtual events, collaborating with external organizations became a focus due to the feasibility. We were able to host at least one event with APWA, SWE-LA, SWE-OC, PMI-OC and SHPE ranging from trivia to game nights and networking. Each of these new programs and initiatives help to push the innovation of OC YMF and promote new ideas and opportunities to offer our members. 

The new OC YMF logos were designed in collaboration with Marionne Lapitan, the current Communications and Social Media Chair. Six options were created and the OC YMF Board voted on the top two during a fall board meeting. Once the top two were chosen, I contacted representatives from Society to start the review process. After several months and one small revision, OC YMF was grated use of the new logos! The new logos were designed to complement the similar OC Branch logo which further unites ASCE OC as a whole.

To promote younger member technical programs, I implemented a new initiative, YMF Technical Institute Liaisons. Previously, institute liaisons just reported on upcoming meetings and events. These more solidified positions directly complement the six OC Branch technical institutes. Each YMF liaison becomes a representative of the institute board and hosts at least one technical event geared towards the younger member demographic. The inaugural liaisons consisted of Camille Le representing EWRI, Ali Zalgout representing T&DI, Raul Rodriguez representing the OC Sustainability Committee, Mathew Picardal representing SEI, Maryam Takla and Mario Martinez representing the Construction Institute, and myself representing COPRI. Three of the six institute liaisons were able to host events during the 2020-2021 fiscal year. EWRI x YMF hosted the LA River Master Plan Update, T&DI X YMF hosted A Career in Transportation Engineering: Future Challenges & Opportunities, and CI X YMF hosted Bridging the Gap from Design to Construction Vol. II Site Mobilization and Exploration. Each YMF Technical Institute Liaison dove head first into their new role and exceed expectations. In the coming fiscal year we are looking forward to bringing back the Speaker Series with a technical emphasis. 

The PE Review Committee is comprised of alumni from local universities and during a few university outreach events students expressed the desire to attend a review course for the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam. Putting their words into action, the PE Review team held a meeting with the YMF Eboard to access the feasibility with the existing PE Review Course, university schedules, and the level of effort needed to accomplish this task. Due to the pandemic, the event was proposed to be completely virtual which opened the opportunity to host students from all over the greater LA area. With that in mind, the PE Review team drafted a proposal and presented to the LA Section to gain their support in hopes of OC YMF hosting on behalf of the LA Section. With no hesitation, the LA Section endorsed the event and agreed to provide financial support if needed. The team worked diligently to gather professors and over 90 students registered for the FE Review Course. This is just another perfect success story that OC YMF provides its members limitless opportunities to advance the profession.

At the start of each fiscal year, OC YMF hosts an On-Boarding Seminar to provide an overview of the inner workings of OC YMF and our most utilized platforms. In previous years, this overview was part of our annual officer retreat, but due to our growing board, we decided to solely focus on member relations and goal setting at retreat. The seminar is geared towards newer officers, existing officers looking for a refresher, and recently the OC Branch officers have started to join as well since most of our platforms are jointly connected. The seminar touches on the history of ASCE Orange County, the board structures and their budgets, how to set up an Eventbrite, updating content on the website, requesting advertisement on social media, using Zoom for meetings and events, creating flyers and graphics on Canva and a few more. Throughout the year we noticed that we gained a few new officers so this year we decided to host a Mid-Year On-Boarding Seminar and it was well attended with most attendees from OC Branch. These On-Boarding Seminars are key to ASCE OC because we are equipping our members with the tools and resources they need to succeed.

Due to the success of our one-off Women in Construction event in 2020, the OC Construction Institute desired to celebrate the full week in 2021. The program was spearheaded by YMF members Maryam Takla, Mario Martinez and me. Each day engaged in a different theme including International Women’s Day & Make-Up Monday, Real Talk Tuesday which facilitated small group discussions followed by a panel of industry professionals, Women Empowerment Wednesday which hosted two career coaches presenting on mindfulness and goal setting and attendees had access to one-on-one coaching the following week, Tech Talk Thursday which featured two Bluebeam experts to provide tips and tricks on the program, and finally Stretch & Flex Friday which provided an hour long yoga session focused on channeling empowerment to conclude the long week. With over 125 attendees, WIC Week was proud to have 13 company sponsors, 13 industry speakers, and award 5 scholarships totaling $2,500. The first 50 attendees received a complementary swag gift including a cup, ear plugs, jewelry pieces, and event stickers all donated by our company sponsors. In addition, we raffled off 13 book recommendations provided by each speaker, one Bluebeam Lunch-n-Learn session, and held a grand prize raffle for a women’s safety vest. Attendees at varying levels in their careers were given the opportunity for personal growth, professional development and to unite a supportive community of men and women with a little bit of light-hearted fun.

At the 2020 YMF Mid-Year Check-Ins and the Officer retreat, members expressed that they would like to find a way to showcase their efforts in YMF. As a result, we established “Member Appreciation Stars” as part of our Member Appreciation Program. It is in an effort to celebrate the small and big successes of our members - both in ASCE and their personal lives! It ranges between scheduling a meeting, creating a flyer, taking the initiative on hosting an event, celebrating an engagement, and many more! Each star is collected during the monthly OC YMF board meeting where members give their fellow YMF members “stars” by typing it on a virtual post-it note on the MURAL platform. After each board meeting these stars are posted on our social media platforms so everyone can recognize our awesome members with us.

- Construction Institute (2019-Present) – Helped implement a new series called Bridging the Gap from Design to Construction in 2019 where we bring in industry experts from both the design and constructions phases to present on a particular project milestone. I collaborated with the Board to host a Women in Construction event in 2019 which turned into an annual Women in Construction Week in 2020. This year, I am helping to implement two new annual events: Construct Your Career and a Company Partnering Cornhole Competition. Construct Your Career will be a two-day event where university students will be able to learn about various local construction and trade companies and well as take a few office tours and site visits. The Company Partnering Cornhole Tournament will be an event to facilitate partnering between prime contractors and small, disadvantaged and/or minority owned contractors in a friendly, social environment.

- Website Committee (2019-Present) – Assisted with updating current committee information on the website, sending out email blasts and managing contacts on committee email forwarders. The website committee serves both the OC Branch and YMF so tasks were assigned to committee members on a monthly basis. In 2021 I took a more pivotal role in assisting the Chair, Marionne. As President, I realized that our website is the face of our organization and serves an important role in representing ASCE OC before potential members get involved. Our dedicated efforts were recognized this past year when the OC Branch was awarded the 2021 Outstanding Website Award. OC YMF just submitted for the younger member website and digital outreach award and we are confident our efforts will be recognized on the younger member platform as well.

- President-Elect (2019-2020) – Assisted Eboard with transitioning our organization from in-person to completely virtual due to the global pandemic. Supported the Programs Committee, Community Service and Internal and External Activities. A focus of External Activities was to engage and build relationships with other professional organizations in our local area. It was a slow start, but in the following fiscal year we are able to host several collaborative events with SWE, AWPA, and SHPE. Other responsibilities included assisting the OC YMF President with managing the organization and meeting with OC YMF Board members individually to provide feedback and listen to their concerns. These mid-year check-in served as great creative think tank sessions where YMF members would mention what they would like to see and we, Jazzy and I, would try to figure out how to innovate our current events or come up with a completely new program. During the pandemic our communications team focused on engaging with our members through various monthly social media competitions such as house plant collections, food and baking competitions and more.

- Programs Co-Chair (2018-2019) – Collaborated with the other co-chair to host soft skill workshops and professional development events throughout the year to complement the speaker series as highlighted below. Various events included a personal finance workshop, the 6th Street Viaduct Bridge tech tour, Building Science Laboratory tour, and the Port of Long Beach Harbor Cruise.

- Speaker Series Committee (2018-2019) – Assisted with creating the theme and content of the series, recruited speakers, served as a moderator during program, and coordinated event day logistics. The series theme was “The Full-Proof Engineer: Adapt & Thrive in Change” and included topics such as project engineer to project manager: preparing for the promotion, innovative technologies for a more sustainable world, engineering through economic cycle: thrive in any economy, and collaborating with cities: an integrative approach.

- Mentorship Program Co-Chair (2016-2017) – Led the mentorship program in advertising and collection mentor/mentee applications, hosting speed interviews, determining the mentor/mentee pairs, facilitating monthly committee meetings, planning events throughout the year and succession planning the program for the next fiscal year. This year the Mentorship Program was awarded the Western Regional Younger Member Council 2017 Outstanding Younger Member Group Project Award at the Multi Regional Leadership Conference. 

- Mentorship Program Committee (2015-2016) – Assisted with mentorship speed interviews, mentor/mentee pairing and planning events throughout the year. Mid way through the program I decided it would be a great opportunity to take over as Chair the following year so I worked closely with the current Chair, Mike Pierce, to slowly take on more responsibility and eventually planned the end of the year event.

ASCE OC Branch
- Professional Development Committee (2017-Present) – Assists with ASCE OC technical institutes that host continuing education events in addition to hosting professional development events throughout the year. Annually we assist the Geo-Institute with their continuing education event and recently partnered with the Project Management Institute-Orange County to host a half day project management seminar focused on project team performance. In collaboration with the Construction Institute, I helped to create the Bridging the Gap from Design to Construction Series utilizing the professional development resources on behalf of the committee.

- COPRI Liaison (2015-Present) – Responsible for announcing upcoming COPRI events and dinner presentations to the ASCE OC members. In addition, I help to facilitate meetings with OC Branch, LA Metropolitan Branch, and LA Section to discuss the continued success of COPRI. Originally, the LA Ports and Waterways Technical Group operated under LA Branch before the LA Section was formed. Then over the years they operated as COPRI LA without the support of a governing Section or Branch. The meetings over the last two years have helped COPRI understand their local resources and plan for future financial and institute success.

ASCE Region 9
- R9 Younger Member Council (2020-2021) - Member representing OC with all other Region 9 Younger Member Groups. Each month YMGs provided an update on their respective activities and reached out for resources on future events. During this time, I took the initiative with current Chair, Guy Hopes, to update the Region 9 YMF Best Practices Guide. The guide had not been updated for several years and did not include K-12, virtual or diversity events. I used OC K-12 as a resources to add K-12 best practices content in addition to the LA YMF for best practices on virtual and diversity events. We successfully submitted the Best Practices Guide for review and it should be placed on the website in the near future.

- R9 Younger Member Council Chair (2021-Present) – Facilitates monthly meetings with all Region 9 YMF Presidents to discuss best practices, upcoming and past events, and membership retention strategies. She also serves as the YMF liaison during the Region 9 Board of Governors Meetings and assists with carrying out the Region 9 Strategic Plan to the students and younger members.

ASCE Society
- Student Transition & Younger Member Retention Sub-Committee (2021-Present) – Attends meetings with representatives from across ASCE to discuss membership recruitment strategies and implementation. As a representative of ASCE OC, I am able to provide valuable insight on the initiatives that would for us locally and how other Sections and Branches can adapt to utilize the same resources.

- National Convention Technical Presentations Sub-Committee (2018-2019) – Attended the 2019 Miami Convention and oversaw two convention sessions. Responsibilities included attending an in-person meeting at ASCE headquarters to build the convention program from submitted abstracts, facilitating respective speaker content for the website and programs, speaker registration, presentation content, session moderation and on-site technical issues aid.

K-12 Outreach/Presentations
- 2019 Leo Carillo Elementary School Career Day Presentation - Presented to 4 classrooms of 3rd graders. This presentation was one of my favorites due to the age of the students, the responses they give and the light bulbs you see go on when you’re explaining a concept. I started each presentation asking the students what they did from the moment they woke up until they got to school and which parts they thought included engineering. Then I drew a diagram on the board of rain and asked the students to help fill in the gaps from when it falls out of the sky until it reaches the ocean. There were a lot of laughs and some students already knew all the answers!

- 2019 Ball Junior High Career Day - Presented to two classrooms of 7th grade students about the various civil engineering disciplines, college studies, licensure, and a few current project examples. The first class was an entire class of female students. At the beginning of the presentation I could tell they were she and hesitant to engage in the presentation content. After I started walking around and asking specific individuals questions the students started raising their hands and asking more questions. This class really stood out because there were a few students who stayed after to tell me that they never thought about engineering, but like the presentation and would consider a STEM career.

- 2019 Century Villages at Cabrillo Engineering Presentation - Joined two KPFF colleagues to present to an after school program at one of our projects in Long Beach, Century Villages and Cabrillo. The community is focused on 24 hour emergency housing and providing residence for veterans. The students that grow up in these communities come from varying minority backgrounds and the after school program helps facilitate a safe space for kids to engage in their school work. The presentation focused on showcasing the projects currently in design and under construction on the campus followed by sharing each of our individual backgrounds and upbringings.

- 2018 Trabuco Hills High School – Becoming an Engineer Presentation - Presented to 4 geometry and algebra classrooms about the various civil engineering disciplines, college studies, licensure, and a few current project examples.

- 2018 McBride High School Career Fair - Represented KPFF at a career fair booth where I talked to STEM high school students about civil engineering and the current projects I was involved in.

- 2017 Pacifica High School – Becoming an Engineering Presentation - Presented as an alumni to several Engineering Design Studio classes with students varying from sophomores to seniors. The presentation included the various civil engineering disciplines, college studies, licensure, and a few current project examples.

- 2016, 2017 ASCE OC YMF Popsicle Bridge Competition Volunteer - Helped lead day of student workshops and graded technical presentations at the Union Station and ARTIC events.

University Outreach/Presentations
- 2021 ASCE OC YMF Meet the Mentors Series, Land Development Panel - I was the project showcase presenter on a medical plaza in Mission Viejo. I took the students through important project milestones and design best practices for hydrology, hydraulics, utilities and grading. After the presentation, the MC directed questions to myself and three other land development panelists which generated good conversations with the students.

- 2019, 2021 ASCE OC YMF University Outreach Mock Interview Workshop - Collaborated with students to maximize their undergraduate experience on their resumes and to create talking points to their advantage during their interviews.

- 2019 Cal Poly Pomona Engineering Career Fair - Represented KPFF with my LA Office counterpart to review student resumes, talk about their current involvements and future aspirations.

- 2019 UCI HiTech Career Fair - Represented KPFF with my Irvine Office counterpart to review student resumes, talk about their current involvements and future aspirations.

- 2019, 2020 Cal Poly Pomona ASCE Professional Development Resume Workshop - Collaborated with students to maximize their undergraduate experience on their resumes and to create talking points to their advantage during their interviews.

- 2017, 2018 Cal Poly Pomona ASCE Student Chapter Engineering Presentation - Attended two general body meetings with KPFF representatives to share my involvement on current projects and younger engineer transition experience as an alumni.


Melissa naturally strives for helping her communities to varying degrees. She is passionate about assisting the future generation of leaders in succeeding in their civil engineering careers through mentorship, K-12 and university outreach. She is also passionate about dedicating her time beyond ASCE and STEM to the Platelet Disorder Support Association. Melissa’s notable achievements to support her local communities include the following:

Community Service
- 2021, 2020 September Coastal Clean-Up Day - Participated in the national clean up days at Huntington Beach in 2020 and at the Newport Back Bay in 2021. In 2020, it was a solo effort due to the pandemic, but I was able to gather a trash bags worth of items - mostly plastics and Styrofoam pieces. In 2021, OC YMF met up with OC Parks and OC university students. Since the Back Bay is the last defense to open water there were a lot more larger items such as tires, golf balls, plastic bags, straws and snack wrappers. Collectively OC YMF was able to contribute at least 3 large trash bags full of items.

- 2019 Rebuilding Together Seattle - Volunteered with KPFF at a local Seattle woman’s home to replace the second story deck, reinforce the outside stairs, remove over grown vegetation, repaint the interior house rooms, resurface the inside stairs lead down to the den where the woman could have a small workshop for local community members, replaced the caulking in the bathrooms and replaced damaged furniture with new furniture.

- 2018 Windemere Summer Splash at Green Lake Corporate Cup Regatta - Volunteered with KPFF as a rowing participant to compete against other firms in the local Seattle area. Funds raised directly impacted student after school programs at the Green Lake Rowing Center.

Platelet Disorder Support Association
- Board of Directors (2019-Present) – Attend quarterly Board Meetings for both the US and Canada Board of Directors to review the organization’s programs, corporate sponsors, budget and financials, scholarships, and grants. On behalf of the Board, Melissa presented to a pharmaceutical sponsor at their 2020 quarterly sales meeting on how their contributions directly benefit members of the PDSA community.

- Local Support Group Facilitator (2012 – Present) – Host quarterly meetings at CHOC hospital for ITP patients, caregivers, family members and friends. Occasionally, we will have a local hematologist from PDSA’s Medical Board of Advisors join to answer questions and provide an update on the latest ITP treatment protocols and research. I also host annual 5k walks to raise funds and awareness for ITP.

- Annual Conference Ambassador (2019-Present) – Paired with first time attendees to the annual ITP Conference serving as their guide throughout the weekend of in-depth autoimmune disease information, treatment options, latest research publications and access to world renowned specialists.

Since being diagnosed with Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP) in 2010, Melissa has become very involved with the PDSA. She is the youngest member to ever serve on PDSA’s Board of Directors at the age of 28. However, her age belies her many accomplishments and years of service to PDSA and the ITP community. Melissa has attended every ITP conference since 2011, was an inaugural member of the teen program, and is a conference ambassador. It was Melissa’s idea to institute a program for children at the conference, so she co-founded the Kids Kamp and served as its co-facilitator the first three years. In addition, Melissa started the Orange County, CA ITP Support Group and still serves as its facilitator jointly with three other women. She also established the first Orange County walk/run in 2011 and has hosted a total of 9 annual events raising over $50,000 for PDSA programs and research which has made Melissa a Circle of Hope member for the past seven years.

Suggested Award Summary:

Melissa Hilsabeck, EIT is a Capital Projects Coordinator in the Construction Management Division at the Port of Long Beach. She has over six years of experience in civil engineering design including grading, utilities, dredging activities, and construction administration and management. Her diverse project experience includes maritime facilities, mixed-use residential and commercial spaces, parks and recreational trails, affordable housing, healthcare buildings and educational campuses. In her current role, Melissa assists with overseeing on-call construction contracts, developing project procurement documents, and performing constructability reviews on construction drawings, specifications, and technical reports.

Melissa has consistently demonstrated her passion and dedication to advancing ASCE and the civil engineering profession by her involvement in local, regional and national ASCE activities. She began her engagement in ASCE at Cal Poly Pomona with the Concrete Canoe Team and served as the CPP Student Chapter Community Service Chair. After graduating, she joined OC YMF as part of the Mentorship Program Committee. Over the next six years, Melissa held multiple positions leading up to her current role as the Past-President in which she serves as in an advisor to the current Executive Board and leads the YMF Awards and Recognition Program highlighting members for their contributions. She has volunteered in numerous community and professional activities to educate, promote and encourage the values of ASCE. In addition, Melissa has served on the OC Branch Professional Development Committee, Construction Institute and as the COPRI Liaison for several years. Nationally, Melissa served on the National Convention Technical Presentations Sub-Committee and currently sits on the Student Transition and Younger Member Retention Committee. She has continued to further her reach by becoming the current Region 9 Younger Member Council Chair to provide and innovate available resources to YMFs from Region 9 leadership. Melissa embodies what it means to be an outstanding leader within ASCE and beyond.

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