Melanie K.

If you don't look back, you will never know how far you've come
Congratulations to Melanie, our newest Viva Babe! While volunteering at a pickleball tournament, Melanie was shocked when her wife, stepson, two best friends, brother-in-law, and sister appeared out of nowhere to present her with the Viva Babe Award. Her sister, Kalikoweo, shared the reasons behind her nomination, highlighting Melanie's positive influence on everyone around her.

Melanie is a trailblazer. After 19 years of dedicated service, she became the first female Fire Captain in the Hawaii County Fire Department. She thrives on continuous improvement, learning something every day, and setting an example for younger firefighters. As she says, being the first doesn't mean being the last. Despite it being a demanding career, the rewards are immeasurable.
Kalikoweo, her nominator, describes Melanie as an outstanding leader who prioritizes others' needs. As a captain, Melanie often works as a medic to help with the shortage of ambulance staff. She sacrifices time with family to serve her community and is an instructor at the local Community College.

Her biggest inspiration was her dad, who passed away when she was 16. His legacy of gratitude and positivity profoundly influenced her life perspective. Living in the same town she grew up in, people recognize her last name and remember her father's impact. Melanie strives to carry his legacy by being a light to others, whether holding a door, smiling, or sharing kindness.

Melanie's life mantra is "If you don't look back, you will never know how far you've come." Reflecting on the past helps her acknowledge the journey and appreciate the building blocks of her character. She is grateful for both the good and challenging times.

Melanie refills her cup by playing pickleball, investing time in causes she is passionate about, enjoying the outdoors, and traveling with her wife. Congratulations on your ridiculously awesome impact as a leader and community advocate, Melanie!