Melissa Free is Director of New Ventures at Southern Company, where she focuses on innovative technology commercialization and strategic business development. Melissa provides direction for Southern’s investment in Energy Impact Partners (EIP) and works to deliver strategic tech solutions to Southern’s operating companies and subsidiaries. She is an operations board member for Engage, a corporate venture platform in the Southeast, and serves as a mentor to various other venture funds across Southern’s footprint.
Prior to this role, Melissa led the Results Delivery Organization for Georgia Power Company, where she focused on delivering business transformation results, deploying Agile ways of working to engage employees in achieving financial targets and igniting an innovative culture. Melissa has held various roles at Southern including HR Manager, Chief of Staff to CHRO, and project lead for multiple re-organizations and M&A activities, including nuclear and gas. Melissa started her career at International Paper in Human Resources, where she led various global project teams and M&A integration efforts, and supported international labor negotiations.
Melissa holds a B.S. degree in Psychology and Business Administration from Berry College in Rome, Georgia.