Children’s Heart Foundation is committed to making a difference in the lives of heart families through emotional, educational and financial support to inspire a higher quality of life for all.
Melissa Cipriano joined Children’s Heart Foundation, as their Executive Director in July of 2019. With more than 20 years combined experience in nonprofit leadership and community relations, Melissa’s success is attributed to her passion for helping people in need, especially children. Prior to joining Children’s Heart Foundation, Melissa served as the Executive Director for Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation. During her 12-year tenure, her notable achievements included receiving the largest grant in the history of the agency, launched the “40 Faces of Childhood Cancer” campaign in honor of the agency’s 40th Anniversary, and established a partnership with The National Hemophilia Foundation, Nevada Chapter, to collaborate on both agency’s camp programs. In addition, Melissa lead the first-ever, shineGOLD, Childhood Cancer Awareness Campaign in Las Vegas. This initiative was recognized by Las Vegas' landmarks including: the iconic Welcome to Las Vegas sign, the Linq’s High Roller, Downtown Summerlin, Fremont Street Experience and Las Vegas City Hall as they illuminated gold to raise awareness for childhood cancer.
Previously, Melissa was the Community Affairs Director at KLAS-TV Channel 8 where she was responsible for all community-based projects that the station supported. One of her favorite areas was working closely with a variety of nonprofit organizations, which allowed her to make recommendations for funding on behalf of the station. During her eight years at KLAS, Melissa was actively involved with United Way’s Success by 6 Initiative, Susan G. Komen Foundation, and the I Have A Dream Foundation, The Public Education Foundation Clark County Reads program, Teacher Exchange and many others. She was also a board member for Kids Voting of Greater Las Vegas.
Melissa is a proud member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and a 2011 graduate of Leadership Las Vegas.
Jill is an experienced non-profit executive who previously served as Campaign Specialist for Light the Night at Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, raising over $400,000 annually. At LLS, she was responsible for fundraising, special events, organization communications and helping to further the mission through campaign development. At Children's Heart Foundation, Jill serves as the Development Manager handling the annual Walk with the Heart of a Child, Smart Heart Scholarship Program and the Holiday Adopt of Family program. As she wears many hats within the organization, she has exceeded fundraising goals, cultivated community partnerships, secured sponsorships and played an integral role in growing quality of life programming, while advancing Children's Heart Foundation's initiatives.
When asked about her favorite part of working at Children's Heart Foundation, Jill said: "It's really inspiring to see the impact the organization has on families and makes me a better person!"