Melissa Thompson moved to Bay County from her hometown of Niceville, Florida in 1997. She and her husband, Sven, raised their two children in Panama City. Together, they own and manage E-file America, Inc., a tax preparation business with locations in Panama City and Marianna. Her other work background includes banking, insurance and the U.S. House of Representatives.
In 2011, U.S. Representative Steve Southerland tapped Ms. Thompson to be his Deputy District Director, overseeing the seven western counties of Florida's 2nd Congressional District. In that roll, she took a keen interest in U.S. fisheries management. On behalf of Representative Southerland, Ms. Thompson worked to prevent the nation's recreational fishing sector from becoming privatized.
Attending five Gulf Council and FWC meetings annually, along with various AP committee meetings, Ms. Thompson learned a great deal about fisheries management and the value of the industry to coastal counties. As a private citizen, she helps groups that want to grow the fishery and increase access for recreational fishers.