for Village Trustee
Melisa was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico in June of 1982. She attended school at Colegio Puertorriqueño de Niñas, a private, all-girls preparatory school in Guaynabo, PR, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a class ranking of 5/49. In 1999, she participated in the Model UN competition in Washington, D.C., where she obtained an "Outstanding Delegate" medal. She has a bachelor’s degree in Communications with a Major in Public Relations from the University of Puerto Rico, where she also graduated with Honors, being admitted as an "Early Admission" student and member of the Dean’s List due to her excellent GPA. Melisa obtained her undergraduate degree in 3 years due to her AP Honors courses and taking on 21 credits per semester, including summers.
In August 2003, Melisa was admitted to the School of Law of the University of Puerto Rico, where she obtained her Juris Doctor in December 2007. She was a member of the school’s law review. During her second year of law school, Melisa began working for a law firm in San Juan, PR, where she eventually was offered a full-time job upon her graduation. After working in the Litigation Departments of various big firms in Puerto Rico, Melisa joined a local franchise of Subway Restaurants as their In-House Counsel, where she oversaw the company's legal department and closely worked with upper management. During that time, she opened her own private practice specializing in litigation in different matters, including family law, education law, labor and employment, immigration and general civil litigation and consulting, before administrative agencies such as the EEOC and before state and federal courts. She served as Board Member in various advocacy organizations, including for children with special needs.
On September 29, 2017, Melisa moved with her sister to Bolingbrook, Illinois, after Hurricane Maria devastated the island of Puerto Rico and her family was displaced. Shortly thereafter, she was admitted to practice law in Illinois and began working for Giamanco Law Partners in Bolingbrook, IL, where she currently works, specializing in Family Law and Labor and Employment. She is a certified mediator and a Guardian ad Litem (GAL). She is a member of the Board of Directors of Crime Stoppers in Bolingbrook and a volunteer attorney for Prairie Legal Services, who serve self-represented litigants who cannot afford an attorney. She serves on the Judicial Evaluation Committee of the Puerto Rican Bar Association of Illinois and is a member of the Will County Bar Association, Guardian ad Litem Committee, among other professional organizations.
Melisa is the youngest of 2 daughters and she is married to Juan Rodriguez. Together, they have 2 boys, Diego and Dylan who are 13 and 11 years old. She is fully bilingual (Spanish and English) and is currently licensed to practice law in Puerto Rico, Illinois and in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. On her spare time, Melisa enjoys reading and playing tennis.