Impact Story

Champion for Girls! Melissa Traxler


Melissa is the C.E.O at Pineapple Willy’s Inc. which oversees Pineapple Willy’s, The Pier Bar, Wicked Wheel & The Barn, and has been with the company for 23 years.

Melissa fell in love with Girls Inc. of Bay County from the moment she walked in the doors to our main center to sign her daughter up.  She was immediately touched by all of the happy faces and the pro-girl environment.  Our mission to inspire all girls to be strong, smart and bold mirrored Melissa’s own aspirations for her daughter, Chloe.  Though Melissa knew from this very first introduction what Girls Inc. meant to her and her family, it wasn’t until hearing Executive Director, Niki Kelly, speak at one of our Breakfast of Champions! events that Melissa truly understood what Girls Inc. meant to the whole community.  She says, “Niki said that the two hours these girls are at Girls Inc. may be the safest two hours they have for their entire day and that really resonated with me.  It really hit me how important this place is.  It’s so much more than an after school program.”  Melissa has been a proud Champion for Girls ever since.

Melissa believes in giving back to the community in whatever way you can.  She has watched Eric and Bill Buskell, the owners of Pineapple Willy’s Inc., as they held fundraisers and donated money, time and materials to organizations all over our area.  That spirit of giving is clearly alive and well in Melissa as well.  In her words, “Giving back is the most important thing you can do.  I know what a difference Girls Inc. makes in the lives of girls and I am proud to be a Champion for them.”

Thank you so much Melissa Traxler!  You are a Champion in more ways than one and we are so proud to have you in our corner!