MIAMI SPRINGS, FL – Curtiss Mansion, Inc. (CMI), the not-for-profit organization that has restored and operates the historic Glenn Curtiss Mansion on behalf of its owner, the City of Miami Springs, has announced the selection of Melinda Jester as its new Executive Director.  Melinda will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of founding Executive Director JoEllen Morgan Phillips.

“We are very pleased to announce this appointment,” reported Richard Wheeler, CMI Board President.  “Melinda brings experience and creativity to the Mansion, and a deep sense of commitment to our ongoing restoration initiatives and educational mission.”

A Miami Springs Senior High School alumna and graduate of Catawba College, Melinda’s resume includes over 25 years of executive planning, administration, production, communications and marketing experience in the film and video industry. Melinda counts among her past clients Cher, President George W. Bush, FSN Florida/Sun Sports, Univision, Telemundo, the Discovery Channel, the Super Bowl, Miss USA Pageants, Good Morning America, NASCAR and ESPN.    She has also served as Production Manager, Production Coordinator, Crew Coordinator, Logistics Producer, Assistant Director or Script Supervisor for a lengthy list of commercial and corporate clients, television programs and feature films.  These diverse roles underscore her versatility and managerial, budgetary and organizational skills, all of which hold her in good stead in this new position.

“I look forward to serving the Mansion in this capacity, because the Mansion means a great deal to me and my family,” remarks Melinda.  “My father actually lived on the grounds of the Mansion (known then as the Villas), and met and courted my mother there. Some of my fondest early memories were coming here after church and having breakfast in the living room area, then running around the courtyard chasing flamingos and ducks. I thought it was the most beautiful place on earth.”  Regarding her plans for the future of the Mansion, Melinda says “The hard work and passion of many who have come before me, most notably JoEllen Phillips, have enabled me to be in a position to take it to the next level with improved marketing and new corporate, film/video and tourism business. We are a wonderful site for weddings and special events, but our venue has much greater educational, historical and cultural enrichment potential, all of which come into play as we focus on sustainability.” She urges all community members to take advantage of the many public events held at the mansion and to help build awareness county-wide.  “My personal goal,” she states, “is that every Miamian knows who Glenn Curtiss was. Let’s make “the fastest man on earth” a household name!”

For further information or detailed directions to the venue, call 305.869.5180 or visit