TEDx Battenkill 2015 Speaker: Meet Melissa Levis – The Vigilante of Family and The Midlife-Renaissance


Melissa Levis is a family innkeeper at The Wilburton Inn in Manchester, VT which her family has owned and run for 28 years.

Prior to joining the family business, Melissa was an award-winning songwriter, theatre producer, and entertainer in New York City. Melissa performed with her band, Moey’s Music Party, for thousands of New York City tots at the Public Library, Tribeca Film Festival, Bloomingdale’s, FAO Schwarz and Central Park. Melissa wrote two Off-Broadway musicals and is currently collaborating with an 8-time Tony Award winning producer on a new family musical based on her award winning DVD, “Happily Ever Moey: A Fairy Tale Lark in Central Park.”

Melissa’s three children’s CDs have won national recognition including the Parents’ Choice Gold Award. She created a business writing and performing Custom Songs for special events. She has written songs for Prime Ministers, Presidential Hopefuls, Movie Stars, Philanthropists, Socialites and CEOs. And now she writes songs for Vermont and the Wilburton Inn. As an entrepreneurial artist, Melissa has been profiled in The New York Times, The New York Post, The New York Observer, and Harper’s Bazaar. She is a blogger for The Huffington Post and a graduate of Pine Cobble School, Middlesex School, and Brown University. She received an MFA in Musical Theatre Writing from New York University. She is proud to be a GRAMMY voter.

TEDxBattenkill 2015 Talk Summary
One day, after 20 years as a New York City songwriter, I stopped in my tracks: I realized that I accomplished enough. I am enough, and I stepped off the treadmill. I left my marriage, my apartment and my career and I chose to come home, to Manchester, Vermont. Four days later, we discovered our mom had advanced cancer. Her sudden death brought all four of us siblings home to run our family inn. Our inn is an extension of our family. We encourage our guests to feel comfortable being themselves because we are so completely comfortable being ourselves. We are a kooky Jewish version of Modern Family and You Can’t Take it With You. We work, play, and live together – or in a 3-mile radius. Guests say it’s healing to see us together. We have changed our inn to specialize in being a place of family and family reunions. I want to encourage the audience to make bold choices, experience their own mid-life renaissance and create a wonderful new second act.

I am a vigilante of family connection and joy and personal self-expression. I believe it is very important to encourage other people to have the confidence to change their lives for any reason and to reconnect to their childhood joy.

Come see Melissa and the rest of our Vigilantes and get inspired with fresh, thought-provoking ideas.

Tickets are available (limited seating!) here for the October 3, 2015 event.

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