Chair of the Board
All-Island Selectman appointee since 2010
Melissa is the program director for the Martha’s Vineyard Vision Fellowship, a foundation that is dedicated to encouraging a healthy and vibrant Vineyard future by investing in promising individuals who demonstrate a commitment to the Island and to the ideals of sustainability. From 1990 until 1996, Melissa practiced business law with the Philadelphia law firms of Drinker, Biddle & Reath and Duane, Morris & Heckscher. Then, and until 2013, she served as counsel for the Edgartown-based law firm of Reynolds, Rappaport, Kaplan & Hackney, LLC.
Melissa graduated summa cum laude from Syracuse University in 1986 with a dual degree in history and magazine journalism. She earned her law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1990, where she was an H. Clayton Louderback Legal Writing Fellow.
Melissa grew up near Pittsburgh, PA, and spent her summer vacations on Ocracoke Island, off the coast of North Carolina, where she first realized her affinity for islands. She and her husband, Fain, who had spent his childhood summers on the Vineyard, were married here in 1994. Two years later, shortly after they’d had their first child, they moved here full-time.
Ms. Hackney served as a Trustee for the West Tisbury Free Public Library from 2009 through 2014. She also served as a Director of Vineyard Youth Tennis, which provides free tennis instruction to Vineyard Children from 2006 until 2015. In addition, she has served previously on the boards of the Vineyard Montessori School, where she also served as chair of the board for two years, the Vineyard Conservation Society and the YMCA of Martha’s Vineyard.
Ms. Hackney has lived on Martha’s Vineyard since 1996. She recently moved back to Vineyard Haven, after fourteen years in West Tisbury. She has two daughters and spends her spare time travelling, reading, hiking, playing tennis, cooking, kayaking, biking and doing yoga.