The South Florida community lost a dynamic leader when Melissa Aiello, CEO of Junior Achievement, passed away this weekend. Her commitment to the organization was unmatched and she truly touched the life of every person she came to know.

I had the good fortune of serving on her board for six years, and I witnessed firsthand how much she loved her job. In fact, she lived her job. JA is designed to inspire and that was Melissa. An inspiration, and motivator – a force to be reckoned with.

She made Junior Achievement of South Florida the powerful engine that it is today, giving children insight into the world of business and entrepreneurship. More importantly, she gave the community a wonderful source of pride.

She wasn’t afraid to shed a tear when someone’s goodness moved her. She wasn’t afraid to cheer for the Seminoles in a room full of Gators. She wasn’t afraid to ask for the world – she often got it.

Her passing is a tragedy. Her legacy is amazing.

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