Tallahassee Law Firm

Melissa Ward

Director of Planning & Development

Melissa is the Director of Planning & Development in the firm’s Santa Rosa Beach office. She is a nationally certified planner with the American Planning Association and a member of American Institute of Certified Planners. Melissa has a bachelor’s degree in project management and over 20 years’ experience in the planning profession.

Melissa has vast experience working with regulatory agencies, so as the firm’s Director of Planning & Development she assists clients by navigating land rules and regulations from the project’s beginning and through final permitting. Melissa’s lengthy career includes working on large scale planned developments, rezoning issues, code variances, review and analysis of development rights and land use potential before purchase, community meetings and consensus building, and preparing competent, substantial evidence for the public hearings.

Melissa has served as the Chair of the Emerald Coast Section of the Florida Chapter of the American Planning Association, President of the Rotary Club of South Walton County, and the Board of Walton County Affordable Housing Advisory Committee.

Practice Areas

Land Planning & Development


  • Northwest Florida State College, Bachelors in Applied Science, Project Management

Bar and court admissions and licenses

  • Nationally Certified Planner, American Institute of Certified Planners

Professional Associations

  • American Planning Association, Member
  • Emerald Coast Section Chair of the Florida Chapter of the American Planning Association
  • Congress of New Urbanism, Member
  • Rotary Club of South Walton Count, President
  • Walton County Affordable Housing Advisory Committee, Board Member