Melanie Masson

Development Director

“CWB draws people interested in maritime history, in artistry and woodwork, and in boat-handling skills around the common theme of getting out on the water. That broad scope brings so many fascinating people to CWB across staff, volunteers, and visitors. I really enjoy working with such a down-to-earth crew, and I love serving a mission that prioritizes creating access to the kind of maritime opportunities I craved in my youth.”

Melanie Masson  is wearing a ball gown and gives a coworker a high five
Melanie Masson squeezes a lemon over a recipe she is preparing in a kitchen

Melanie grew up in the southeast watching Jacques Cousteau on television and dreaming of being an oceanographer. Coming from a long lineage of sailors and boatbuilders but having no access to the water, she focused on creative pursuits, graduating from Winthrop University with a BA in English and Art. Melanie worked in commercial photography for over a decade on both the east and west coasts in roles ranging from set support to administration and analyst work, while exhibiting her own photography and facilitating community arts events in her free time. In 2015 she pivoted to development work in the museum sector, managing membership for the Frye Art Museum and later development for Seattle Children’s Museum while earning a certificate in Museum Studies from the University of Washington. She began learning to sail on Shilshole Bay in April 2019 and quickly took up racing, then joined the CWB staff 3 months later – bringing together her love for the museum field and the water. When she’s not at CWB or sailing, Melanie is usually reading, hiking, singing at full volume, experimenting in the kitchen, or wielding a camera.

What’s your favorite tool?

“The camera, for sure. I’m very visual and driven to document the moment. There’s no better tool for capturing that.”

Melanie Masson is sailing on a sailboat
Melanie Masson sits in front of a window display of her photography exhibit