The Hatcher Group Adds Two Seasoned Communicators to Growing Team

January 04, 2022

New hires will oversee the firm’s Education, Equity and Opportunity portfolios


January 4, 2022

Media Contact: Michael Mershon,

BETHESDA, Md., January 4, 2022 — The Hatcher Group, an integrated marketing and communications firm, today announced the addition of two seasoned professionals to oversee its Education and Equity and Opportunity sectors.

Melissa Mellor, former Senior Director of Communications for America’s Promise Alliance, will oversee Hatcher’s PreK–12 and higher education clients. Derek Turner, who most recently was Chief of Engagement, Innovation, and Operations for Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), will oversee Equity and Opportunity projects.

“Adding such stellar talent to our growing team is an inspiring start to the new year,” said Hatcher Partner Amy Buckley. “Clients are going to love working with Melissa and Derek.”

At America’s Promise, Mellor led communications for several initiatives, including GradNation and How Learning Happens. She helped maximize the impact of the organization’s research and amplify youth experiences and perspectives on topics ranging from learning about racism to the pandemic’s effects on education and well-being.

Previously, she led communications for the Aspen Institute National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development, including the release of the Commission’s final report, A Nation at Hope. She also managed government relations outreach at the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) and held positions at the Council of Chief State School Officers and Education Week.

“I experienced the high quality of Hatcher’s work as a client,” said Mellor. “I learned just how much it cares about all of its clients, and how true it is to supporting mission-driven campaigns and projects. I am excited to help Hatcher continue this tradition of genuine service and partnership to help clients meet their goals.”

Turner is a communications strategist with 20 years of experience working at the intersection of communications, equity, and innovation. At MCPS, Turner led strategic communications and stakeholder outreach; managed media and crisis responses; and advised the Superintendent and Board of Education in Maryland’s largest school district.

Previously, Turner was director of communications for the Kapor Center for Social Impact and the NAACP. He developed communications campaigns to highlight civil rights and social justice issues, including climate change, criminal justice reform, marriage equality, and unconscious bias in hiring.

“I am excited to join a firm that has an unwavering commitment to diversity and equity as a business priority and as a guiding principle for its hiring and culture,” said Turner. “I look forward to applying my knowledge, skills, and experience to support Hatcher’s clients.”

Hatcher Partner Amy Fahnestock added, “Melissa and Derek will bring deep experience, strategic thinking, and great personalities to their projects. Their addition is a real win for Hatcher and our clients.”

The Hatcher Group is a full-service communications and marketing firm headquartered in the D.C. metropolitan area. Hatcher is a Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) and a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE). For over 20 years, we have developed and executed effective communications strategies for mission-driven organizations. We are proudly committed to building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace. Powered by Purpose.