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Melissa Proffitt is the office managing partner of the Indianapolis Office of the Firm, former Managing Partner of the Firm, chairs the Food & Agribusiness Group, co-chairs the Employee Benefits Group, chairs the Energy Group, and is responsible for business development initiatives for the Firm. She concentrates her practice in employee benefits with a focus on welfare benefit plans and qualified plans. She counsels regional and international clients on benefit issues, including plan formation and design.
Her benefit practice, as co-chair of the Employee Benefits Group, is concentrated in employee benefits on both regional and international levels. Her primary focus includes, but is not limited to, guidance in the design and formation of qualified pension and welfare benefit plans; compliance with the new health care reform act (PPACA); general consulting on benefit matters; administrative and compliance benefit advice; benefit issues involved in acquisitions and mergers; implementation of welfare benefit plans including cafeteria plans, health plans, and VEBAs; tax and benefit issues regarding independent contractors; issues regarding plan qualification, private letter rulings and plan terminations; design and implementation of non-qualified employee plans such as funded and unfunded deferred compensation agreements and supplemental retirement plans; communication issues; plan audits; and Medicare coordination.
As founder and chair of the Energy Group, Melissa has represented energy, utility and pipeline companies including Citizens Energy Group, Indianapolis Power & Light Company, Energy Systems Group, Inc. and Vectren Corporation with many of their legal needs. Specifically, Melissa represents the energy industry with regard to performance contracting, human resources, legislative, benefit, and labor and employment issues.
Her practice as founder and chair of the Agribusiness Group involves representation of numerous agriculture-related clients with regard to all legal needs. She is involved in economic development initiatives and coordinates with state and federal agencies focused on agricultural and energy initiatives. She is active in the Indiana Governor's and Lieutenant Governor's agricultural trade missions and initiatives.
Melissa is an accomplished attorney and community leader. She is active in politics and the Republican party, from the community to a national level. She is often invited to share her knowledge at speaking events for a wide variety of professional organizations and has been recognized in a number of business journals and community publications as an outstanding leader and attorney. Melissa also participates on the boards of many community organizations and volunteers her time for causes supporting economic development, diversity, and women's issues.
Melissa holds a Bachelor of Arts, with distinction, from Indiana University-Bloomington, where she was the recipient of a merit scholarship and consistently made the Dean's List, graduating in 1982. She received her juris doctor in 1985 from the Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis, cum laude. Melissa is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Eta Sigma, and Alpha Lambda Delta honorary fraternities.