Melissa O'Neil


Melissa O'Neil

Age: 39

Title: CEO, Central Iowa Shelter & Services

Family: Husband Jeremy O’Neil; daughter Katelyn, son Gerald Patrick

A reason why she is a Forty: Her work to fight homelessness in Des Moines includes development of 24 affordable apartments.

What drives her: When I was a young student athlete in eastern Iowa, I grew up watching the University of Iowa Women’s basketball program. Every decision I made was to become a college women’s basketball coach. While pursuing my dream I quickly realized it wasn’t the game that drew me to the hardwood, it was about finding and helping student-athletes from all across the country reach their dreams, developing young women as leaders and about serving others.

An interesting fact about O’Neil: She is in the Clarion University sports hall of fame for basketball and track.