Outside the Boardroom: Nina Melker
On September 24, 2018, Nina D. Melker of Hamilton was officially sworn in to office as a Mercer County Freeholder, but her commitment to public service and the residents of Mercer County began long before being elected Freeholder.
“My first job out of college was as a bank teller. It was tough at first, but I always tried to show enthusiasm and ask a lot of questions,” Nina said. “I believe one of the main reasons I have been promoted to where I am now is because I have learned the industry from every level.”
In July of 2018, then Freeholder Anthony Verrelli was selected to serve in the New Jersey General Assembly seat formerly held by current City of Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora, which opened the door to a Mercer County Convention where Nina was selected to serve as Freeholder.
Since becoming a Freeholder, Nina has hit the ground running by making it a point to speak to constituents from each county’s municipalities while prioritizing outreach and a rapid response rate from her constituent service office.
“As with anything there has been a learning curve, but I have and will continue to get myself educated on all the workings of Mercer County Government,” Nina said. “To me the most important part of this position is making sure you make yourself available to the constituents of Mercer County, which is why I have prioritized getting out in the community and speaking to as many residents as possible.”
A typical day for Nina starts with an 8 a.m. meeting with one of the many community organizations she is involved in, such as the Hamilton Education Foundation, Kidsbridge, Robert Wood Johnson Barnabas Foundation and Ryan’s Quest. From there it’s time to head to Berkshire Bank where she works as a private banker, assisting clients with personalized services for all their banking needs as well as creating a multi-million-dollar lending portfolio consisting of small-business loans.
While Nina maintains a busy schedule, she always makes time for her family, spending her days off with her husband of 34 years, Michael, and their two daughters, Jillian, 31, and Jennifer, 28, as well as her two granddaughters, Gianna, 12, and Isabella, 9, who also live in Mercer County. Jillian is a Commercial Lines Account Manager for Nottingham Insurance, while Jennifer is a Physical Education and Health Teacher at Crockett Middle School in Hamilton. Jennifer also is the Head Softball Coach at Steinert High School in Hamilton.
“I’ve learned to juggle all aspects of my life and I thrive on being busy and have learned to manage and prioritize my life,” Nina said.
It’s never a dull moment. From board meetings to family outings, the days may be long, but this Freeholder wouldn’t have it any other way.