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MAIA Team Member Spotlight: Melissa Torres

maia supershow Jun 18, 2019

If you're reading this blog, chances are, you're familiar with MAIA, or the Martial Arts Industry Association. But just because you know MAIA as an organization, you may not be familiar with all the individual team members. They do an amazing job, and are just as passionate about the work they do as you are. We're making this series of blog posts to shine the light on our MAIA team members and the amazing work they do! 

Melissa Torres is MAIA’s Division Manage. You’ve read her MAIA Report column in MASuccess, but you might not know just how much else she does for MAIA and the school owners who rely on MAIA. A multi-time marathoner, Melissa understands the importance of hard work towards goals, and she’s committed to helping school owners work achieve theirs!


What is your job at MAIA?

I’m the MAIA Division Manager. I work hand-in-hand with Frank Silverman and Mike Metzger on ways we can reach more school owners with coaching and programs to help them be successful. I work out of the Century/MAIA headquarters in Oklahoma City and manage our internal MAIA team.


How long have you worked with MAIA?

I have only been with MAIA since November of 2017, but I actually worked for Century as a Marketing Manager for around eight years before taking on this role! The former MAIA Division Manager, Kyle Young, became our Director of Marketing for Century and MAIA, so I slowly transitioned into the role.

What is something unique about the work that you do?

Every day is unique! This job never allows me to get bored with one project. I get to work with our internal MAIA team, the MAIA Edge team in Orlando, and our program partners. It’s unique to not be focused on just one thing, but to see all facets with our partners and our customers, all the way from the beginning to launching the end product or program.

 Left to right: Team Paul Mitchell Karate Coach Chris Rappold, Julie Solwold of John Paul Mitchell Systems, Team Paul Mitchell Coach Steve Babcock, MAIA Division Manager Melissa Torres. 


What martial arts training do you do/have you done?

A couple of years ago, I started taking Kung Fu San Soo. I also taught Cage Fitness at Century headquarters for around five years, and I still take the class when I’m not too busy. Century also offers weekly yoga classes that I enjoy at the end of a long day. :) 

Torres in Cage Fitness class at Century Martial Arts' onsite gym.


What business experience or training do you have?

My background is in marketing. Before working for Century, I worked for a retirement community where I gave tours; sold rooms for assisted living, memory care, and nursing home facilities; and organized events. After that, I did advertising sales for a statewide press association.

What is the best part about working for MAIA?

Seeing a struggling school go from being weeks away from having to close their doors, to becoming highly profitable and successful, with the school owner living their dream! Our consultants truly change lives and I love getting to hear the stories at our Elite events when the entire MAIA family gets together!


Will we see you at the upcoming 2019 Martial Arts SuperShow, and what will you be doing there?

Yep! I will be there extra-early. I typically arrive in Vegas a few days early to prepare for our MAIA Elite seminar before the show starts. After that, I’m mostly parked in the MAIA booth unless I have meetings. Come by and say hi! You can’t miss our tall booth at the front of the tradeshow.

 Melissa Torres with 2017 Martial Arts SuperShow Keynote Speaker and Paul Mitchell Systems co-founder John Paul DeJoria. 

If you could address every school owner in the country in person, what would you tell them?

Give MAIA Elite coaching a try. So many school owners have a negative connotation about having a consultant. I understand that some may have had a bad experience from someone else. But we are here to help you, no matter where you are in your story. Whether your dream is to make operating your school your full-time job, or you just want to find more ways to give back to your community and make a difference in the lives of your students and staff, we can help. We have free consultations, so don’t hesitate to call MAIA and schedule one. Just hear what they have to say.


Finally, tell us a fun fact or piece of trivia about yourself!

I have completed 15 half-marathons and two full marathons! And I have only picked up running in the past six years. Ever since then, I have tried to do at least a couple a year. I’m always looking for the next thing to try, so I have also signed up for dragon boating, rowing, cycling, and numerous boot camps! My goal is to one day complete a triathlon – even if it’s a sprint triathlon. Trust me, it counts! 


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