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Photo Feb 17, 9 38 15 AM.jpg

Melissa Tousignant Ward is originally from Northwest Florida born in Fort Walton Beach and raised in Freeport, Florida.  She is married with two grown children and lives in Seagrove Beach.  Melissa is our in-house planning and development consultant in the Dunlap & Shipman’s Santa Rosa Beach office.


Melissa guides our clients through the land use amendment, subdivision, and development approval processes including variances or conditional uses.  She works with our associations in developing solutions concerning the local government regulations, compatibility in their neighborhoods with proposed developments, and keeping the associations apprised of upcoming regulatory changes.


Melissa is active in her community through our local Rotary International Club, having served in office in 2017-2018.  She is involved in community involvement meetings and presentations at public workshops focusing on greater representation for the needs of the neighborhoods.


Melissa worked for the local government of Walton County Planning Department from 2001 to 2011.  Her work focused on long range planning as well as the regulatory measures for subdivision developments, permitting, community involvement programs, meeting management and support, and reporting before the many decision-making boards and committees of the county.

Ms. Ward has a Bachelor’s in Project Management from Northwest Florida State College. She has been a member of the American Planning Association since 2007, in the planning and law section as well as planning advocacy with APA promoting grassroots advocacy, connecting with elected officials, promote educating the policymakers, and accessing special planning reports in the best interest of our communities and clients.


She serves as the secretary to the Emerald Coast Section of the Florida APA at present.  She serves on the Board of the Walton County Small Business Association since 2018. In 2022, Melissa received the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) credential.

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