Melissa W. Yanagi ’03
Retail and Tech Operational Leader
West Newton, MA
Years of Service: 2022-2027
Melissa W. Yanagi ’03 is currently a board member and advisor. She advises retail and e-commerce companies and mentors students and professionals in the space. Previously, she was Senior Vice President and Head of Company Operations at WS Development, a real estate development and management company in Massachusetts. Prior to joining WS, Melissa led teams in operations and business-to-business marketing at Wayfair and held strategic operations positions at Staples and was an analyst at Citigroup. An economics major at Bates, she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and the College Key at graduation, then earned an MBA from Stanford University. At Bates, Melissa captained the women’s swimming and golf teams, served as treasurer for Student Government, and was a member of the deans and trustees advisory committees. She co-founded the Student Philanthropy Initiative, was a Senior Fellow in Admission, and co-chaired the Senior Class Gift Committee.
As a Bates volunteer, Melissa has served on the Alumni Council and the Bates Fund Executive Committee. A co-president of her class, she has served on multiple Reunion committees and is a member of the Boston Bates Business Network Steering Committee. In 2015 she received a Bates’ Best Award for volunteer service to the college. Melissa and her husband, Tad Yanagi, live in West Newton, Mass., and have three young sons.