Melissa (Missy) Gentry, PE, is the
Public Works Director for the City of Columbia. In that capacity, she provides leadership
and oversight to multiple divisions responsible for the delivery of basic services,
including Animal Services, Forestry and Beautification, Solid Waste, Street Division
and Traffic Engineering. The Public Works Department is comprised of approximately
300 employees and has an overall budget in excess of $25,000,000.
Missy began her career with the City of Columbia as an intern during her last year
of college. Following graduation, she was hired as an entry level engineer. Missy
also served as the City Engineer for five years before she was promoted to Public
Works Director. She has enjoyed her career at the City to date and is pleased to
make a difference in the lives of the citizens, residents, visitors and employees
of Columbia on a daily basis.
Missy earned her Bachelor of Science (1994) and Masters of Business Administration
(2002) from University of South Carolina. While in college, she was active in her
student associations to include being president of the student chapter of the American
Society of Civil Engineers and the Engineering Joint Council. She was also one of
the primary students responsible for the implementation of the Richard B. Pool Pedestrian
Bridge project during her senior year. Missy is a past president of the SC Chapter
of the American Public Works Association and continues to serve as a committee chair
for SC APWA.
Missy has recently been selected as a member of the 20 Under 40 Class of 2010 by
the State newspaper. In addition, Missy has received various other professional
awards in the past including the 2005 Young Leader of the Year for the American
Public Works Association, the 2004 Outstanding Young Alumnus for the College of
Engineering and Information Technology, and the 2004 Young Professional of the Year
for the American Public Works Association. She is a graduate of the Leadership South
Carolina Class of 2009 and Leadership Columbia Class of 2001.
Missy is married to Russ Gentry and they have three children (Russell and Rachel
– 4 year old twins and Clinton, 10 months old.) They live in Shandon and are both
1994 graduates of the College of Engineering.