Melissa Proffitt is the office managing partner of the Indianapolis Office of the Firm, former Managing Partner of the Firm, chairs the Agribusiness Group, co-chairs the Employee Benefits Group, chairs the Energy Group, and is responsible for business development initiatives for the Firm. She concentrates her practice in employee benefits with a focus on welfare benefit plans and qualified plans. She counsels regional and international clients on benefit issues, including plan formation and design.

Her benefit practice, as co-chair of the Employee Benefits Group, is concentrated in employee benefits on both regional and international levels. Her primary focus includes, but is not limited to, guidance in the design and formation of qualified pension and welfare benefit plans; compliance with the new health care reform act (PPACA); general consulting on benefit matters; administrative and compliance benefit advice; benefit issues involved in acquisitions and mergers; implementation of welfare benefit plans including cafeteria plans, health plans, and VEBAs; tax and benefit issues regarding independent contractors; issues regarding plan qualification, private letter rulings and plan terminations; design and implementation of non-qualified employee plans such as funded and unfunded deferred compensation agreements and supplemental retirement plans; communication issues; plan audits; and Medicare coordination.

As founder and chair of the Energy Group, Melissa has represented energy, utility and pipeline companies including Citizens Energy Group, Indianapolis Power & Light Company, Energy Systems Group, Inc. and Vectren Corporation with many of their legal needs. Specifically, Melissa represents the energy industry with regard to performance contracting, human resources, legislative, benefit, and labor and employment issues.

Her practice as founder and chair of the Agribusiness Group involves representation of numerous agriculture-related clients with regard to all legal needs. She is involved in economic development initiatives and coordinates with state and federal agencies focused on agricultural and energy initiatives. She is active in the Indiana Governor's and Lieutenant Governor's agricultural trade missions and initiatives.

Melissa is an accomplished attorney and community leader. She is active in politics and the Republican party, from the community to a national level. She is often invited to share her knowledge at speaking events for a wide variety of professional organizations and has been recognized in a number of business journals and community publications as an outstanding leader and attorney. Melissa also participates on the boards of many community organizations and volunteers her time for causes supporting economic development, diversity, and women's issues.

Melissa holds a Bachelor of Arts, with distinction, from Indiana University-Bloomington, where she was the recipient of a merit scholarship and consistently made the Dean's List, graduating in 1982. She received her juris doctorate in 1985 from the Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis, cum laude. Melissa is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Eta Sigma, and Alpha Lambda Delta honorary fraternities.

For a full list of Melissa's accomplishments, please see the categories of "Firm Publications," "Published In," "Ice Miller News," "Speaking Engagements," "Awards & Recognitions," "Memberships," "Community Involvement," "Board Memberships," "Former Board Memberships," "Political Involvement," "Community Events," "Trade Missions," and "Internal Committees."
 
Representative Clients
  • AES Corporation
  • Agribusiness Council of Indiana
  • Aisin Holdings of America, Inc.
  • Allison Transmission, Inc.
  • American Trim, LLC
  • American United Life Insurance Company
  • AquaCulture Enterprises
  • Beck's Hybrids
  • Bell Aquaculture
  • CGB Enterprises, Inc.
  • CICP Foundation, Inc.
  • CountryMark Refining and Logistics, LLC
  • Culligan International
  • Escalade, Inc.
  • First Farmers Bank and Trust
  • FirstGroup America
  • Freudenberg-NOK, G.P.
  • GSI Group LLC
  • Halderman Farm Management
  • Illinois Soybean Association
  • Illinois Soybean Program Operating Board
  • Indiana Black Expo, Inc.
  • Indiana Corn Growers Association
  • Indiana Corn Marketing Council
  • Indianapolis Power & Light
  • Indy Chamber
  • Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana
  • Ivy Tech Foundation, Inc.
  • Lords Seed
  • Monroe County Community School Corporation
  • Oerlikon Fairfield
  • Old National Bank
  • Purdue University
  • Remy Inc.
  • Select Milk Producers, Inc.
  • Soy Aquaculture Alliance
  • Teays River Investments, LLC
  • The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice
  • The Orchard School
  • Trupointe Cooperative, Inc.
  • University of Southern Indiana
  • Vectren Corporation
  • Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Firm Publications
News
Blog Posts
Published In
(2008 to Present)
  • Featured in the Integrating Woman Leaders Foundation Conference Highlight Video in August 2016
  • Featured in “2016 Women in the Law” by The Best Lawyers in America© Business Edition, Spring 2016.
  • Mentioned in “Republican delegates divided on what their job is” in Gloucester Times on May 02, 2016.
  • Mentioned in “GOP delegates divided on what their job is” in Meadville Tribune on May 01, 2016.
  • Mentioned in “Trump Praises Sanders But Faces Struggle to Win Over His Voters” by Solo News on May 01, 2016.
  • Mentioned in “GOP delegates split on what their job is” by Claremore Daily Progress on April 29, 2016.
  • Featured in "Indiana GOP delegates divided on what their job is" by CNHI Washington Reporter on April 29, 2016.
  • Mentioned in "Kasich's Indiana allies rebel against Cruz pact" by Politico on April 26, 2016.
  • Mentioned in "Kasich Undercuts His Own Deal with Cruz, Because that's John Kasich" in The Daily Wire on April 27, 2016
  • Mentioned in "IN Focus: Indiana GOP chairman says delegate process isn't rigged" by Fox59 on April 24, 2016.
  • Mentioned in "John Kasich to visit Indiana next Tuesday" by WTHR, Wane.com, Indy Star and The State House File on April 21, 2016.
  • Mentioned in "John Kasich to hold two events in Indiana Tuesday" WTHR on April 20, 2016.
  • Mentioned in "Winnecke, Parke to work with Kasich in Indiana primary" by the Evansville Courier & Press on April 20, 2016.
  • Mentioned in "Indiana GOP names delegates to Republican National Convention" by Indy Star on April 14, 2016.
  • Mentioned in "Here are Indiana's 57 delegates & why their vote for President matters more than your" by Fox59 on April 14, 2016.
  • Mentioned in "CICF Names New Board Leadership" by Inside Indiana Business on March 25, 2016.
  • Quoted in "Women are leading the way in law firms," The Indiana Lawyer, July 15, 2015
  • Featured in "Funding to Provide Teens with Summer Jobs," WISH TV, July 7, 2015
  • Featured in "DPS Announces $28,000 in Summer Job Grants," Indy Politics, July 7, 2015
  • Quoted in "DPS Director Troy Riggs Resigns," Indianapolis Recorder, June 25, 2015
  • Quoted in "$22M HQ to raise profile of asset-rich Liberty Fund," Indianapolis Business Journal on February 21, 2015
  • Featured in “Lawyers on the Move,” Indiana Lawyer, February 4, 2015
  • Featured in "On the Move," Indy Star, January 25, 2015
  • Featured in "Ice Miller Names Office Managing Partner," The International Association of Managing Partners Newsletter, January 25, 2015
  • Featured in “Who’s been hired and promoted in Indy? (January 15 – 21, 2015), Indy Star
  • Featured in Robert H. McKinney School of Law Newsletter, “Melissa Proffitt Reese, '85, Named Office Managing Partner at Ice Miller in Indianapolis,January 20, 2015
  • Featured in "Ice Miller Names Office Managing Partner, " Inside Indiana Business, Inside Edge Newsletter and Big Wigs Newsletter, January 15, 2015
  • Overcoming Business Challenges in a State of Innovation, Ice Miller 2015 Agribusiness Guide
  • Featured in "The Traditional Suit Still Rules When In Court," Indiana Lawyer, September 24, 2014
  • Featured in "The Foundations of Freedom," Women's Philanthropy at Indiana University, newsletter, 2014
  • Interviewed by WFYI-FM Radio regarding the Indianapolis Department of Public Safety's 5k Run Event to Raise Money for Teen Summer Jobs, June 5, 2014
  • Featured in, along with video segment, "DPS to hold 5k run/walk fund raiser for teen summer jobs," Fox59 News, May 14, 2014
  • Featured in the City of Indianapolis Department of Public Safety, newsletter, April 10, 2014
  • "What Melissa Would Tell Her 18 Year Old Self," featured in the Women's Fund of Central Indiana, Blog and news column, February 11, 2014
  • Interviewed in, "Answering Questions About Health Care," Brownfield Agriculture Today, December 26, 2013
  • Featured in, "Health Care Reform Expected to Affect Agribusinesses," AgriNews, December 12, 2013
  • Featured in, along with video segment, "Plans Unveiled for New Criminal Justice Center," Fox59 News, December 11, 2013
  • Featured in, "Volunteer of the Year," Biz Voice, November/December 2013
  • Featured in, along with video segment, "Agribusinesses Meet to Understand and Plan for Impact of Health Care Reform," Hoosier Ag Today, November 25, 2013
  • Published "What is Leadership?," featured in the Career Outlook section of Fall 2013 Alpha Chi Omega magazine,The Lyre
  • Published "A Successful Trade Mission," Inside Indiana Business, September 18, 2013
  • Mentioned in "Telling State's Story in Japan," The Indianapolis Star, September 6, 2013
  • Published "Indiana And Japan: Success Breeds Success," Inside Indiana Business, September 3, 2013
  • Published "Ballard's Trade Mission Critical For Development," Indianapolis Business Journal, August 26, 2013.
  • Published "Christel DeHaan Helping Students Around The World," The Indianapolis Star, August 7, 2013
  • Featured in, along with video segment, "New Safety Organization to Meet Wednesday," WishTV, July 10, 2013
  • Interviewed in, "Matthew Tully: Police, Firefighters Risk It All, So Let's Say Thanks," IndyStar.com, July 3, 2013
  • Interviewed in "Business Heavyweights Raising Cash for Cops Through Foundation" Indiana Business Journal, June 22, 2013
  • Interviewed in "New foundation aims to solicit business support for those who protect city" Fox59, broadcast June 13, 2013
  • Featured in "International Center Announces Board Officers," Inside Indiana Business: Big Wigs & New Gigs, June 7, 2013
  • Highlighted in "Honoring Influence WOI Speaker Extols Virtues Of Leadership," The Tribune-Star, April 12, 2013
  • Featured, with Kay Pashos, in "Stepping Outside The Career Comfort Zone," The Indiana Lawyer, March 27, 2013
  • Featured, with Kay Pashos, in "Ice Miller Finds Utility in Kay Pashos' Executive Past," Indiana Business Journal, March 9, 2013
  • Mentioned in "Philanthropy: Greater Indy Chamber Elects New Leaders," Indiana Business Journal, December 24-30, 2012
  • Quoted in "Indy's New Public Safety Director, Troy Riggs, Has Reputation As A Leader Who Listens," The Indianapolis Star, October 28, 2012
  • Mentioned in "Mayor Ballard heads to Australia in search of new Indy business opportunities," The Indianapolis Star, September 20, 2012
  • Quoted in "Hire Signals Same Goal: Reform," The Indianapolis Star, September 18, 2012
  • Featured in the Women's Fund of Central Indiana, Blog and news column, September 11, 2012
  • Quoted and pictured in "Republican Convention Finale," The Indianapolis Star, August 31, 2012
  • "IRS Issues Guidance on 2013 Limit on Health Flexible Spending Arrangements," with Tara Schulstad Sciscoe, Terry A.M. Mumford, Christopher Sears, Mary Beth Braitman, and Shalina Schaefer, Health Lawyers Weekly, June 15, 2012
  • Mentioned in "People in the News," Indianapolis Business Journal, May 28, 2012
  • Quoted in "Recipe for Success: Cooking up a Winning Culture," BizVoice, May/June, 2012
  • "Multifaceted Career, Multiple Talents," Court & Commercial Record, May 2, 2012
  • Quoted in "Girls Inc. Honors Trailblazers," The Indianapolis Star, April 19, 2012
  • Featured in "Meridian-Kessler kitchen gets updated look that's rich in history," The Indianapolis Star, April 12, 2012
  • "Ice Miller Lawyer Contributes Far and Wide," Indianapolis Business Journal, April 7, 2012
  • "Lessons Learned from the Land of the Rising Sun," INside Edge Morning Briefing, October 5, 2011
  • Quoted in "Indiana Well-Positioned for More Japanese Business," Inside INdiana Business, September 28, 2011
  • "Four Generations - One Workplace - Can We All Work Together?" (reprint), Inside INdiana Business: Big Wigs & New Gigs, September 19, 2011
  • Quoted in "Are You a Happy Lawyer?," The Indiana Lawyer theindianalawyer.com, July 6, 2011
  • Quoted in "Reactions|Quotes on Mitch Daniels' announcement not to seek presidency," The Courier-Journal courier-journal.com, May 22, 2011
  • Quoted in "Republicans react with shock and disappointment over Mitch Daniels' decision," The Daily News Journal dnj.com, May 22, 2011
  • Quoted in "Daniels' decision a GOP shocker," Journal and Courier jconline.com, May 22, 2011
  • Interviewed in "Cheri Daniels to speak before 1K at Republican fund raiser" segment, Fox59 News, broadcast May 12, 2011
  • Quoted in "Is Cheri Daniels Ready to Take the Plunge?", The Indianapolis Star, May 11, 2011
  • Featured in "Leadership in Law" supplement to The Indiana Lawyer, April 27, 2011
  • Quoted in "Politics Pivotal in Legal World," The Indiana Lawyer, Dec. 22, 2010
  • Quoted in "And Then There Was 1 Leading Candidate," The Indianapolis Star, Dec. 21, 2010 (Final Edition)
  • Quoted in "Skillman's Surprise Decision Narrows Gubernatorial Candidate Pool," The Indianapolis Star, Dec. 21, 2010
  • Quoted in "Decisions, Decisions: Will Pence and Bayh Run? Our Next Governor?," The Indianapolis Star, Dec. 6, 2010
  • Mentioned in "Talk of Our Town - A Half Century = $1,400," The Indianapolis Star, Nov. 28, 2010
  • Featured blogger for Governor Daniels' Trade Mission to China and Japan, INside Edge, November 2010
  • Interviewed in "Energy, Agriculture and Politics," Brownfield Ag News for America, Oct. 18, 2010
  • Mentioned in "Consultant to Further Help City with IMPD Reforms" as member of Department of Public Service Commission on Reform, The Indianapolis Star, Oct. 4, 2010
  • "Fashionable event helps others," The Indianapolis Star, Sept. 28, 2010
  • "Board Member Profile: Melissa Proffitt Reese," Women's Fund Focus, Vol. 12, Issue 2, September 2010.
  • Mentioned in "Panel Raises Controversy" as member of Indianapolis Department of Public Safety advisory panel, The Indianapolis Star, Aug. 15, 2010
  • Mentioned in "Board to Advise Officials on Public Safety" as member of newly named advisory board to Indianapolis Department of Public Safety, The Indianapolis Star, Aug. 12, 2010
  • "President Obama Signs Pension Funding Relief Bill," with Marc Sciscoe, Craig Burke and Chris Fowler, Employee Benefits e-Update, July 7, 2010
  • "Initial Guidance on Early Retiree Reinsurance Program," with Chris Sears and Shalina Schaefer, Executive Memo of the Indiana Manufacturer's Association, May 2010
  • "HDHP and HSA Annual Limits Remain the Same for 2011," with Chris Sears, Tara Schulstad Sciscoe, Mary Beth Braitman and Terry A.M. Mumford, Employee Benefits e-Update, May 28, 2010
  • Featured blogger for City of Indianapolis Trade Mission to India, INside Edge Morning Briefing, April 27-May 3, 2010
  • Mentioned in "Ballard, Economic Delegation Leaving for India," The Indianapolis Star, April 23, 2010
  • "Changing the Rules: GINA Impacts Health Risk Assessments," with Chris Sears, BizVoice Magazine, January/February 2010
  • Mentioned in "People in the News" for election to Women's Fund of Central Indiana Advisory Board, Indianapolis Business Journal, Jan. 25, 2010
  • Mentioned in "On the Move" for election to Women's Fund of Central Indiana Advisory Board, The Indianapolis Star, Jan. 11, 2010
  • Mentioned in "Government and Business Leader of the Year Named" as recipient of "Volunteer of the Year" award, INside Edge Morning Briefing, Nov. 11, 2009
  • "2009 Volunteer of the Year - Melissa Proffitt Reese," BizVoice, November/December 2009
  • "Four Generations - One Workplace. Can We All Work Together?" The NAWIC Image, August/September 2009
  • Featured blogger for Governor Daniels' Trade Mission to China and Japan, INside Edge, September 2009.
  • Quoted in audio article "Delegation Building New Relationships in Brazil," INside Edge, July 30, 2009
  • Featured blogger for Mayor Ballard's Economic Development Trip to Brazil, INside Edge, July-August 2009
  • Mentioned in Indianapolis Star's "Zoobilation" feature, June 21, 2009
  • "Four Generations - One Workplace: Can We All Work Together?" Affirmative Action Register, April 2009 (Update to the original 2007 article listed below.)
  • Quoted in "Back Door to the Top," AmericanLawyer.com, June 1, 2009
  • "Women Leading the Way: Differences Exist in Style, Not Ability," BizVoice Magazine Web Exclusive, Nov. 11, 2008
  • Quoted in "Hoosiers React to McCain's Running Mate," The Indianapolis Star, Aug. 30, 2008
  • Quoted in "Ice Miller Launches Agribusiness Strategies Initiative," Brownfield Network, Jan. 18, 2008
Speaking Engagements
  • Speaker, Legendary Lawyer Award for John Proffitt, September 2017
  • Moderator, Women’s Philanthropy at Indiana University Mental Health Panel, August 2017
  • Key Note Speaker, Alpha Chi Omega Natural Leadership, January 27, 2017
  • Speaker, DTCI Annual Conference, Downtown Fort Wayne, IN, November 18, 2016
  • Provided all introductions at the Hoosier Ag Lt. Governor Debate on Agriculture at the Indiana State Fairgrounds on August 9, 2016
  • Speaker, Ark Group & Managing Partner's East Coast Conference, New York, NY, May 19, 2015
  • Speaker, Succession Planning and Generational Differences, 2015
  • Meet the Mayor Event, 2014
  • Speaker, DPS Recognition of Excellence, December 2014
  • Speaker, "Legally Well: Designing Wellness Programs That Won't Make the EEOC and DOL Sick,”  at the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, 2014 Indiana Employee Health and Wellness Summit, October 8, 2014
  • Master of Ceremony, IWL Women's Leadership Conference, August 27, 2014
  • Panelist, "Ask the Experts: Health Care Reform Part 2," Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, August 12, 2014
  • Speaker, Indiana FFA Annual Convention, Purdue University, June 19, 2014
  • Guest on WIBC Radio "Spotlight Indianapolis" to discuss Integrating Woman Leaders Inc., and its dedication to advancement of women in the workplace with the focus being on leadership, communication and skill development for women leaders, May 5, 2014
  • Speaker, "Health Care Reform Expected to Affect Agribusinesses," State of the Ag Industry Seminar, December 11, 2013
  • Speaker, "Health Care Reform for Agribusiness: Delay of Employer Penalties Doesn’t Mean You Can Wait, Ice Miller Seminar, November 19, 2013
  • Moderator, "Public Safety: What's at Risk? – A Focus 2020 Chautauqua," at Butler University, November 8, 2013
  • Speaker, "Health Care Reform: Compliance, Risks, and Missteps!" at the BioOhio seminar on the Affordable Care Act, November 5, 2013
  • Speaker, "Top 10 Employee Benefits Challenges under the ACA," at the Indiana Manufacturers Association Seminar on the Affordable Care Act, October 15, 2013
  • Speaker, "Top 10 Employee Benefits Challenges under the ACA," at the Manufacturers Association for Plastic Processors seminar on the Affordable Care Act, September 19, 2013
  • Speaker, "What's Next for Health Care Reform," Policy Seminar:  What Can Agriculture Expect from Washington?, September 4, 2013
  • Speaker, "Top 10 Employee Benefits Challenges under the ACA," at the Indiana Manufacturers Association Seminar on the Affordable Care Act, June 11, 2013
  • Guest on WFYI Radio, "No Limits" to discuss the Indy Public Safety Foundation, September 19, 2013
  • Keynote Speaker, "Wabash Valley Women of Influence ," April 11, 2013
  • Speaker, ICW "Women's Day at the Statehouse," February 6, 2013
  • Panelist, Discussion with Latin American visitors regarding Political Transition and the New U.S. Administration, February 4, 2013
  • Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick, INsiders Segment, June 15 and 17, 2012
  • IBA Video "Civility in Transaction Negotiations", January 2012
  • IBA Bar Leader Series Panel (Doing Business with Business), January 2012
  • Speaker, Women for Ballard Kickoff, 2011
  • Panelist, "How to Make Traditional Work Environments Work for Women Leaders," at 2010 Integrating Women Leadership Conference, presented by IWL, Inc., Oct. 19, 2010
  • Moderator, "Energy, Agriculture, and Politics... Views from Indiana and Washington" with Senator Richard G. Lugar and Lt. Governor Rebecca Skillman, presented by Ice Miller LLP, Oct. 18, 2010
  • Honorary Chair and Presenter, "Stepping Out In Style 2010," presented by Dress for Success
  • Guest, Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick, Sept. 26, 2010
  • Guest, Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick, Aug. 9, 2010
  • Commencement Speaker, United Way Executive Women's Leadership Program Graduation, June 10, 2010
  • United Way Like Minded Presentation, 2009
  • Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick, INsiders Segment, Sept. 25, 2009
  • Panelist, Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick, Aug. 7, 2009
  • Lt. Governor Debate at Indiana State Fair, 2008
  • Panelist, "Saying Yes, Saying No", Indianapolis Bar Association, Aug. 22, 2008
  • "Permission to Prioritize," Women in the Legal Profession Summit, presented by LexisNexis, April 16, 2008
  • "Meeting the Needs of a Multi-Generational Workforce," Employee Benefits Seminar, presented by Ice Miller and the Indiana Chamber, March 4, 2008
  • Speaker, Torchbearer Award, 2008
  • "Meeting the Needs of a New Generation of Lawyers, Fee-Earners and Clients," Leadership United, presented by Executive Women Leadership Program, Nov. 15, 2007
  • Panelist, "Cultivating a True Strategic Partnership between Your Firm's Attorneys and its Marketing and Business Development Leadership," and speaker, "Who Knows What the Clients Want? The Lawyers or the Marketers?" (with Dona Stohler), Strategic Marketing and Business Development in the Modern Law Firm, presented by ARK Group, Sept. 25, 2007
  • "Getting Involved in the Political Process," Network of Women in Business Monthly Forum, Aug. 17, 2007
  • "Meeting the Needs of a New Generation of Lawyers, Fee-Earners and Clients," Keynote Speech, HR LEGAL 2007: Strategic Workforce Planning for the Modern Law Firm, researched by Managing Partner, produced by ARK Group, Jan. 29, 2007
  • Speaker on Law Firm Leadership, U.S. Law Firm Group Meeting, Jan. 18-20, 2007
  • Speaker, GIRFCO Legislative Reception, 2006
  • Panelist, 2006 Women's Leadership Conference: Women in Change, Women in Charge
  • Panelist, 2nd Annual Women's Conference, 2006
  • Guest Lecturer at IUPUI's "Lifespan Development" course, 2005 and 2006
  • Panelist on Career Strategies and Work/Family Life, Women's Caucus and Democratic Law Society Luncheon, March 8, 2005
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