Mrs. Maine 2021
My name is Melissa Malone-Soutuyo, and as a lifelong Mainer, born, raised and living in Portland, I am thrilled to be representing our beautiful state as United States of America’s FIRST EVER Mrs. Maine. I am a full-time, working mom of one teenage boy, who keeps my husband and me young and on our toes. I work full time for a biotech company, working closely with neurologists to educate and help patients with multiple sclerosis navigate their disease course. As an occupational therapist who has treated hundreds of people with MS, while previously working in the hospital, it is a privilege to further serve that community in my current role, and one that brings me so much joy and satisfaction.
I grew up spending summers at my family’s camp on a lake in Maine and my values are rooted deeply in family, nature and life’s simple pleasures that we enjoy there. Those are the values my husband and best friend of 19 years, Angel, and myself work so hard to instill in our son. We trust and serve God above all else, appreciate simple family togetherness and time away from the hustle and bustle that come with maintaining the often hectic schedule of our daily lives.
Angel and I met when I was finishing my senior year at the University of New England, in Biddeford, Maine. I was working on the weekends at Portland Pirates games, the local AHL team in Portland at that time and Angel had moved to Maine to become the athletic trainer for the team. We spent 10 years together there, bonding and building camaraderie and friendships within our community, that without that team, would never have been possible. We both share a genuine fondness for those years and have maintained relationships with people from all over our great state that began with our experiences
When our son, Lucas, was born in 2006, Angel left his career in hockey to travel less and stay closer to home. Raising Lucas in the same neighborhood in which I grew up has been an incredibly magical experience, as I get to experience many of my childhood memories all over again. Through Lucas’s passion for competitive sports, our family has had the great joy of meeting families from all over our communities, as we have become highly involved in community and travel youth sports. As a college softball athlete, I have a passion and belief in the benefits and personal development opportunities that team sports can provide. To be able to give Lucas the gifts of those benefits, friendships and memories is something that I cherish and consider one of our greatest blessings.
It is also what led to my platform of youth concussion awareness and education. As a hockey player, Lucas sustained a significant head injury while playing hockey. His injury led us down a path of frustration, fear and worry about his future. By the grace of God, we were able to learn so much about the process of recovery and our community’s resources and ability to provide healing and education. It is now a topic that I have become so very passionate about, as I’ve learned that so many families have been met with this very same challenge, and often feel the same feelings of helplessness and loss and
not knowing how to help their children. I am excited to spend my year as United States of America’s Mrs. Maine, connecting with families across the state, who have had similar experiences, and bringing education and hope to their situations. This is the ultimate gift and blessing for me in having the honor to hold this title.
I am so very grateful for the opportunity to represent my home state and the people of Maine as USOA’s Mrs. Maine. Many thanks to the United States of America Organization for trusting me with this great honor and responsibility and I promise to do my very best to represent the organization and the people of Maine with dignity, with honesty and with respect for our beautiful state and all its people. Thank you!
With gratitude and love,