Melissa grew up in Omaha, Nebraska. She is the middle daughter of Fred and Donna Schott. Fred was the director of the South Omaha Boys Club, Melissa grew up in a home that believed in serving and helping others.
Nearly 30 years ago, in the fall of 1989, Melissa moved to Sioux Falls to attend the University of Sioux Falls. While a student, Melissa met Tim Hiatt, a Sioux Falls native, and they began dating during their freshman year. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies, Tim and Melissa were married in June 1993. They just celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary.
In the fall of 1993, Melissa began attending Sioux Falls Seminary and graduated with a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy. Melissa has spent her career working in higher education, ministry and health care. In September 2012, Melissa did a year-long chaplain residency at the Sioux Falls Veteran's Hospital working with Veterans who were sick, at the end-of-life, as well as those struggling with addiction, PTSD and depression. Melissa is currently the Pediatric Chaplain at Sanford Children's Hospital. In July of 2014 Melissa became a Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator based on the work of Brené Brown. Melissa leads individuals and organizations to help them understand vulnerability, authenticity, shame resilience and how values guide our efforts to show up, be seen and live brave.
Melissa and Tim have two children. Joseph is twenty and attends the University of Sioux Falls where he is studying theater and English. Lily will graduate from Lincoln High School in May 2019. Lily is involved in choir, Student Council and is a writer for the Statesman.
The Hiatt family attends Trinity Baptist Church where Melissa served as associate pastor from 2005-2012.
Melissa was nominated by her peers in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit as a Sanford Hero for helping a parent of a child in the NICU. Dr. Messier presenting Melissa with the award in April 2018.