Our Employees: Above & Beyond
Melissa Houghtailing


Before coming to Barney & Barney Melissa Houghtailing worked in real estate. After about a year as a receptionist at the Oakland office, Melissa decided she was ready to stretch her wings and get back into the insurance side of things. In her role as a receptionist she grew to realize that joining the employee benefits department would be a great fit because of the customer contact. She expressed interest in moving into EB and B&B created a Benefits Coordinator position for her.

Opportunity for Growth

“Whatever department you choose, there are opportunities to grow. I saw an opportunity, picked it up, and ran with it. I didn’t know anything about insurance, but having support and encouragement from mentors allowed me to learn. I love helping others. I treat their situations like I would my own—like I’m talking to my mom or my sister, because they don’t know, just like I didn’t know anything about insurance coming into B&B.”


“Not only does Barney & Barney want growth for everyone, they also take the time to promote growth for women in a male-dominated industry. The leadership in the G.R.O.W. and Inspire mentor programs is great and it puts a smile on my face to see this happening. I look at these women and think, ‘They’re people. They did it. So can I’.”

Reaching Goals

Melissa is constantly looking forward and trying to advance herself and her career at Barney & Barney. She’s always thinking “What do I do next?” to get where she wants and this has proven to be successful tactic because she was promoted to Client Manager this past January. “My professional goal was to become a Client Manager. When I first looked through all of the Employee Benefits and Property + Casualty job descriptions, I knew I wanted to be a Client Manager. I took the job description and posted it in my cube for my own encouragement”.

Company Culture

“I call us the Brady Bunch. Everyone is unique and fun. I strive to smile or laugh once a day at work and in my personal life. At the end of the day you have to be able to laugh.”

Fun Fact

Melissa’s father’s family is from Oahu and her last name is a street/ Freeway exit in Oahu spelt exactly the same. Melissa has a collection of photos of the street sign ‘Houghtailing’ from friends who have visited.