M’lis Ward was born in New Orleans, La and raised as the youngest of 3 children in Chicago Ill. She is a Captain for United Airlines flying the Airbus 319 and 320 aircraft. She learned to fly as an Officer in the United States Air Force, stationed in Texas and South Carolina. She was the first female African American to achieve the rank of Captain for any US commercial airline.
M’lis attended the University of Southern California on an Air Force ROTC Scholarship, as well as academic and athletic scholarships. While at USC, Melissa was a member of the two-time National Champion Women’s Basketball Team, an experience she says “is the closest I’ve ever come to flying without an airplane”. She left Southern California in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, and a regular commission in the United States Air Force.
M’lis began playing golf in the Air Force but didn’t really get serious about the game until 1995. She is a member of Wellshire Women’s Golf Club where she had held the positions of Handicap, Rules and Monthly Chairs. She is currently the Webmaster for the club’s website, as well as the A Team Captain. She is a two time Wellshire Club Champion, a member of LTGA and plays over 40 rounds of golf per year.
M’lis is also the Varsity Assistant Basketball coach at Dakota Ridge High School in Littleton Colorado. She has held this position for the last three years. In 2014, she took her club to an Elite Eight finish in the State Championships.
Captain Ward resides in Denver, CO with her wife, Denise, her twin 15 year old daughters, Isabel and Analise, and their three cats, PT, Q and Taz.