Dancing Through Life
Beneath Melissa C. Doi's crisp Wall Street veneer beat the ebullient heart of a ballerina. Had her physique cooperated, Ms. Doi often said, she would have become a professional ballet dancer.
Instead, she followed her heart along a winding path of professional exploration. At Northwestern University she studied engineering, then switched to sociology. After graduation she took a job in public relations, then moved to banking. Four years ago she joined IQ Financial Systems, which develops financial software, and quickly became a manager.
She danced through it all. "She would get happy and just dance," said Lara Beth Metzger, a friend and former classmate. "Salsa, kick lines, everything."
Ms. Doi, 32, was an original thinker who questioned almost everything. "Whenever we had a staff meeting you could count on Melissa to ask the first question," said Eyal Altaras, her supervisor at IQ Financial.
Ms. Doi was especially close to her mother, Evelyn Alderete, and bought her a condo in the Bronx where they lived together. They were supposed to leave for a vacation in Italy on Sept. 14. "She could be a little pain in the neck," Ms. Alderete said. "But she was the best daughter anyone could have."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on February 12, 2002.