Ellen is committed to supporting leaders with clear, concise and strategic support to move them forward where they want to go and grow.
Ellen supports her clients to identify their key growth opportunities, and to approach them with courage, impacting how they show up for themselves, and those they lead.
Way before Ellen started a coaching and facilitation practice, she guided backpacking and river trips in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Wyoming. She also taught at an environmental science school and taught as an ESL (English as Second Language) teacher.
A decade ago she began her career in public service, working as an urban planner, engagement specialist and facilitator for government, Tribes, and non-profits.
Ellen's diverse background and experiences are united around thinking quickly on her feet, measuring risk and opportunities, staying grounded amidst multiple moving parts and lifting up those around her to push themselves to their fullest potential.
Today Ellen brings the full sum of her education, skills and experience to deliver compassionate leadership, a coaching mindset, and active listening to support her clients and shine light on their full potential.
Ellen is a known as a strategic innovator with a knack for bringing people together and guiding them with a steady hand, focused on the big picture with an eye for the details around trust-building, relationship development, and mutual benefit.
Ellen worked with the Oregon Governor's office to moderate a conversation with Oregon Governor Kate Brown and former Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell as well as local leaders in environmental justice with an audience of hundreds on the importance of diversity, inclusion and equity in the Oregon outdoors.
She went on to support Oregon's First Gentleman in facilitating the ongoing "Roadmap to the Outdoors" working group, composed of leaders across sectors of the outdoor industry, non-profits, government and Tribes in Oregon to develop action items focused on celebrating and increasing equity and inclusion in the outdoors.
Ellen's ability to navigate high-profile, high-stakes projects with calm and focus galvanize process and bring fluidity, momentum and a sense of flow to large efforts. Her clear communication with clients leaves room for no surprises, and her direct, compassionate communication style supports both easy and tough conversations from a well-defined space.
A Little More About Ellen
She holds a masters degree in urban and regional planning with a specialization in community development from Portland State University, and an undergraduate degree in Geography from the University of Texas.
Over the past 10 years Ellen has been recognized for her contributions in education, economic development and urban planning.
Multnomah Education Service District honored her for excellence in education after she created and led a mindfulness based stress reduction and yoga program for students at an alternative high school.
Both the National and Oregon Chapter of the American Planning Association recognized her and her team for their leadership in development planning for the Portland Mercado, a Latino Economic Development project of Hacienda CDC.
The Oregon Chapter of the American Planning Association recognized her and her team for their efforts on the redevelopment master plan for the Willamette Falls Legacy Project.
Don't take our word for it, hear what her coaching and facilitation clients have to say.
"Ellen gets it. She knows the fear that comes from launching forward to pursue your dreams and understands that taking one motion after another requires courage. In sessions with Ellen some of the most useful moments are when she repeats back what she hears me saying while nudging me forward. She's intuitive and gives me visual descriptions of what is possible that help me think of new possibilities and opportunities that I had not thought of before. She is sharp, enthusiastic and brings humor to the work."
-Dr. Tia Ho, PhD, Portland, OR
"Ellen was recommended to me while I was searching to come more into my power and discover how I wanted to expand in my career. Ellen immediately saw my monkey mind and called it - compassionately and lightheartedly. In the sessions I had with her, she introduced me to a completely different method of decision making, for me, cutting out my chatter. She provided me with tools to center myself and get to the root of my values. I am still digesting what I learned and practicing the techniques we co-created (an important way she coaches - listening to her clients internal wisdom). Meeting with her was a pivotal point in my path - learning to listen to myself and feel my decisions, rather than 'figure them out'. Thank you, Ellen!"
-Hannah E., Portland, OR
"I worked with Ellen over a few months in a trying time in my career. Having someone to recognize my wave-length where personal growth and awareness was concerned kept me accountable to my goals and the processes needed to reach them. Ellen helped me to identify resisting thoughts and behaviors which blocked my progress and gave me tools to change my habits on a moment to moment basis. Every session was like talking to my best friend who just "gets me". Like a slingshot of positivity, Ellen was an amazing coach."
-Dacia M., Denver, CO
Ellen with Oregon Governor Kate Brown and former U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell.
"Ellen has been integral to the Roadmap to the Outdoors Initiative, a statewide effort to make the outdoors welcoming to all Oregonians, with an emphasis on youth and increasing the diversity of participants. Ellen moderated the keynote panel discussion at the Roadmap to the Outdoors Symposium with former U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Governor Kate Brown, as part of a statewide convening of outdoor leaders, funders and representatives from diverse communities to identify barriers and solutions to connecting Oregonians to the outdoors. She then guided a newly formed team of partner organizations in the development of the Roadmap plan creating trust within the team, establishing a clear focus, and guiding the development of broad action items."
Dan Little, First Gentleman of Oregon
Community partnership forum participants.
"Ellen brings an inclusive process to her work that invites for the whole self to be engaged. In her consultation with Metro Regional Government, Ellen led the group of community partners through planning a forum to help deepen the relationships between the government agency and their community partners. Each step of the way, Ellen exemplified equitable practices and was quick to adapt to better meet the needs of the group."
-Simeon Jacob, Operations and Program Coordinator, Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon
"Ellen's gift in facilitating collaboration between community advocates and public agency comes in creating a space uniquely responsive to the people in the room. Less 'best practices,' more setting the table where group dynamics emerge to support a spirit of openness, trust, and respect. Working with Ellen and Inner Light Coaching on a priority project under a tight timeline with both long time and new community partners changed my expectations for what effective facilitation can be."
- Peggy Morell, Agency-wide community partnership program manager, Metro
Aztec dance group Mexica Tiahui at the opening celebration of the Portland Mercado.
"Back when I was hustling for the Portland Mercado, a development of Hacienda CDC, Ellen transformed our team's ability to work together, support our clients and celebrate our success after having launched arguably the biggest project of any of our careers. We were all tired and frustrated for different, yet related reasons, and it was a moment where something big needed to happen.
Step in, Ellen.
Ellen’s facilitation style is calm, nurturing, practical and engaging. With her astute listening and realistic approach, she was able to bring us back to earth to untangle misunderstandings, appreciate our work, and recognize each other’s contributions, ultimately helping us see the big picture, while moving forward the details to achieving balance."
- Jamie Melton, CEO Grid Notes, CDO Jefe Spirits, LLC
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A little about me
I love this pic from my guiding days, that girl had raw grit and undaunted passion. She's my bedrock and lives in my heart, always.
Other tid bits:
I love languages. I can speak Spanish and Portuguese like someone unafraid to make mistakes.
I learned how to do dry masonry work while working on trail crew at Rocky Mountain National Park. Steps I laid are still trod upon as visitors hike to Bear Lake these 20 years later.
Ultimate frisbee is my favorite sport to play, but my hamstrings don't like sprinting anymore.
I've taken part in two 10-week trainings in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, and it's been a cornerstone practice for me since 2009.
My kids are why I do my work, because if I'm not helping to make this world better, I won't have done my part.