Change Leadership & Facilitation

With nearly a decade of experience in racial equity centered community engagement, planning,

communications, and policy,


I provide politically astute, highly-skilled change leadership and facilitation services for public and non-profit sector clients.

I also support teams across all sectors to come together across differences to develop the critical skills in leadership, vulnerability, and empathy that create brave workplace cultures.


Brave workplaces are capable of doing the work of lasting change. The kind of change that dismantles oppressive structures and creates an inclusive environment which centers on their people, regardless of background, being able to show up, feel like they belong, and perform at their best.

Oregon Certified WBE, MBE, and ESB #12614

Training and Coaching for Teams

For teams seeking support with scaling and growth challenges, culture change, friction with communication / leadership styles, and implementing diversity, equity and inclusion.

Team Retreats 

For teams in need of a skilled third-party facilitator to support full team participation and move forward on big milestones.

Community Engagement Strategic Support

For agency project managers working in urban, regional and parks planning, skilled facilitation and strategic development for equity-centered community engagement planning and implementation.

Emcee and Panel Moderation services

For organizations hosting keystone events in need of a versatile emcee and/or moderator who is adept in balancing levity and humor while guiding the conversation forward meaningfully.



"Ellen brings empathy, creativity and innovation to helpign people and teams perform better. She readily connects with a huge range of people, creating trust and safe spaces where people are likely to be at their best.

Ellen was on the leading edge of some significant transformations at Metro. From a partnership with a community based organization that produced a brand new Metro Council member to teaching many, many people at Metro the immense value of thinking differently about how we engage with the people we serve and the people we work with.

Because of Ellen's leadership and effectiveness, the changes she initiated and led are taking root and growing more and more needed changes and improvements. Our team is more diverse, more engaged and more effective thanks to Ellen."

Jim Middaugh / Communications Director / Metro Regional Government

"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 went on to facilitate 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

"As public agencies work toward racial equity, diversity, and inclusion, things need to be done differently so all people thrive. Ellen brings experience, strategy, humor and joy to that work, for transformational results. Her facilitation is very strong, and she can work with a room filled with a few people or a few hundred.


When I work with Ellen, I feel confident that we are getting to system change through her heart-centered work."

Gaylen Beatty / Special Projects Manager / Metro Regional Government

"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 owrk, and recognize each other's contributions, ultimately helping us see the big picture, while moving forward the details to achieving balance."

Jamie Melton / CEO - Gridnotes / CDO - Jefe Spirits, LLC

"Ellen brings an inclusive process to her work that invites for the whole self to be engaged. In her work with Metro, Ellen led the group of community partners to plan 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 Manager /

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 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 Regional Government



Connect with Ellen now and set up your 30-minute consultation.


©2020 Inner Light Coaching, LLC

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