Ellen Shepard

Chief Executive Officer , Community Allies
Chicago, IL

  • Arts and Economic Development
  • Nonprofit Management
  • Policy Change & Advocacy
  • Racial Equity
  • Urban Development
  • Wealth Equality

About Ellen

Ellen is CEO of Community Allies, supporting community development organizations with equitable economic development strategy, organizational capacity building, and community engagement in order to foster prosperity and opportunity for all. She is a skilled facilitator, able to convene critical group conversations and turn the results into actionable plans. Ellen is the creator of the “Radical Inclusion” model of community engagement and the author of National Main Street’s “Community Engagement for Main Street Transformation” guidebook. Ellen was formerly the executive director of the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce in Chicago. During her tenure, the Andersonville neighborhood revived and gained national acclaim for its thriving business district and its use of economic localization, place-making, and environmental sustainability as economic revitalization strategies. Ellen is on faculty at Roosevelt University’s Masters of Arts in Community Development and Action program, teaching courses in community development, economic development, and the history and theory of urban planning.