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Ellen Watters has more than three decades of experience in community and organizational development, civic engagement and public policy. She has been consulting with a broad range of clients, including foundations, government entities, nonprofits and cross-sector collaboratives for more than 10 years.


Ellen’s work over the past decade in economic, workforce and community development has focused on research, project management and strategic planning to create prosperity in neighborhoods, cities and regions.

 She was a principal and co-founder of the consulting firm, Civic Source, where she concentrated on community development collaboratives and community leadership programs.  This experience included extensive work helping cross-sector partnerships align around common goals and develop implementation strategies.  She also has worked with organizations to do strategic planning with board and staff and to develop more effective boards.

Prior to consulting, Ellen served as Senior Vice President of Economic Development for the Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce. Her responsibilities included developing macro policies to attract and retain investment and working to ensure a climate conducive to growth. Before joining the Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce in 2002, Ellen served as President of the Midway Chamber of Commerce for nearly six years. Her earlier career was primarily in communications and fundraising.

Community Leadership and Involvement

Ellen serves on the Board of Trustees of Hamline University in Saint Paul, Minnesota.  She formerly was Chair of the Board of Directors of Northern Clay Center,  Chair of the Board of Trustees of Episcopal Homes of Minnesota, Vice Chair of the Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library and on the board of directors of the High Winds Fund at Macalester College, among other civic engagements. Ellen has a BA in Economics and Business from Macalester College.