Throughout an entrepreneurial career that has spanned trade publishing, lecturing, cause-related marketing, implementing fundraising programs and seminar training, Ellen Rolfes has helped organizations of all sizes and different purposes advance financially in order to foster societal change. She often begins by finding an obscure institutional story. It becomes their guiding story that evokes a new vision to create a sustainable model for the future.
She spent years as a book packager, publishing 17 community cookbook titles in New York trade including THE BLACK FAMILY REUNION COOKBOOK for the National Council of Negro Women and A GRACIOUS PLENTY for the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi.
As principal architect of the Ole Miss Women’s Council, she lead the restructuring of the University of Mississippi’s culture by bringing philanthropic parity for women through their 16 million endowed scholarship program. During the 20th anniversary celebration, the Council established THE ELLEN ROLFES ENDOWMENT FUND.
Now in semi-retirement, she consults with non-profits as a philanthropy strategist. She established Memphis Symphony Orchestra’s Circle of Friends as a women’s giving initiative that is committed to being an instrument of inclusion throughout the organizational structure. The group has established the MUSICIAN FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM to diversify the orchestra itself to make it more aligned with the community.
She is a former executive director of the Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis and the ACE Awareness Foundation, past president of the Junior League of Memphis, a member of Leadership Memphis and New Memphis. She is a founder and former president of the Society of Entrepreneurs.
“Entrepreneurs respect the system, but for some indefinable reason, they are internally driven to follow a vision beyond the one recognized by the status quo. They just see things differently. They were those kids in kindergarten who colored outside the lines, and thank goodness they did. The world is a better place because they had the imagination and courage to use those crayons to draw a different picture for everyone else.”
For More Information: http://www.ellenrolfes.com
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