Goodness Over Perfection.
Issue: June 2022
Joint Council for Economic Opportunity, Development Director
Hometown: Oakland, TN
Education: SUNY Potsdam, BA in Speech Communications
Having found her way to the North Country ten years ago, Ellie has embedded herself into the young professionals’ culture and helped grow it with her energy and enthusiasm. Her love for this region rivals those who have grown up here and celebrate its greatness. Her dedication to her work and her volunteerism is extraordinary!
How do you contribute to the culture of your company?
JCEO has a great culture. My coworkers care about what they’re doing and they always go above and beyond the job description. It’s important for me to match that energy because the work we’re doing deserves it.
What are you doing to make a difference in your community?
Showing up. It’s easy to become overwhelmed looking at the work that needs to be done or the changes you’d like to see. Instead of obsessing over where to start, when there’s an opportunity to help, I show up. Being present makes a difference.
What is the single most important characteristic for success?
Who you know and who you surround yourself with is monumental. Are you surrounding yourself with good people? Are they in your corner? Do they help you grow?
What is your biggest professional success?
A moment where I can point to something good and say “I made that happen” is a huge success to me.
What important lesson have you learned in your career?
Perfection does not exist, and waiting for it, whether it’s the “right” moment, or “best” decision, is a waste of time. Do the thing. Mess it up. Make mistakes. It’s okay.
What is your dream job?
If I could make a living doing anything, I think I’d write and illustrate novels. Really though, what’s more important to me than the job itself is who I’m working with – having a strong team – and who I’m helping – how and where I’m making an impact. The actual job itself is secondary to those things.
What is the biggest risk you have ever taken?
Moving to Plattsburgh without a job lined up was scary, but I had support and a home to return to, so it’s hard to call that a risk.
What is something that no one would guess about you?
Something that often surprises people is that I’m a huge introvert. I need time to recharge after being social and I greatly value my alone time. I just fake extroversion well!
Write a note to your younger self…
Do the scary thing.
What can the North Country do to make this area more appealing to a younger generation?
Being open to change is essential. I know that change is scary, and it is a risk, but without it, growth is impossible.