As the Senior Director of Community Outreach for United Arts of Central Florida, Elyse is responsible for facilitating the organization’s $3.4 million annual grant portfolio. Rooted in equity, Elyse’s theory for change is based on right-sizing initiatives to support specific transformation that is impactful and sustainable. With the arts, science and history being critical components of community vitality, Elyse is excited to co-create funding opportunities that are inclusive, equitable, accessible, and transparent via participatory grantmaking practices.

Before joining United Arts in 2021, Elyse spent five years in the Dan River Region of Virginia and North Carolina, focusing on community revitalization. Here, Elyse was exposed to philanthropy’s unique role in investing in discovery, innovation, and continuous improvement. At the Danville Regional Foundation, Elyse led the designing and activation of the Foundation’s work related to its Raising the Region’s Profile initiative and provided strategy development support for Opportunity Neighborhoods and The Health Collaborative. As the project manager for The Health Collaborative, Elyse led long-range initiative planning and operations to support the Collaborative’s multi-layered approach, integrating policy, systems, and environment changes into partner services, programs, and resources to increase health equity. This work included directing the Collaborative’s participation in the Healthiest Cities and Counties Challenge and producing the region’s first comprehensive health equity report.

Elyse holds a Bachelor of Science in Communication – Training and Development from Western Carolina University, A Master of Public Administration from the University of Montana, and a certificate in Nonprofit Administration from Duke University.

In her downtime, Elyse enjoys traveling and woodworking- recently diving into the world of woodturning. Prior to the pandemic, Elyse spent time volunteering abroad with Habitat for Humanity International, having worked on homes in Comănești, Romania, and Belfast, Northern Ireland.

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