Carlson named Executive Director of MOM
The MOM Board of Directors welcomes Ellen Carlson as the new Executive Director of Middleton Outreach Ministry. MOM is a non-profit, community effort dedicated to preventing homelessness and ending hunger for families throughout west Madison, Middleton, and Cross Plains.
Carlson began her tenure with MOM in January of 2002. She served in many capacities in those 16 years. Her many leadership roles included volunteer and donor development, operations, program development, communications and strategic planning.
Upon accepting the position, Carlson shared that she has worked with a community of people deeply passionate about serving their neighbors with compassionate care. She said, “I am honored to continue working with them side by side, and also expanding our reach to include as many people as possible. MOM is truly for the community, and by the community.”
“The Board of Directors is excited to welcome such a dynamic individual to the role as executive director,” said Todd Smith, MOM Board President and Attorney with Godfrey & Kahn. “Over the past months, Ellen has lead the organization through a time of reflection and great transition as the interim director. We are confident that she will continue in the tradition of responsible and visionary leadership. She’ll bring the people of our community together to make sure those most vulnerable are cared for, with dignity and hope.”
When asked about the future, Carlson stated, "My vision for MOM is to determine how we can continue to make local change to the issues of poverty and to the inequities in our community.”
She plans to investigate creative ways the organization can make sure that, despite unstable times, people's basic needs are met.
“We can be a community where those most vulnerable have the basic supports needed. Everyone has the right to a healthier and more stable future,” said Carlson. “We need to use research to determine how the work we do can create better future outcomes for children and better immediate outcomes for adults in crisis.”
Carlson has a long history of giving back to the community. Upon graduation from University of Wisconsin-Madison, Carlson joined AmeriCorps VISTA. Through VISTA placement, she worked with the Schools of Hope Literacy Project in the Madison area. She was a VISTA Leader for a year, a position that was housed at the United Way of Dane County.
Carlson is well-known throughout the Madison community for her creative and collaborative projects. In 2015, she was named a 40 under 40 by InBusiness magazine, as someone who contributed to MOM's growth, innovation, and success in 2015. In 2017, Carlson was again recognized for being inspiring, innovative and empowering woman who enriches the greater Madison area as a Woman to Watch in BRAVA magazine. Carlson also serves on the governing board of her church, First United Methodist.
“Having been part of the MOM interview team that recommended hiring Ellen Carlson in 2001, I am delighted that she will be the new Executive Director. Ellen is diligent, caring, thoughtful and dedicated. I’m very confident she will excel in this new opportunity,” said Mike Davis, MOM Board 2000-2007 and Middleton City Administrator.
He went on to say, “Ellen is very capable of carrying on the legacy that our friend, Al Ripp, began. Her passion will be an asset as the MOM team continues their work to be one of the foremost non-profit service providers in Dane County.”
In 2016, 1,500 volunteers gave over 39,000 hours of service. Nine staff help administer the programs and organize the volunteers that serve nearly 4,000 individuals in West Madison, Middleton and Cross Plains each year. MOM works closely with many organizations, including collaborations with non-profits throughout Dane County.
Dan Stein, CEO of Second Harvest of Southwestern Wisconsin, said, “Ellen will do great things for MOM. We look forward to building on our already strong partnership with MOM under her leadership.” Second Harvest is southwestern Wisconsin's largest food bank, filling nearly one million emergency food requests annually.
“Ellen Carlson truly understands MOM’s mission. Preventing homelessness and eliminating Hunger is a big charge!,” said Sarah Shatz, a social worker with Joining Forces for Families. “Ellen has the experience, the commitment, the critical thinking, and the flexibility necessary to guide MOM. As partners we can work towards a Middleton that is proud responds effectively to issues as important as homelessness and hunger.” Joining Forces Serving the greater Middleton and Mazomanie areas, Joining Forces for Families helps families address their basic human needs by quickly linking clients to resources.
Ellen’s husband Michael works in the area of affordable housing. Together, they are the parents of two strong-willed, loving and curious boys, ages 9 and 12.
Carlson concludes, “I’m excited to learn and serve with clients, volunteers and donors throughout our good neighbor community.”
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