UH hires community development coordinator

Elizabeth “Libby” Ellis, economic development coordinator for the City of University Heights.

Elizabeth “Libby” Ellis is the new community development coordinator for the City of University Heights. Ellis, whose first day on the job was May 19, said that the city has had similar positions in the past, but that hers is an expanded role.

“My goal is to advance the quality of life in University Heights,” she said. Her role includes both attracting new businesses to the city and cultivating and supporting the many small, local businesses that are already located there. She will work to cultivate financial support through grants and other means, represent the mayor at community functions, build relationships and develop new programs.

Ellis, who has a B.A. in political science from Kent State University, has a background in community development and nonprofit management. She founded a nonprofit called First Step Alliance in Cleveland and ran it for 10 years. The agency coordinated donations for organizations that help homeless people transition to a place of their own. “It was innovative at the time, and we grew into 28 member agencies, many of which still exist,” she said.

Ellis lived in Cleveland Heights for 10 years, and her two daughters attended Noble Elementary School. Her family then moved to another city in Ohio and then to Boston in 2006. A job opportunity with Oberlin College brought her back to Northeast Ohio, and she was thrilled when she learned of the chance to work in University Heights.

“University Heights is a wonderful place for young families to buy a house and be part of a close-knit community. We have safe neighborhoods and affordable houses. I am looking to expand the amenities we already have and to help University Heights continue to be a great place to live,” she said.

Ellis said she is looking forward to meeting business owners and residents. Contact her at University Heights City Hall at 216-932-7800, ext. 203 or eellis@universityheights.com.

Deanna Bremer Fisher

Deanna Bremer Fisher is executive director of FutureHeights and publisher of the Heights Observer.

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Volume 7, Issue 7, Posted 2:19 PM, 06.30.2014