Ellen Collins serves as chief operating officer for The Alliance and is responsible for day-to-day operations, working to ensure the organization is effectively executing on its long-term strategy, consistently improving performance and productivity, and regularly identifying opportunities to enhance organizational effectiveness. Ellen has served in various roles in nonprofit and philanthropic organizations, most recently as the director of the Prosperity Center for Midtown Partners, Inc. She also served as a senior program officer for the Chicago-based McCormick Foundation and director of programs for the Community Foundation of Greater Jackson (now the Community Foundation for Mississippi) where she was instrumental in helping launch the Women’s Fund of Mississippi (now the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi), the only nonprofit foundation in the state that focuses primarily on women and girls’ issues. A native of Starkville, Miss, Ellen holds a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from Mississippi Valley State University; a Master of Science in education from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale; and additional studies and certifications in family services and leadership development. She was a member of the Leadership Greater Jackson class of 2008-09 and has served on various boards for nonprofit organizations in the Metro Jackson area. Ellen is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta, Sorority, Inc. and the Junior League of Jackson. She loves photography, traveling, and conducting genealogical research.
Dave Miller serves as the Program Director for The Alliance and works to ensure that organizations throughout MS have the resources and the network connections they need to be successful. Dave has a BA in education from California State University Northridge and a Masters from the University of MS in educational leadership. His ten years in Mississippi began in the Delta where he served as a 5th-grade math and science teacher in Clarksdale, where he was named Teacher of the Year in 2011. Although he loved his time in the classroom he was drawn to leadership and entered into the Principal Corps program. After completing the program, he served as an assistant principal in Greenville, MS. In 2015 Dave became the Director of Community Engagement at the Institute of Southern Jewish Life, where he oversaw a spring break literacy camp, family literacy programs, conflict resolution/peer mediation programming, and social justice programs for five years.
He serves as a board member at Stewpot Community Services and Social Action committee chair at Beth Israel Congregation, as well as chair of the Teach for America Greater Delta Alumni Advisory Board. Dave is a cinephile and when not in the theater he loves to spend time by the water and Facetiming with his nieces and family in Los Angeles.
Karla Edwards is the Central MS Hub Director for Volunteers and Nonprofits. The Central MS Hub is a partnership between The Alliance and Volunteer Mississippi. The Hub is a resource for volunteerism and nonprofit capacity building. The Central MS Hub serves volunteers and nonprofits in Claiborne, Copiah, Hinds, Leake, Madison, Rankin, Scott, Simpson, Smith, and Warren counties. A native of Natchez, she has spent the last 6 years in the nonprofit industry and is committed to a lifetime of service. She received her Master of Nonprofit Management from University of Central Florida. She also holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from The University of Mississippi. She abides by Mahatma Gandhi’s quote “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”.
A native of Hazlehurst, Miss., Sandra studied business marketing and management at Southwest Mississippi Community College in Summit, Miss. She is currently a member of the International Association of Administrative Professionals, American Society of Administrative Professionals, Association of Executive and Administrative Professionals, and the American Society of Notaries.