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.
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.
Leading the Policy Unit, Jamie manages the Education, Health and Workforce Development/Family Economic Security affinity groups that focus on increased learning, collaboration and funding around critical policy issues. These affinity groups engage both non-profit and philanthropic partners to develop and implement strategy and public policies that produce positive impacts for children, families and communities in Mississippi.
Jamie, a native of Kosciusko, MS has a BS in management from Belhaven University and a Masters in Health Promotion from Mississippi State University. Jamie comes to us from a healthcare company based in Nashville, TN where she held the position of Senior Partner of Corporate Social Responsibility, overseeing corporate giving, national strategic partnerships, colleague engagement and activism and government relations. Over the last 15 years she has invested in many organizations around the metro area with a focus on health and wellness, social justice, community development and youth leadership.
Jamie served on the board of the I.S. Sanders YMCA, Midtown Public Charter School and has given countless hours of her time to support many local nonprofits with fundraising and volunteering. She is a current fellow in the WKKF Community Leadership Network and a graduate of Leadership Greater Jackson class of 2010-2011.
She is the proud mother of a beautiful little girl and you can find them all over Jackson exploring the museums, parks, and amazing places to eat.
The Alliance is pleased to welcome Julia Kunis, who serves as the Constituent Services and Support Coordinator at the Mississippi Alliance of Nonprofits & Philanthropy. She is grateful to have the opportunity to work with organizations across Mississippi and is eager to make connections with organizations just like yours!
Julia Kunis serves as the Constituent Services and Support Coordinator for the MS Alliance. Born and raised in Stony Brook, New York, Julia completed her Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology at Hunter College focusing her studies on Cultural and Linguistic Anthropology. Upon completion of her thesis, she was awarded the Excellence in Anthropology award. After receiving her Bachelor’s degree in May of 2019, Julia moved to Mississippi to work with the Institute of Southern Jewish Life (ISJL), an education-focused nonprofit where she worked with communities across the South to engage in meaningful faith-based learning.
Driven by her desire to be an active member in the Jackson community, she became Chair of Beth Israel Congregation’s Tikkun Olam Committee, currently serves as a Board Member at the Southern Jewish Resource Network (SOJOURN), and actively seeks ways in which she can get more involved with the communities of Mississippi. Her goal is to be a change-agent in the state of Mississippi, working alongside the organizations that are yearning to see a brighter tomorrow.