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ICYMI: Michigan Business Beat | Meet Ellen M. Gilchrist, BasBlue's New CEO

Michigan Business Network
May 21, 2024 11:00 AM

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Jeffrey Mosher welcomed Ellen Gilchrist - incoming CEO, and Natacha Hildebrand, Co-Founder of BasBlue, Detroit, MI.

Hear Ellen and Natacha share with Jeffrey about Ellen coming in as CEO, and what this means for BasBlue of Detroit in the SoundCloud podcast shared below:

There were several questions he wanted to cover in this conversation:
Ellen tell us about your past experiences and how you hope to use them in your new role as CEO of BasBlue

Tach, tell us about this newly created role and what you hope it will help BasBlue achieve

Before we go further, it's useful to bring the Michigan business community up to speed on BasBlue,
and how you support thousands of women in the community every year. Can you talk a little bit about your mission and offerings?

Why is it so important for Detroit to have an organization like BasBlue supporting women of color and nonbinary individuals?

1. Ellen, can you share more about what inspired you to take on the role of CEO at BasBlue

2. BasBlue emphasizes creating pathways for economic mobility and leadership development. Ellen or Natacha, how do you intend to measure the impact of BasBlue's programs and services in achieving these objectives?

3. Ellen, collaboration and partnerships seem to be integral to your past initiatives. How do you plan to foster partnerships with local organizations to further BasBlue's mission?

4. Natacha, can you elaborate on your vision for BasBlue's future and how Ellen’s experience and goals align with the organization's mission and values?

5. Can either of you speak on BasBlue's impact programs and what they mean for the community?

6. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are essential aspects of BasBlue's mission. How do you both plan to ensure that these principles are embedded in all aspects of the organization's operations and programming?

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The nonprofit shared more information at the time of Gilchrist's announcement.

Gilchrist joins leadership team to open doors for women and non-binary individuals

DETROIT, Mich.— BasBlue, a Detroit-based nonprofit that uplifts and empowers women and non-binary individuals, is thrilled to announce the appointment of Ellen Gilchrist as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Ellen Gilchrist 1 Gilchrist (left) brings a wealth of experience and a proven track record of leadership in education and community initiatives. Her visionary approach and commitment to equity make her an excellent fit to lead BasBlue into its next phase of growth and innovation.

The CEO of BasBlue is a newly created, multifaceted position that will drive growth, maximize operations for sustainability and partner closely with the board and staff to develop and implement a strategic, financial, operational and leadership plan for BasBlue’s future.

“Ellen is an exceptional leader whose talent, compassion, and dedication are transformative,” said BasBlue Co-Founder Nancy Tellem. “Her work with youth and community initiatives has been remarkable, and we are thrilled to have her join BasBlue. Ellen's entrepreneurial spirit, relationship-building skills, and unwavering commitment to Detroit will undoubtedly propel our organization to new heights, positively impacting countless lives in our community. We are incredibly fortunate to have Ellen's leadership illuminating our path forward.”

Gilchrist joins BasBlue from United Way for Southeastern Michigan, where she served as senior director of education and community initiatives. Her leadership has been instrumental in the successful implementation of programs like Summer Discovery, a $47 million initiative that provides summer programming to more than 100 schools and 22,000 students across Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties, and the Building Foundations juvenile intervention program, which delivers care to at-risk youth in Wayne County. Gilchrist also led UWSEM’s work to address the generational literacy crisis by leveraging partnerships to distribute more than 40,000 books to students across Wayne and Oakland County.

Prior to her role at United Way, Gilchrist served as the Executive Director of Social Studies and Accelerated Programs for Detroit Public Schools Community District. Gilchrist oversaw a $14 million budget, serving students and educators at more than 100 schools while leading initiatives aimed at addressing systemic inequities and improving student outcomes.

“As CEO of BasBlue, I am excited to reaffirm my commitment to uplifting women and girls, and to create transformational change in our community,” Gilchrist said. “I’ve had a powerful, supportive and safe circle of women in my life. I want to create the same for women and non-binary people here, and be intentional about door-opening opportunities that come their way.”

In her free time, Ellen enjoys spending time with her husband and their three children twins, Emily, Garlin III and Ruby. Gilchrist holds a Master of Arts in International Educational Development from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies & Education and Child Development from Smith College.

“Ellen is a trailblazer in the Detroit community with a passion and dedication for uplifting people and creating impactful community programs,” said BasBlue Co-Founder Natacha Hildebrand. “She has a proven track record of managing multimillion-dollar partnerships and collaborating with organizations to drive real change and positive results in Southeast Michigan. We are grateful to have someone of Ellen’s caliber leading our organization as we look to the future and seek to expand the programs and services we offer our members and the public.” To learn more about BasBlue, please visit www.basblueus.com.

Watch for an upcoming interview with Ms. Gilchrist on the 'Michigan Business Beat' this month.


About BasBlue:
BasBlue is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing women and non-binary individuals’ economic mobility and leadership skills by providing valuable resources for personal and professional developmental growth. Supported by The BasBlue Foundation, resources include but are not limited to educational programming, community connection, mentorship, networking, and business resources. Established in October 2021 as a mission-driven nonprofit, BasBlue creates pathways and collaborates with local organizations on initiatives that lead to change in the community, while serving as a welcoming space for more than 700 members in Southeast Michigan.

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Michigan Business Network is an online broadcasting company that provides knowledge, news, and insights into Michigan’s businesses, industries, and economy.