Rochester, NY Chapter President
Ellen Smith started the Western, NY NOLB chapter in March 2014. She now coordinates 200+ volunteers assisting over 260 SIV refugees and their families. Ellen and her team have created agreements with apartment complexes to assure clean and safe housing for newly-arrived families, a horseback riding program for SIV children who may have troubles adjusting, and formed partnerships for employment opportunities that offer pre-screening for employers looking to hire SIVs candidates. The National Council of Jewish Women – Greater Rochester Section selected Ellen as the winner of the 2019 Hannah G. Solomon Humanitarian Award. She was recently awarded the “Spirit of America” award by the Reserve Officers Assn. for starting the NOLB chapter, and creating a welcoming community for those who served our county. Before taking on a full time position with NOLB in October 2016, Ellen was a credentialed journalist for 28 years with 37 top journalism awards in her career, including the Edward R. Murrow award, several awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, National Press Club, the Missouri School of Journalism, and recognized by the Investigative Reporters and Editors for her investigation skills. Ellen’s reporting career gives her the skills to work on tight deadlines, and remain focused on SIV family needs and NOLB’s core mission of finding homes, jobs and transportation for our SIV families, and spreading the message on the service the SIVs provided to our troops.