Ellen Tower, Community Development Professional

Ellen Tower joined the LifeBridge board in 1998.  She served as Board Chair from 2011-2013 and continues to serve on the Board of Directors today.  She joined the board because LifeBridge goals, mission and vision were perfectly aligned to her commitment to helping people with low and moderate incomes.

Ellen was born in New York City on the Upper East Side and grew up in White Plains and Scarsdale, New York. Her grandparents were an important influence in her life.  Her grandfather built the Synagogue in White Plains.  And, as a child she saw both her grandfather and grandmother giving back to the community.  She learned from her grandparents that community is important and individual investment makes a community impact. Her family history helps shape her sense of community and influences her volunteerism. Ellen is a strong advocate of mentoring and recognizes that true mentors help people move from survival to aspirational perspectives. Ellen believes that it is important for people to have a support network, and that LifeBridge helps provide that network to youth and families in Bridgeport.

Ellen’s career was shaped by her belief in a strong community.  Ellen began as an educator in New York City.  When she moved to banking, her focus was on community development. She had a career in managing and building community relations, economic development and affordable housing programs at Citibank and People’s United Bank. Prior to her retirement from Citibank, Ellen was Vice President of Community Development – responsible for regional management of community development initiatives in Connecticut, Westchester, Bronx and the new Massachusetts market.

Ellen is also a Board member of New Neighborhoods, Inc and serves on Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, Fund for Women and Girls Advisory Council and Local Initiatives Support Corporation of Connecticut – Local Advisory Committee. She is a Founding member of the American Manufacturing Hall of Fame Steering Committee at Housatonic Community College and serves as Development Chair.

Ellen holds a BS degree from Boston University and an MA degree from New York University.  Ellen and her husband have three children and live in Fairfield, CT.