Since 1984, Galen Ellis, MPH, President of Ellis Planning Associates Inc., has worked with non-profits, advocacy organizations, public agencies, foundations, and individual social entrepreneurs to develop participatory planning, evaluation, and decision-making approaches. Her primary interest lies in increasing individual and organizational capacity to improve community health and quality of life. Galen has presented nationally on community building, multi-cultural collaboration, and policy advocacy, and has authored numerous publications, which tie health education and planning theory to grounded practice.
As an evaluator, she has developed participatory data analysis processes that engage community stakeholders in all levels of planning and evaluation, including understanding, analyzing, and interpreting data for outcome-based planning. With a team of consultants, Galen has developed a highly interactive and hands-on training approach, called Discovery Zones, that allows diverse participants to explore technical information through collaborative learning.
Galen has directed both a county-wide tobacco control and a childhood lead poisoning prevention program, and developed and launched the Healthy Neighborhoods Project (a national model). She has worked in the fields of occupational health, women’s health, and alcohol, tobacco, and other drug prevention as a planner, trainer and evaluator.
Jessica Lime, MA is a Project Manager for Ellis Planning Associates. She is an experienced program development consultant, with 16+ years of experience planning, implementing, and evaluating programs for public and nonprofit organizations. Jessica is skilled in helping define project and evaluation needs; collecting, analyzing and interpreting data; developing polished, audience-driven communications and reports; and ensuring quality outcomes are met on time and within budget. Jessica prides herself on being positive, dedicated and highly responsive to our clients. She previously served as the Program Manager for the SNAP-Ed Nutrition Education Obesity Prevention (NEOP) program; a Policy Consultant for the California School Boards Association; a Health Educator for the Child Health and Disability Prevention program; and a Project Coordinator for Sansum Diabetes Research Institute. She holds an MA in Education from Chapman University.
Suzanna Elkin, PhD is a Research and Evaluation Specialist for Ellis Planning Associates. She has over 15 years of experience in the fields of public health and education. Her areas of expertise are program evaluation, public health and educational program planning, and curriculum development. Suzanna has extensive experience with mixed-methods data collection and analysis, theory-driven program development, and collaboration with diverse clients and community partners. Before joining Ellis Planning Associates, she worked as a health educator and program coordinator at public health initiatives in this country and internationally, with a focus on nutrition and sustainable food systems. Suzanna has developed nutrition education curriculum for the USDA and Johns Hopkins, and she teaches undergraduate public health courses. She holds a BA in Community Health from Brown University and a PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Vermont.
Sarah Underwood, MPH is a Research and Evaluation Specialist with Ellis Planning Associates. She has over 15 years of experience in the fields of public health and education. Her areas of expertise include program evaluation, qualitative and quantitative research methods and analysis, and public health and educational program planning. Her primary passion is working towards advancing health equity and community resiliency. Before joining Ellis Planning Associates, she worked as a Senior Director at Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Cruz County; a Program Manager at Valley Vision; and a Program Coordinator at Sonoma County’s Department of Health Services. She holds an MPH and a multiple subject teaching credential from UC Davis.
Lyn Paleo, DrPH is an Evaluation Specialist for Ellis Planning Associates. She has over 30 years of experience in program evaluation, program design and implementation, and non-profit fiscal administration. She has worked in the areas of early childhood, nutrition and health, HIV/AIDS, homeless, domestic violence, substance abuse, youth services, literacy, disaster preparedness, and occupational health. For ten years she taught the graduate-level course on evaluation at the School of Public Health, UC Berkeley. Her evaluation practice focuses on teaching/training, evaluation for community organizations, research on evaluation, and the use of non-standard evaluation instruments, such as adhesive formats and interactive methodologies. Lyn Paleo received her Masters of Public Administration (MPA) from Harvard Kennedy School of Government, where she was awarded one of the highly coveted Littauer Fellowship awards for academic excellence and community service. She received her Doctorate of Public Health degree at the School of Public Health, UC Berkeley. Her dissertation is titled “Conventional and Participatory Evaluation: A Comparison in Theory and Practice.”
Lev El-Askari is currently studying psychology at Willamette University. He is an intern at Oregon Health Sciences University working in an occupational psychology lab. Lev periodically performs data entry and analysis for Ellis Planning Associates.
Adele James is experienced as a funder, organizational development consultant, leadership development program staff and faculty member, and a career and life transition coach. She has a unique set of skills and an understanding of what it takes to be a productive and responsive leader, team and organization, with over 20 years’ experience in the nonprofit and philanthropy sectors. Adele works with statewide, regional and local groups in conducting program planning and management, organizational capacity and infrastructure development, meeting facilitation and training, strategic planning, staff development and team building. She brings a broad perspective to diversity issues, and is passionate about working to help individuals and organizations step into their fullest potential as impactful leaders on issues important to their communities. Adele holds an MA from Stanford University in International Development Education.
Diane Reed has 30 years’ experience as a consultant providing research and writing, policy analysis, planning, evaluation assistance, and grant writing services to public and private agencies and community-based organizations in California. Her projects cover child welfare, domestic violence, nutrition, tobacco, alcohol and other drug problems, perinatal health, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, criminal justice, and community-based service collaboration. She has conducted needs assessments and health/social services status reports for over 25 agencies and organizations, and written nearly 30 case studies describing the tobacco policy/advocacy work of cities and community-based organizations. She is principal author of a major case study analyzing the challenges confronting underfunded social agencies serving low income communities; and of four primers that provide information about the state child welfare system, CalWORKs, and nutrition issues to local and state leaders, service providers, educators, students, and other stakeholders. She holds an MPH in Policy and Planning from UC Berkeley.