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Signature Memphis | February 2018

Photo by Steve Roberts

Ellen Robinson Rolfes

Ellen Rolfes & Associates, Inc.

Hometowns: Clarksdale, MS and Memphis, TN — I claim them both

Your Lucky Charm: The number 3 (whenever/however it appears)

Your Best Quality: Dwelling in patterns and possibilities…connecting the “dots”

A Nonliving Celebrity/Role Model You Would Invite to Dinner: There are two people; Dr. Dorothy Irene Height and Mertie Buckman (In my study I keep a picture of them sitting together on a bench.)

Your Favorite Memphis “Thangs”: Levitt Shell, Hattiloo Theatre and Playback Memphis

Best Memphis Hangout: Down by The Mighty Mississippi

Place You Go to Think: On the swing under my pergola

Best Advice You Ever Got: Look through the other’s lenses

Your Most Annoying Habit: Not interrupting, I’m working on it…

The Highlight of Your Day: Bringing two people together to discover a shared vision

Proudest Moment of Your Life: The births of my two daughters, Amy and Ellie

Who Would Play You in a Movie: Meryl Streep

You are known for your entrepreneurial spirit...what are some of your endeavors? That spirit led me to become a social architect who guides institutions by unlocking their stories within to create a bold vision for societal change. For example, my client and I are planning a conference to explore the root causes of trauma and toxic stress that impact the social determinants of health and community life. Also, I have some exciting work unfolding in the arts arena, as every great city must have a vibrant cultural center to attract and retain “the best and the brightest.” 

 One Goal You’d Still Like to Accomplish: Being part of a critical mass that pushed Memphis into its true destiny as a great city expressing its soul