Rising Star: Ellen Goodmann Miller

Ellen Goodmann Miller

Community and resource development specialist, Gronen; principal/consultant, Hawks Goodmann & Associates

Ellen Goodmann Miller knows how to obtain funding to support community projects. She’s brought multimillions of dollars in public and private grants, tax credits and other funding sources to help move Dubuque forward.

Goodmann Miller says collaboration is important in determining funding strategies.

“I work closely with organizational leadership to assess vision, timeline, resources and opportunities for funding. Together we create a fund development plan.”

Some of her projects include working with campaign leadership on the Steeple Square $15 million capital campaign/restoration and teaming with the Four Mounds Foundation on grant writing and development planning.

Mary Gronen nominated Goodmann Miller for Rising Stars and said, “Ellen has many traits that would be considered savvy leadership. She takes the times to listen to the needs of those she’s working with and tailors her efforts to address said needs,”

Gronen and her husband John own Gronen, a real estate development company. Goodmann Miller collaborated with the Gronen team on grants for projects and nonprofits in the Millwork District in 2010-2011.

“John, Mary and I frequently discussed innovating the role of development director for organizations that might not have the budget to support a full-time director or that might need extra help for a specific project, but not a permanent position,” Goodmann Miller said.

“We collaborated to create a position which is housed at Gronen. I’ve learned from working with Gronen that planning and process are keys to success and have worked with them for five and a half years,” Goodmann Miller said.

In 2019, Goodmann Miller founded Hawks Goodmann & Associates and through this organization served as deputy political director on the Biden for President campaign and as a political consultant for Rep. Ras Smith’s Iowa gubernatorial campaign.

“I’ve been engaged in political activism most of my life. My parents and grandparents were also very engaged with the Democratic Party from local to state to national races,” Goodmann Miller said.

Nicole Gantz also nominated Goodmann Miller for Rising Stars and said, “Ellen is a natural leader in all of her projects. Her approach is collaborative and she knows how to develop an effective team.”

Goodmann Miller has served on several boards and serves on the boards for Communities in Schools of Mid-America and Dupaco Community Credit Union.

Goodmann Miller has two daughters Violet, 11 and Freya, 8 with husband Tom Miller and strongly believes in connecting kids to community building by involving them in work, volunteer activities and change making initiatives.

“Violet and Freya often come with me to the office, events and meetings. I want them to know the importance of being connected to community and to tap into their talents and skills to help people and contribute to impacting lives,” Goodmann Miller said.