Our President and CEO

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Michelle Ellis Young

Michelle Ellis Young is the Chief Executive Officer of YWCA South Hampton Roads where she stewards the organization’s mission of eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. Michelle brings more than 25 years of experience advancing the organizational mission of non-profits, corporations, and higher education institutions, strengthening the stakeholder experience and conceptualizing innovative programs in community-centered organizations. Most recently, she was executive director of the American Red Cross of Coastal Virginia in Norfolk, where she oversaw the operation of Red Cross in more than 27 cities and counties in Hampton Roads and the Eastern Shore. Prior to that, she served as director of the Retail Alliance Foundation in Norfolk and served as associate manager of Community Health Strategies at the American Diabetes Association in Chesapeake.

Equipped with years of experience in higher education, community engagement, retail, and HR, she brings a unique and well-balanced perspective to her role.  Described as a connector of people and resources, Michelle is passionate about service and the development of people, esp. women, and young girls, and helping them to actualize their passion and purpose. She simply encourages people to walk in excellence and reminds them to Continue to M.O.V.E. ~ Meditate on Victory Every day! Michelle, a trained communicator, earned a B.A. at the University of Houston, in Houston, Texas in Radio-Television and an M.A. in Counseling with a focus on College Student Development from Hampton University, in Hampton, Virginia.

Michelle is a proud native of New Orleans, LA, and alumna of Seton Academy School for Girls, University of Houston, Hampton University, and West Virginia University. She’s also an ordained minister and serves on several community boards, committees, and ministries and is a die-hard ‘Who Dat’ New Orleans Saints fan!

Headshot of Michelle Ellis Young, CEO & President of YWCA South Hampton Roads