Katie Steele Ellis, Opus Community Foundation

TITLE:  Executive Director

FOCUS AREAS: Affordable housing, community revitalization, education, financial literacy, community health, human services, arts.

CONTACT: Visit PeopleFinder for email and phone number (paid subscribers only)

PROFILE: Steele has been with the Opus Community Foundation since December 2010 and serves as the executive director of the foundation. She previously worked as the manager of major gifts at Hoag Hospital Foundation for nearly four years. She earned an MBA from the University of California, Irvine and a BA in communications from UCLA.

The Paul Merage School of Business shared that Ellis was featured in OC Metro’s annual “40 Under 40” list of impressive professionals in Orange County, California. The UC Irvine article shares:

Ellis was recognized for her ability to take on new responsibilities and challenges, and for the tremendous support she and her team have provided to those in need in southern California. Ellis has been responsible for dolling out about a half million dollars in support of organizations involved in affordable housing, community health and human services, and education. Opus Community Foundation was established in 2010, by Opus Bank.

Ellis enrolled in the MBA program in 2008 and later referred Lindsay Lawrence FEMBA '11, a 2011 OC Metro 40 Under 40 list-maker, and her husband Chris Lawrence FEMBA '11, who are the founders of Opus Bank. This trio of high achievers is a clear illustration of networking at its finest.

"The business community is a tight knit community. When one of us discovers something positive or valuable, we like to share it with others doing business in our area. I found my experience at the Merage School extremely valuable to my career and I shared that with Lindsay and Chris. Both of them enrolled in the program and utilized what they learned to further develop their business. The School has really become a major part of our continuing and overall success with Opus Bank."

You can listen and watch Ellis’ and her colleagues talk about the foundation in the video on the foundation’s homepage. Learn more about background in the OC Register’s “UCI alumna makes giving back her business” article.