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Shelton-Based Valley United Way Reaches To Virginia To Find New Leader

Sharon Gibson Ellis has been hired as the new president and COO of the Shelton-based Valley United Way.
Sharon Gibson Ellis has been hired as the new president and COO of the Shelton-based Valley United Way. Photo Credit: Valley United Way

SHELTON, Conn. — Sharon Gibson Ellis has been hired as the new president and chief operating officer of the Shelton-based Valley United Way, succeeding Jack Walsh, who announced his plans to retire earlier this year. 

Ellis comes to Valley United Way with a wealth of experience in the United Way system, including serving as the professional head of United Ways of Benton & Lincoln Counties in Oregon, United Way of Muscatine in Iowa and most recently United Way of Greater Williamsburg in Virginia.

“We conducted a very thorough and lengthy search for Jack’s successor, and we are thrilled to have hired someone with such a successful track record within the United Way system," said Valley United Way Board Chairman Jen Bull. "She is a very caring and knowledgeable person with excellent leadership skills who rose to the top of a very talented group of candidates." 

She will begin her tenure with Valley United Way on Monday, Nov. 7, and work closely with Walsh until his retirement at the end of the month.

Ellis said she is “excited to work with the United Way volunteers, staff and community to serve the Valley. 

"I have heard wonderful things about the Valley," she said. "This a very unique community and I am looking forward to the tremendous opportunities ahead.”

Throughout her United Way career, Ellis has earned a reputation for spearheading and facilitating numerous collaborations around housing, food security and homelessness. 

Of particular importance was the effort in Williamsburg, Va., to understand the root causes of homelessness among precariously housed populations. That effort resulted in the establishment of a Housing Collaborative that has effectively transformed and expanded the community system to more effectively deal with the issue.

She has managed disaster recovery efforts at two of her previous United Ways and even authored and taught curriculum on organizational management as well as serving as a consultant for other nonprofit organizations. She has also has a great understanding of for-profit business as she has had personal success in the retail arena where she owned and operated three successful businesses of her own.

Valley United Way is a leading philanthropic organization serving Ansonia, Derby, Oxford, Seymour, and Shelton.

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