Ellen Knapp, Executive Director, Retires January 2018

Ellen Knapp

Ellen Knapp, EPU’s Executive Director, will retire in January 2018 after joining EPU in 2015. During her time as EPU’s Executive Director, Ellen strengthened and expanded the agency’s commitment to bettering the lives of children and families in the Central Valley.

“Ellen has been a tremendous leader for our agency, and we are grateful for her unwavering commitment and many contributions to EPU’s success,” said Trisha Cooper, President of EPU’s Board of Directors.

Ellen retires after a long career committed to this community. At the start of her career, she was a member of Gottschalks’ Executive Team. Her intrinsic leadership qualities and sharp business mentality in the corporate world laid the foundation for her future leadership of community benefit organizations in Fresno.

Ellen began her career in the nonprofit sector as the Regional CEO of the American Red Cross Central Valley Chapter, creating emergency response systems necessary to protect the Central Valley in the event of natural disaster. While serving as CEO of the Red Cross, Ellen was honored with Marjaree Mason Center’s Top 10 Women Award in 2011 for her outstanding contributions to our community.

Ellen merged her experience in big business and nonprofit leadership and joined the EPU Children’s Center as Executive Director in 2015. She led the organization through the retirement of its founder, establishing a firm operational structure solidifying the agency’s future growth. Though her business acumen, Ellen brought a higher level of efficiency to the agency by implementing new standards and technology increasing the agency’s ability to serve families.

“It’s been an honor to serve as the Executive Director of the EPU Children’s Center,” Ellen said. “This agency’s staff is wholly dedicated to improving the lives of children and families in the Central Valley, and I couldn’t be more proud to be part of EPU’s 41 year history. I wish EPU all the best in the future, and I am confident that their dedication to this community will continue to benefit countless children and families.”