Abigail Ellis joined MENTOR Independence Region (formerly Mentoring Partnership & Resource Center) in 2015. MENTOR Independence Region was created to work with other nonprofit mentoring organizations and expand the mentoring field’s regional capacity to reach more school-aged children with caring, committed adult mentors, using best practices, training and professional support. She is responsible for setting the strategic direction, overseeing all operations and garnering resources and support for MENTOR Independence Region.
Prior to joining the MENTOR Independence Region, Abigail led the Campaign for Mentoring (a.k.a. Greater Philadelphia Mentoring Partnership) at United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, as well as efforts in data and outcomes and operational support. She is also a 12 year veteran of Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence Region, starting the first school-based mentoring program in 1999 and most recently supporting the organization in Research and Evaluation. She is a graduate of Temple University School of Social Administration, earning her Masters in Social Work. Ellis also received a BA in Sociology from Penn State University.
She is responsible for ensuring the continued financial viability of the agency, developing operations plans and budgeting, and guiding the agency in alignment with its strategic plan.
Michel is a proven global commercial leader who has launched and managed diverse pharmaceutical and vaccine brands at various stages of lifecycle with innovative customer approaches. She is recognized for her strong drive and passion to deliver profitable growth and impact through collaboration and innovation, and develop talent.
Most recently, she led Merck’s Family Planning business, defining global strategy and working closely with internal and external stakeholders around the world such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, USAID, and UNFPA, to enable growth and expand access for women and girls to long-acting reversible contraceptives. Their collective efforts have benefitted millions of women around the world. At Merck, she also served as Chief of Staff to the President of Merck’s Primary Care & Women’s Health businesses, and led several other global and US businesses across a range of therapeutic areas.
Michele has been a long-term Board Director for Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence Region. She currently leads their Technology, Process, and CRM Committee and serves on their Program and Development Committees. Michele also provides pro-bono strategic consulting support to Philadelphia-based non-profits through Compass, currently as a Project Advisor and as a former Project Leader.
Michele earned a Masters of Business Administration from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, has an undergraduate Bachelor of Arts degree from The Ohio State University. She was born and raised in the U.S. by Swiss and Filipino parents, speaks English and German, and travels globally with enthusiasm.
Marcus Allen is a charismatic and passionate public servant, devoted to helping those less fortunate. As a visionary leader with more than 20 years of experience as a nonprofit executive, he has worked tirelessly to improve life circumstances for disadvantaged youth and to advocate for equal opportunities for communities of color. He joined Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence in 2013 to further this platform as the organization’s first Black Chief Executive Officer in its celebrated 106-year history.
It is through Big Brothers Big Sisters that Mr. Allen has been able to enact a vision of innovative youth mentoring programs designed to help positively transform the lives of children facing adversity in Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. He is also committed to reshaping Big Brothers Big Sisters of America nationally, serving as Co-Chair of its Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee and a member of its National Leadership Council.
Mr. Allen is a respected community leader and outspoken advocate of amplifying social justice and dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline. For this reason, he is a sought-after speaker on a variety of topics and has appeared numerous times on local and national television networks. Mr. Allen’s efforts have led to appointments to the US Commission on Civil Rights in Pennsylvania, and as a Senior Fellow for the Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania.
Mr. Allen currently serves on the board of directors for United Way, Philadelphia Health Management Corporation, and the Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations. He is a graduate of Temple University bachelor’s degree in psychology and received his MBA in Technology Management from the University of Phoenix. He began his college career at Paine College on a General Motors Engineering Scholarship while playing basketball. He is a two-time inductee into the Paine College Sports Hall of Fame in 2000 and 2014 and played basketball professionally in Europe, Israel and South America. Allen enjoys cycling in his free time, has five children and resides in North Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
He has received numerous awards, including: