About Elisa

Elisa M. Ortiz – Creating Social Change, One Career at a Time

I am a career coach, speaker, community organizer, activist, idealist and believer in the world-changing potential of good people doing good things.


About me:headshot

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve dreamed big. While other little girls may have been dreaming about owning a pony or being a ballerina, I was dreaming about owning a unicorn and being the first woman President. Being raised by a single mom (in a very rural area of Upstate New York) who sometimes struggled to keep a roof over our heads helped instill in me a deep appreciation of strong women, working hard to achieve your goals and the importance of love, family and friends. It also helped instill a belief that people shouldn’t have struggle so hard for basic necessities and a desire to activate myself and others to improve things. Thus, a career in social-justice, advocacy and nonprofits was born.

I attended Utica College (also in Upstate New York) where I began working on women’s rights, LGBT rights, and other kinds of advocacy almost immediately and graduated with a degree in Political Science. After an internship in Washington, DC, I knew I had to be here in the center of the political and social-justice action. I moved to Arlington, VA soon afterward and have lived and worked here ever since.

Little Daisy

Little Daisy

After several years working in a variety of social justice-focused nonprofit organizations, I realized I was developing a passion for career and leadership development. I’ve worked through several career challenges myself and have watched other young nonprofit professionals try to navigate the same waters; this blog and my career coaching work is an attempt to help nonprofit professionals improve themselves, their organizations and the world around us. (Want to know more about coaching options? Contact me!)

I live in a beautiful little row house in Arlington with my husband Dan and our dog Daisy, I love to read, dance and sing, cook, play softball and garden in our teeny, tiny little backyard.

This Blog:

This blog is about nonprofit leadership, career success, self and organizational management, and about my climb up the experience/knowledge/employment ladder. I hope that by reading it, others will gain insight and ideas into how to advance their own careers and make the nonprofit sector even better. And I hope to make some friends and meet new colleagues along the way.

I love to talk to and meet new people – and I’d be happy to work with you to get your resume and cover letter in order, help you figure out what you’re doing with your life or train you and your coworkers/organization/board on how to get the best out of yourselves and your employees. To get in touch, you can email me, add me as a connection on LinkedIn or follow me on Twitter.

Thanks and welcome!

It is important to note that all opinions expressed and affiliations listed are solely mine.

Get a taste of this blog with some of my top posts