Jela Ellefson came to Detroit in 1997 from Slovakia to attend the University of Detroit Mercy, where she studied business administration and was a scholarship member of the fencing team. After moving to Los Angeles and working in corporate finance for five years, her passion for the city led Jela to the University of Southern California where she earned a master’s degree in Urban Planning with focus on Transportation and Land Use in 2008. She established her career with Civic Enterprise Associates LLC working on neighborhood revitalization projects, public funding, zoning, community outreach, project management and development.  Her favorite projects were piloting a public valet program in a dense commercial neighborhood and an economic development study for the City of West Hollywood.  During this time, Jela also volunteered for the City of LA Planning Department, and participated in update of the bicycle and pedestrian section of the University Master Plan for the University of Southern California.

At Work

At the Eastern Market Corporation, Jela’s work as the Grants and Special Projects Coordinator entails managing an increasing portfolio of government and philanthropic grants with varying accounting and reporting requirements.  During busy produce season Jela gets to help out on the Saturday and Tuesday Markets.  Most recently, Jela has completed a number of reports for grantors ranging from USDA, HUD to CFSEM; reviewed parking plan for the Eastern Market District Master Plan; and has volunteered with the Bloody Run Creek Daylighting Project.

Link to Employer Website: Eastern Market Home

At Play

Jela enjoys the accessibility of Detroit, trips to the DIA, swimming at the YMCA, visiting new places, and exploring Michigan’s diverse food landscape with family and friends.

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