10 Years, 10 Stories: Ellen Moss Williams and the Godman Guild

In celebration of Local Matters' 10th anniversary, we are taking some time to reflect. Where have we come from? Who has nurtured our growth? Where are we now? What will the future hold? These are questions we have asked ten friends of Local Matters - ten people who have truly shaped the organization to be what it is today. Today's story comes from a conversation with the Godman Guild's CEO, Ellen Moss Williams.

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Local Matters takes pride in our partnerships with other organizations. One of these partnerships is with the Godman Guild, a nonprofit in the Weinland Park neighborhood that “promotes strong families and strong communities in Columbus, Ohio.”

Ellen Moss Williams has been with the Godman Guild for twenty-one years and has served as CEO for the past seven. She has held just about every leadership position within the organization, which helps give her perspective on Godman Guild’s many partnerships – like that with Local Matters.

The Godman Guild focuses on helping individuals and families increase their social and economic mobility. They do this by offering adult education and employment programs and programs that help youth increase their social/emotional skills and prepare for the world of work as adults.

When speaking of their work with Local Matters, Ellen shared: “The Local Matters and Godman Guild connection focuses around both gardening and providing healthier options of food to the people that live in the neighborhood and those that attend Godman Guild programs.” Local Matters helps manage the Guild’s onsite garden and hoop house, which both offer families free, healthy fruit and vegetables.

Local Matters is the leader in this community in regards to local, healthier food options. People have to remain healthy in order to stay at work and school, and there is no other group doing what Local Matters does in Columbus.

Just like Local Matters, Godman Guild’s work and leadership are unique. Unique offerings demand strong leaders. For Ellen, her the most significant contribution to both organizations has been her ability to take calculated risks.

Failing gets you down the right path, and you should treasure the opportunity to take risks.

She compares the leadership of both organizations, saying that both have taken opportunities leading to future growth.

Having witnessed the work Local Matters and Godman Guild can do time and time again, Ellen says the most rewarding part is “actually seeing people progress and gain the insight needed to not only understand that there is a better way to be healthier, but also make the necessary personal and family life-style changes to realize the benefits of healthier eating. People become more aware of how food impacts our lives after interacting with Local Matters.”

Looking toward the future, Ellen hopes to increase collaborative work with Local Matters. Between classes, training, discussions around heathy food options, and cooking classes, both the need and the opportunities are endless.

Support Godman Guild’s work by volunteering or donating today.