Our founder, Ellen (Ellie) Krug, often speaks of how as a young boy (yes, you read that right—Ellie is transgender), Dr. King and Robert F. Kennedy inspired her to work to make the world better for all.

Because Ellie’s voice (distinctly male) contrasts with her appearance (distinctly female), she can talk about how we humans automatically label and categorize people who are “different,” which impacts the strength of one’s human spirt (for those on the outside) and a willingness for inclusivity and welcoming (for those on the inside).

In 2009, Ellie transitioned from male to female. Within three months of transitioning, she became the first Iowa attorney, and one of the few nationally, to try a jury case in the other gender. We believe Ellie is also the first transgender attorney to argue before the Iowa Supreme Court.

Ellie’s memoir, Getting to Ellen: A Memoir about Love, Honesty and Gender Change (Stepladder Press), was published in February 2013. The memoir has been featured in the St. Paul Pioneer Press and on Iowa Public Radio and has been reviewed on Amazon (5 Star rating) and Goodreads by more than 70 readers.

Ellie has presented about her life story and the lessons learned many times and her work has expanded to general training on diversity and inclusion.