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Employee Profile: Ellyn Smith

An integral part of any member-based nonprofit organization’s operation is the need to ensure that its members receive all their available benefits and that members have access to someone who will effectively handle their inquiries. The person on the ABC staff who fills this function is Ellyn Smith. Ellyn came to ABC just over a year ago and started as our receptionist. With her pleasant personality and continual smile, she was a perfect person to fill that role. As she took on increasing responsibilities around the office, more and more of her duties pertained to assisting members with inquiries, processing new memberships, and related tasks, growing into the role of ABC’s Membership Coordinator. Ellyn’s duties are focused on what we call our Core Membership, the several thousand Individual, Academic, and Professional members. Whenever a new member joins ABC, or a valued current member renews his or her membership, Ellyn coordinates the mailing of letters, packets, and any premiums (e.g., herb books, ABC letter openers, etc.).

As part of her role Ellyn also works on the Development and Marketing team, helping to fulfill all Core Member-based functions of any new initiative or program. She also helps the Development department with administrative support in preparing proposals to prospective Corporate and Sponsor members. She also is responsible for ensuring that ABC members are able to gain access to the appropriate areas of the ABC Web site and that their personal user names and passwords are current. She regularly updates the special donor/member database with changes in membership information and adds new Sponsor and Corporate Member listings and links on the ABC Web site. She also helps to ensure that all members’ e-mail addresses are updated for the special database so that everyone receives the monthly electronic newsletter, HerbalEGram (if you are an ABC member and you are not receiving HerbalEGram each month, please contact her at

For the ABC Sponsor Members and those members who pay extra for the HerbClip mailings (printed copies of HerbClips with the original articles attached), Ellyn maintains this database. She also supports the Development and Marketing team in preparing for conference and trade show shipments and production of brochures and marketing materials, and attends key trade shows as needed. At a recent trade show, her co-workers voted her most-valuable-person for her ability to charm show attendees out of the aisles and into ABC’s booth where she convinced many to become ABC members.

Ellyn is not only a highly competent worker, but she also fulfills her responsibilities and performs her roles with a deep level of grace, friendliness, and good humor.

—Mark Blumenthal