Ellen and her husband moved to Maplewood as newly-weds in 1968. They have two children, Donald and Susan, and six grandchildren. Ellen served as an interim-appointed Essex County Freeholder in 1988. She served on the Maplewood Township Committee from 1990 – 2001. She was Mayor of Maplewood from 1994-1997. Ellen is a long-time member of the Board of Trustees of Family Connections, having previously served as President. She is a member of the Maplewood Village Alliance and serves as co-director of Dickens Village. Ellen retired as Secretary of the New Jersey Senate. She is the Treasurer of the Maplewood Memorial Library Foundation.