Trenton Ellis, MSW

Social Impact Data Strategist

Before coming to Key Strategic Group, Trenton Ellis served as a program management consultant for Innovative Design Edge, LLC, focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion. The valuable research experience in this role has equipped him to be on our talented team of Social Impact Strategists. 

Trenton has conducted research on projects related to equitable community engagement and equitable economic development. He has multi-year research experience related to topics such as barriers to property retention in the St. Louis region, strategies to promote increased parental and community engagement of formerly incarcerated parents, equitable economic development practices in the St. Louis region, and effective community engagement practices and strategies for nonprofit and governmental agencies.

Trenton earned his MSW from the George Warren Brown School, where he specialized in Social and Economic Development, conducted research, and grew his learning regarding equitable community engagement and economic development. 

Trenton has worked with agencies such as Morgan Graves Consultants, SoulFisher Ministries, and the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership to create community engagement strategies and recommendations for their constituents.

Trenton has additionally served as the Program Manager for the Green City Coalition, managing, coordinating, and collaboratively working with communities and development partners to transform vacant lots into vibrant, community-owned green spaces.

When not doing work in and around the region, you can find him lounging in many of Chicago’s parks when the weather is warm and sunny or enjoying all of the delicious food the region offers.


Green City Coalition

Managed and developed 30 acres of vacant lots, held by the Land Reutilization Authority (LRA), across the city of St. Louis in collaboration with community partners. Managed construction and planning partner relationships around the development of four major sites. Fostered partnerships and forged new relationships with community and development partners. Co-developed the St. Louis Vacant Lot Toolkit, aimed at providing communities with the necessary tools and resources to acquire, develop, maintain, and sustain vacant lots as a variety of green spaces in their neighborhoods. Planned and facilitated over thirty community events dedicated to involving community members in the development process of green space.

St. Louis Promise Zone

Developed an Equitable Economic Development Policy Proposal that focused on the equitable development of projects and land within the region. The proposal focused on establishing equitable community benefits and development standards, revising the RFP and project review processes around equity, incorporating an equitable development application into the RFP process, and assessing the ability for larger projects to be split to promote access for smaller MWBEs. Additionally, Trenton conducted qualitative and quantitative equitable development research with local economic development departments, assisted with organization functions regarding community outreach and engagement events, and co-wrote two successful economic development grant applications. During initial COVID-19 lockdowns, Trenton assisted with data analysis for businesses affected by COVID-19 to aid in developing a strategy around business support.

George Warren Graduate Policy

Researched, synthesized, and translated data into a visual format regarding the connections between the workforce and Missouri’s secondary educational system. Crafted policy proposals and policy briefs to strengthen workforce connections with Missouri Secondary Education Curriculum. Analyzed Missouri’s economic structure using tools such as an Economic Base Analysis. 

St. Louis Board of Alderman

Specialized in the development of social, economic, and tax incentive policies in the city of St. Louis. Translated development projects and bills in the city into a comprehensive written and visual format. During initial COVID-19 lockdowns, Trenton crafted sample COVID-19 legislation to provide support to residents and businesses of the region. 

Team TIF

Collaborated with the TIF Graduate team to develop the Team TIF: What our Students Lose event that analyzed the negative impact that inequitable tax incentive policy has on school budgets. Lead and facilitated three community workshops focused on group model building utilizing Community Based Systems Dynamics.