Story and photos by GUSTABO RODRIGUEZ
Helping people in the community of different cultures is a job that not everybody can fulfill. Reasons for helping or not helping people can come in various answers or excuses, but not for one man who helps from his heart.
Stanley Ellington was born in Alabama and lived in Washington, D.C. for seven and a half years. Then he went to Germany for two and a half years. He returned to the U.S and lived in Kentucky in 1974.
In the U.S. Air Force, Ellington helped people solve their personal problems related with their job or family.
In 2000, he moved to Utah because of his job in the Air Force. He retired in 2002 after serving for 28 years. From there, he knew that he wanted to continue to help people. He moved to Utah where the diversity is lacking, and was further motivated to help marginalized communities.
“I’m a good bridge for helping out people in the community,” Ellington said.
He enjoys helping individuals. For example, he helps an elderly woman by taking her husband to the doctor.
Ellington also was the first executive director of the Utah Black Chamber of Commerce.
He is part of the National Baptist Association, which is divided in the states of the Utah, Idaho and Wyoming. He has many ways to help people not only in Utah, but other states by helping the other churches in those states.
He is a Christian minister for the New Zion Baptist Church in Ogden and now as a licensed minister he can help more people in the community. Ellington gets involved with the community in Ogden not only through his profession, but also through the church. He is the director of the Christian education of the church. By being in charge of the education department, his duties are to set classes for the Christians and prepare the four phases of the classes.
In 2006 he built his own business that provides consulting in business management. During this time he was made the first executive director of the Utah Black Chamber of Commerce. He helped small businesses in Salt Lake and the surroundings areas to thrive in the community.
People from the black community, like many other people, are always looking for a new opportunity. Ellington said that he knew a woman who went to look for a job and the first thing they asked was if she knew Stanley Ellington.
“Just because we’re black were supposed to know each other,” Ellington said.
He has experienced different cultures here and learned the customs of other individuals. Working for the State of Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development he learned that some women don’t greet men or other people. So Ellington had to create a new way to greet a woman from a different culture.
Kathryn Crosby, a friend of Ellington, met him two years ago through their affiliation with the Utah Business Development Alliance.
Crosby has a great admiration for Ellington because of the way he can handle situations, and for his accomplishments with the community and his life.
“Stanley has a unique ability to see clear routes through complicated issues, and to communicate with people from all walks of life,” she said in an email interview.
Crosby also said Ellington has a contagious amount of energy and enthusiasm.
“I consider myself very fortunate to be able to call Stanley my friend and colleague,” Crosby said.
She respects Ellington because he works hard to help out people and he does not settle for reports that he is very sure do not make sense.
For example, he said that in Utah there was a report that locally-owned black business were increasing year after year, but he was not convinced.
Ellington said it is difficult for business owners to seek additional training because they can’t leave their business to go to school. If they do, they risk losing clients. He feels that the Utah Black Chamber of Commerce can help entrepreneurs by offering classes online. Webinars, or online seminars, also could be a good idea because people have become more computer savvy. He said a program on public television that would help educate business owners might be useful too. He said that it would be another way to educate not just the black community, but also people from different cultures who want to succeed in Utah.
Ellington has influenced many Utahns because of all the organizations he has been involved with.
“I’ve been labeled the African American representative,” Ellington said.
Cynthia Nielson met Ellington when she joined the Utah Business Development Alliance (UBDA). Nielson and Ellington have worked together on many projects, including managing, organizing and preparing presentations.
“Stanley has extensive training in business management and administration,” Nielson said in an email interview.
She also said that Ellington has been a big influence in the goals of UBDA, which includes assisting small businesses in finding and getting contracts that are going to help them succeed by getting their name out into the market.
“Stanley is a great teacher and donates a lot of time to our non-profit organization. Stanley is eager to improve himself through education and is dedicated to his religion. He has a kind heart and I admire him greatly,” Nielson said.
Stanley Ellington came to Utah to do what he was born to do: help people. That mission was his destiny.
“God brought me to the state of Utah,” Ellington said.”I don’t know why, but it was to fulfill my mission in Utah.”