Ellen Ramsey-Kacena, our Chorale Board President, was born in Des Moines, but only lived there for a brief time. She considers her hometown to be Iowa City. She and her family currently live in Swisher, Iowa.
She is an attorney, with her own practice, working mainly in family and juvenile law. She also serves as Judicial Hospitalization Referee on Fridays, presiding over mental health commitment cases.
Ellen graduated from City High School in Iowa City, after spending a year abroad at the Liebfrauenschule in Berlin. She received a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Iowa in 1995. She later received her Juris Doctor in 1997, also from the University of Iowa.
She has been married for 25 years to her husband, and chief volunteer, Tom. They have three children, Mickey (23), Josh (20) and Elizabeth (12). They also have 2 dogs, Buddy and Cuddles.
In addition to her work with the Cedar Rapids Concert Chorale, Ellen also serves on the Board for Foundation 2 and Friends of the Linn County Family Treatment Court. She is also actively involved in several local committees to improve the administration of juvenile justice and reduce racial disparity. Ellen has been active with the Iowa State Bar Association since being an attorney. She has served on the Young Lawyer’s Division, the Family and Juvenile Law Section Council, and several committees. She is currently the chair of the Juvenile Committee.
Ellen likes to have a garden during the summer. She also loves to travel! Her family tries to go to Germany every few years. They also like to travel within the US. This year, they took an anniversary trip to Alaska in July. They also had the great opportunity to go to both the the Big 10 Championship Game and the Rose Bowl, although the game wasn’t what they had hoped for, the rest of the trip was lovely.
A few fun facts about Ellen: She speaks German fluently and is a former Hawkeye Marching Band flag girl. She was also a dancer for the University of Iowa Scottish Highlanders. She moved 10 times by the time she was in middle school because her dad was a traveling salesman. She lived in Berlin, West Germany during her senior year of high school.
Thank you, Ellen, for your dedication to our organization!