Elyse was born and raised in the suburbs of Oakland County and brought up in a family of handymen and women. Inspired by her grandparents and mother, Elyse adopted a do-it-yourself attitude and an appreciation for craftsmanship from an early age. Elyse graduated from the University of Michigan in 2015 with a degree in Biopsychology and a minor in Statistics and shortly after, segued into public health work in Detroit.
Elyse began building a network within the city’s urban agriculture community through a fellowship with Eastern Market’s food access programs and volunteering her time with community growers while she achieved her Master Gardener certification. Elyse has continued to be an advocate for healthy, sustainable communities through managing programs and operations for two neighborhood farmer’s markets among other greenspace initiatives. She also sits on the board of 360 Detroit Inc., a nonprofit organization focused on beautifying vacant land and facilitating community programming in arts, leadership and literacy in Virginia Park.
Prior to launching Mona Lisa Development, Elyse spent several years at Meridian Health Plan where she interacted with the broader, more complex regional healthcare system. Here, she received Lean Six Sigma Green Belt training and lead several successful enterprise-wide projects as a process improvement project manager that improved cohesion in overall operations and impacted the financial bottom line. Elyse refined her knack for process-thinking and learned strategies to adapt solutions in an ever-evolving industry.
In her spare time, Elyse served as her grandfather’s apprentice in the rehab of two century-old homes. Following in his footsteps, she received her MI Residential Builder’s License and is now the qualifying officer for Mona Lisa Construction LLC. As co-founder & partner of Mona Lisa Development, Elyse leads construction, accounting and financial strategy. In her personal time, Elyse can be found in her kitchen laboratory experimenting with fermented foods, outside piloting her latest garden idea or relaxing in her cozy living room with her nose stuck in a book.