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Producer Spotlight Naperville – Lisa Ellstrom and Ellen Cleary

Lisa Ellstrom & Ellen Cleary ; Producer Spotlight Naperville

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It’ll come as no surprise that the She Said Project believes in the power of women sharing their stories. But behind every carefully crafted and beautifully delivered story, lies the backbone of this mission – female relationships. For it is through friendship that speakers get nominated, receive support, and feel empowered enough to even take the stage. And we’re not only talking about those deep-rooted friendships that have lasted a lifetime. Those special relationships are no doubt invaluable. But amazingly, sometimes the best support comes from a brand-new friendship.

Take That’s What She Said Naperville co-producers Lisa Ellstrom and Ellen Cleary, for example. Up until about a year ago, these two were perfect strangers living in different cities hours from one another. Each of them had experienced a TWSS show and felt a calling to get involved. Uncertain exactly what it would entail, they each individually reached out to That’s What She Said National Director Jenette Jurczyk to discuss their desire to see a show get launched in the Chicagoland area. Jenette expertly connected these two women, setting the wheels in motion for a very productive and meaningful partnership.

Lisa and Ellen’s first in-person encounter was at a health and wellness center in March of 2023. They both describe their meeting as an instant connection that quickly snowballed into much more. This past year has equally been spent on developing a brand new friendship while simultaneously working tirelessly to see their vision come to fruition. These co-producers have formed an impressive partnership. They are a self-proclaimed yin and yang, each bringing a totally unique set of gifts and skills to the table that perfectly complements the other’s. Ellen serving as a business-savvy leader and Lisa offering a more creative flare.

Not only has Ellen taken on this new role of co-producer, but she has recently stepped up to the plate to serve as a speaker in the cast when a fellow She Said sister needed to bow out due to a family matter.

So now, in addition to building community partnerships and sponsor relations, Ellen is now working on writing, editing, and vulnerably sharing her own story. And as Lisa has been working with the women on developing their stories, she gets to see and support another side of her producing partner.  Therefore establishing once again, a tremendous example of women supporting women.

Ellen and Lisa are thrilled to launch their first-ever co-produced Naperville show! This has certainly been a season of growth and new experiences for these ladies, and they are grateful for the learning opportunities. Their hope is to build on the momentum by continuing to produce future shows together. So here’s hoping for even more She Said events in the Chicago ‘burbs!

Catch Ellen & Lisa’s show in Naperville on April 13th at the Wentz Concert Hall where 9 incredible women from the Naperville community will take the stage. Get your tickets today!

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