Justin Ellis, ’02 is the current chairperson of the MSU Alumni Association Board of Directors. Passionate about MSU, Justin is also a member of the St. Louis MarooNation Golf Tournament committee, now in its fifth year of providing scholarship support for St. Louis area students attending MSU. Justin is the Founder and CEO of Legato Digital, a digital consulting and marketing firm that provides strategy, planning, and marketing execution for their clients. In addition, he is a business partner at Ellis Dental, owned by his wife, Dr. Holly Ellis, also a 2002 MSU graduate. Together, Justin and Holly live in St. Louis with their two children, Reid and Ivy.
Q. How and why did you get involved as an MSU Alumni Association volunteer/board member?
A. “It’s funny, I think I read about the Alumni Association Board in a Facebook post and thought, this is it. After completing my MBA and having more “free time,” I was looking for an organization to become involved with and the Alumni Association Board seemed like the perfect fit. It checked so many boxes for me: I LOVE Missouri State University, the Board offered me an opportunity to give back in a meaningful way, and, selfishly, the Board gave me a reason to get back to campus on a regular basis.”
Q. As an Alumni Association officer, what are you most proud of/excited about?
A. “Our Board and our Executive Committee have done so much amazing work, it is truly hard to pin down one item. We have spent a tremendous amount of time with Alumni Association and Foundation leadership to ensure we are building this Board in a meaningful way and in a way that will last forever. Through this work, I believe we are attracting amazing, passionate, and extremely smart alumni to give back and help grow the MSUAA, carrying that MarooNation torch forward for generations.”
Q. What five words describe your MSUAA volunteer experience?
A. “Rewarding, Inspiring, Fulfilling, Humbling, and Amazing”
Q. If you could have lunch with any MSU faculty or staff member (living or dead), who would that be and what would you talk about?
A. “My path from student to working professional was a little different. My degree comes from the business school (B.S. Computer Information Systems), however, I minored in music as a student and my passion and connection to the music programs on campus (University Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Trumpet Studio, Basketball Band, and Marching Band) are extremely deep. To this day, most of my closest friends are those musicians I met while at MSU. I still stay in touch through social media with my trumpet professor at MSU, Dr. Grant Peters. The impact he had on my life, both in terms of musicality and work ethic/commitment to greatness, is something that sticks with me each and every day. Life is busy, but I still try to connect with him when I am on campus or through the occasional social media note.”
Q. If you could go back to your first year at Missouri State, what would you tell your freshman self?
A.“Really absorb everything and enjoy every moment. Never again in your life will you live in a community of like-minded people, becoming exposed to so many different opportunities, and making friends you will have for the rest of your life. You will always be a Bear, but your time on campus will be fleeting, short, and magical. Make the absolute most of it, you will remember it for the rest of your life.”