Member Spotlight - Ellen Philip
My role at EPA:
We’re a small niche company whose specialty has always been non-routine processing in corporate events associated with shares of publicly owned companies.  My role is to make sure I understand exactly what data manipulation is needed in a given situation so that I can oversee the efforts of our production team. Given that the combined job experience of this small team totals about 135 years, my personal input these days seldom goes beyond overall orchestration. But every now and then I’ve occasion to dip into my personal bag of tricks, or to reach out to a seasoned production ally for assistance.

Why I’m a member of the SSA:
I’m a member of the SSA because there’s no organization that comes near to it in circulating information that’s vital to the industry I’ve chosen to make a living in. In addition to freely shared information, the SSA, and the values it projects, has opened up friendships that go well beyond the confines of business. I got a taste of what was to come at my very first meeting of the SSA’s forerunner organization. There, as I dithered in the doorway, Jim Smith, the CTA’s legendary president, came over to me, took me to his table, and later invited me to ITT to see how proxies were handled.

A little bit about me:
I found myself in Paris, in the early 1960’s, shortly after the celebratory tour that followed my graduation from Vassar.  I needed a job. It so happened that General Electric, at that time a competitor of IBM, had installed its first mainframe computer in Europe. I got work translating a COBOL manual into French, and also learned programing.  In the late 1970’s, by which time I was back in the U.S., a personal friend working for a bank that bought corporation actions services asked whether this was something I could provide based on my experience in Paris. Although I understood the business requirements I felt that my programming skills were too rusty. Speaking to the machine, though, was something I felt I could safely entrust to my 15-year-old son who had taught himself COBOL for fun. Working together, we developed the system that got EPA started. I am fascinated by animals, big and small, and by creatures of every manner, ranging from dung beetles to fireflies. And I love playing mom to two aging pets – an office bunny named Pepper and a canary named Primo.

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