Elain Ellerbe has over thirty years of business management experience. Her focus in the last twenty-five years has been on human and social services for incarcerated populations and under-resourced families impacted by the criminal justice system. She is CEO of Refined By Fire (RBF) Ministries, Inc., a non-profit she founded with her family in 1995. In 2009, Elain was awarded the “Innovative Instructor for Financial Management” by VISA International.
In 2010, Elain received her lifetime certification as a trainer and facilitator of Bridges Out of Poverty and the Solutions to Poverty curriculum, “Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-by World.” In July 2012, Elain led RBF through the process of being recognized as an area consultant agency for Bridges Out of Poverty that includes the nine parish area surrounding metro Baton Rouge.
Elain has also fostered several cutting edge programs including the Fatherhood Initiative in correctional facilities across Louisiana, an incarcerated parent video project, Read to Me Daddy/Mommy and a seven year partnership with the national retailer, Men’s Wearhouse, a statewide suit donation program for offenders returning home.
In May 2013, Elian's husband Michael, who was Director of Reentry at Dixon Correctional Institute, passed away after a courageous battle with cancer. They would have been married 37 years this coming December. In July 2013, Elain and Michael were inducted into the Louisiana Justice Hall of Fame for their outstanding work with reentry in Louisiana. Elain remains committed to continuing the work with incarcerated and under-resourced populations that she and Michael were called to do so many years ago.
Elain and Michael’s adult daughter, Ari Ellerbe Mathe, who is an alumnus of both LSU and the LSU Law School, lives in Georgia with her husband, Chet Mathe, also a graduate of LSU, and their almost 3 year old daughter, Abigail.