Ellen Dracos Lemming, CEO
Ellen Dracos Lemming is an experienced business woman who has spent her 29-year career mastering the many aspects of business, marketing and profitability. She has strong expertise in strategy, branding (both internal and external), organizational assessment, new business development, production, advertising, direct marketing, public relations, licensing, sponsorships and web development.
After graduating Duke University with honors, Ellen trained in New York City at several Madison Avenue advertising houses. Her packaged goods experience included American favorites such as Ragu Spaghetti Sauce and York Peppermint Patties.
Ellen moved to Washington, DC with J. Walter Thompson and later Adworks. There she broadened her marketing experience by leading international telecommunications, retail and health care accounts such as Bell Atlantic, Simon Properties and Group Health Association.
Missing the beat of New York City, Ellen returned and became Vice President of Marketing for Kaplan Educational Centers, a subsidiary of The Washington Post. There she sharpened her re-branding, direct marketing and Internet skills as well as her operational expertise as co-manager of Kaplan’s multi-million dollar production and distribution facility.
Ellen returned to the South and joined The Home Depot as an Advertising Director in 1998. There she held positions of increasing responsibility over her 7 years with the company, culminating in her becoming Vice President, Global Brand Marketing. Additional responsibilities included President of the $1Billion Gift Card subsidiary, directing homedepot.com, implementing CRM initiatives, branding HD Supply, redirecting the licensing program toward profitability, supervising the implementation of targeted in-store clinics, and marketing strategies for key customer segments such as multi-cultural customers and contractors. She also served on The Home Depot Foundation board. Ellen retired from The Home Depot in 2005.
Ellen then spent a brief time at Emory University as their first-ever Vice President for Marketing. She directed Emory’s internal and external branding, advertising, strategic marketing, admissions marketing and in-house creative production. She also oversaw the operations of Emory Center for Lifelong Learning, a non-degree educational facility which tripled its profitability during her tenure.
Ellen launched her strategic marketing and branding consultancy, Dracos~Lemming Consulting, in early 2007. The firm, consisting solely of 20+ year ex-corporate marketers who specialize in creating growth via brand advantage. Clients include Coca-Cola North America, CNN, Entergy Corporation, Equifax, Intercontinental Hotel Group, Milliken, Mohawk Industries, PGA Tour Superstore, Primrose Schools, Pulte Homes and The Home Depot.
Ellen and her husband, Jeff, live in the newly formed city of Brookhaven with their sweet rescue dog, Gracie. She remains a huge college basketball (and now football) fan and is also an avid golfer, tennis player, photographer, world traveler and former board member for several of Atlanta’s children’s, educational, and women’s causes. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Crime Stoppers of Greater Atlanta, Junior Achievement of Georgia and United Way of Greater Atlanta. Ellen is also a member of the Leadership Atlanta Class of 2012.