If anyone understands that "life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans," it's Michon Ellis. The marketing strategist graduated from college with a degree in journalism, but a chance encounter with a marketing executive at Proctor & Gamble changed his career path and opened up a lifetime of opportunity. Now Ellis practices his craft as CEO/Managing Partner at LimeGreen, a Chicago-based integrated marketing agency.
Here’s an introduction to the Illinois native.
CLAIM TO FAME: While at the McDonald’s Corporation, I was fortunate enough to work on the sponsorship implementation of the FIFA World Cup in Germany and South Africa. I spent time in both countries planning and collaborating with marketers from around the world. That global experience enriched my growth as a marketing strategist and was a high point in my life and career.
WORKING ON CURRENTLY: LimeGreen will be planning and executing the 2012 city-wide commencement ceremony for City Colleges of Chicago. All seven City Colleges will come together to honor more than 2,000 graduating students. In planning this event, we will aid in building a consistent and unified image of the community colleges throughout Chicago.
REFLECTIONS: Hometown: Robbins, IL. * First job: My first real job out of college was as a city reporter at the Palladium-Item, a daily newspaper in Richmond, Ind. *Most valuable business lesson learned: Henry Ford once said: “Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.” This universal truth keeps LimeGreen progressive and encourages our clients to be innovative. Failure isn’t always a negative thing. Let’s remove the fear of attempting to do something unfamiliar or challenging. * Most valuable life lesson learned: Don’t set boundaries for yourself. Always be willing to try. * Words to live by: "It always seems impossible until it’s done." –Nelson Mandela
DIVERSIONS: Reading now: My Personal Best by Coach John Wooden (for the fifth time!) and, of course, all the industry magazines. * Reading next: The Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne. * Last fun purchase: A customized suit from Balani (a Chicago-based clothier). * Recent discoveries: I discovered Pinterest and I’m hooked. I like how it keeps you tapped into what people like right now and can serve as a trend forecaster.
PLAYING FAVORITES: Hotel: The Waldorf Astoria Chicago * Getaway: Huatulco, Mexico (where you actually need to know some Spanish). * Entrée: I’m all about the medium rare Cajun Ribeye with Lobster Mac n’ Cheese from Chicago Cut Steakhouse. * Drink: Effen Vodka with a splash of tonic and a lime wedge. * Guilty pleasure: Custom suits.