Capitol Communicator is running a series featuring in-depth profiles of communicators in the mid-Atlantic.  In this “Up Close and Personal” profile, we feature Warren Ellis. Photography for Capitol Communicator’s profile series is by Cade Martin. Wardrobe styling by Pascale Lemaire for THE Artist Agency; and hair and makeup was by Patti D Nelson and Janice Kinigopoulos for THE Artist Agency.

Warren, please provide us a short bio and your current title.

I’m Warren Ellis and I’m happy to be the Vice President of Marketing for the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation. Before joining the MCEDC, I led, guided and created national branding campaigns for Young and Rubicam New York, Discovery Communications, NRG Energy and Capital One Financial.

Are you involved in any other organizations?

I’m not currently, and need to get on that! I have helped non-profits brand their organizations, and created pro-bono advertising campaigns for the United Way and the New York Blood Center.

What are the things you are most proud of?

As a boy in suburban Houston, I found creative inspiration in museums, 60s musicals, along with brands like Eames and Halston. You can imagine my troubling Boy Scout presentations. I love combining divergent references into something wholly original. I’m most proud of my curiosity and ability to assimilate abstract concepts into art. I consider advertising an art.

Who were your personal role models?

It took two doctors to agree. I was lucky enough to get into the renowned Advertising Creative Sequence at The University of Texas at Austin—powered by Dr. Deborah Morrison and Dr. Patty Alvey. They saw something in me that I didn’t. Finally, seeing the world differently wasn’t a hindrance. It could become a career. Deborah and Patty built my confidence, harnessed and sharpened my conceptual creativity and expected me to do great things—so I did. Today, before every creative presentation I still ask myself, ‘What would Deborah and Patty think?’

Did your role models offer professional advice that helped you in your career?

Be an idea machine! If they don’t like one concept, come back with ten.

What professional advice do you have for others?

Approach each day with optimism and joy. Love what you do. Even if you don’t at first, convince yourself that you do—and eventually you will. Like everything, optimism and joy must be practiced. Oh, and while you’re practicing, complain less—it kills both.

What advice do you have on what’s appropriate attire for your organization?

We dress up at the MCEDC. When I am out and about in Montgomery County, I wear a suit —but in an easy, modern way.  I’ll take a navy blazer and kick it up a notch with a watermelon-colored shirt. In the office I’ll wear jeans and a funky tee with a relaxed jacket and sneaks. Why not look your best? It can help you be your best. You are your brand. So, have fun with it! Mix plaids, checks and stripes. Get everyone talking about that camel hair coat and cool watch.

Where do you buy most of the clothes you wear to the office?

Banana Republic is my stylist. I get everything there, but shoes. I walk in Kenneth Cole.

Is there anything else you would like us to know about you?

Promote others! In an industry that’s known to be extremely aggressive, I’ve never competed with anyone but myself. There’s enough success for everyone. Spread it around.


About The Author

Capitol Communicator is a unique online and offline resource for Mid-Atlantic advertising, marketing, public relations, digital and media communications professionals. The e-magazine, e-newsletters and events bring together communications professionals, fostering community and providing important information; news; trends; education; and opportunities for networking, career enhancement, business exchange and showcasing great work. Visit www.capitolcommunicator.com to learn more.

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