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I am an entrepreneur and veteran of the public relations industry. Before launching ELF PR, I held several senior positions at PR agencies starting with Patrice Tanaka & Co., an employee-owned PR agency I co-founded in 1990 with 12 colleagues in a management buyback from Chiat/Day.  As President of PT&Co. we were recognized as the “#1 Most Creative” and the “#2 Best Workplace” among all PR agencies in the U.S.


Through several acquisitions, I stayed on as EVP at CRT/tanaka and then SVP at Padilla/CRT, which was the largest, employee-owned PR agency and ranked among the top 10 independent PR agencies in America.  


One of the campaigns I am proud of was launching Dyson Limited vacuums in America. In three years, I helped the brand overcome a commodity marketplace mentality and achieve the No. 1 position as the best-selling, premium-priced vacuum. My Dyson client noted that our team was "fundamental to the success of Dyson's launch in the U.S."  

My work with Charles Schwab & Co. and the Charles Schwab Foundation helped to institutionalize the company’s commitment to ensuring financial literacy for all Americans.  My Schwab client shared this: "In the 12+ years I’ve worked with Ellen LaNicca, I have always been impressed by, and grateful for, her strategic insights and out-of-the-box creative thinking, in addition to her irrepressible optimism. Ellen is highly collaborative and a skilled negotiator, nimble in accepting new challenges and delivering thoughtful and forward-thinking public relations counsel." 


In 2017, I led the Wilsonart team to launch “Understanding Wood:  Sourcing Against the Grain,” a corporate social responsibility platform to educate architects and designers about endangered woods and the role forests play in sustainability. At launch, my Wilsonart client said: "Ellen inspires her team with her dedication and willingness to look beyond the obvious, and her ability to present creative and fresh ideas for meeting our communications needs."  


A highlight of industry recognition and awards includes:

  • 2024 Global Innovation Award for FinaMill 

  • 2022 Oprah's Favorite Things Award for FinaMill

  • Fast Company's 2019 "World Changing Ideas Award" Wilsonart with Interlochen Center for the Arts

  • SXSW 2020 Panel for Wilsonart's program with Interlochen Center for the Arts

  • Architectural Record's 2019 "Record Products of the Year" for Wilsonart 

  • Silver Anvil for Avon's "Breast Cancer Awareness Crusade"

  • Silver Anvil for Wilsonart's 2018 "National Day of Learning" 

  • Big Apple Award for Corningware and World Kitchen

  • Big Apple Award for Liz Claiborne's "Women's Work" 

  • Big Apple Award for "Carpet One Welcome's Your Support" Breast Cancer Awareness 





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