Ellen Ryan Mardiks took up the role as Golin’s first female chair - and only the third person to hold the role in the agency’s six-and-a-half decade history - in January 2020.
Having spent close to 40 years at Golin, most recently overseeing consumer marketing practices where she led iconic and game-changing campaigns for brands including Crayola, Walmart and Unilever, she now oversees the agency’s top client relationships across all practices.
During 2020, Ellen oversaw a revamp of Golin’s client leadership programme, played a key role in one of its strongest new business patches in recent history, furthered the firm’s commitment to gender pay equity and safe workplaces, and has been at the helm of critical business pivots to help clients overcome Covid-19 challenges.
In serving on the board of two major non-profits - one supporting individuals with neurodiversity and the other empowering women to proactively manage health risks - she lives the values set out by the agency’s founder Al Golin. Her contribution to the industry, particularly around the topics of leadership and opportunities for women, and fueling the creative talent of young PR minds, alongside her renown as a client counsellor par excellence, saw her inducted into PRWeek’s Hall of Femme. Having also steered Golin to a third consecutive Global Agency crown this year, the agency is clearly in very good hands.
“The endorsement from Walmart was particularly powerful and demonstrates that Ellen gets right into the detail with clients. Combined with approachability and deep commitment to equality and development within Golin, she is an impressive champion for the industry.”
Laura Schoen, President, global healthcare & chair, Latin America, Weber Shandwick
In the face of daunting challenges for healthcare organisations in 2020, Laura Schoen’s leadership helped clients to empower patients who had lost jobs and health insurance due to the pandemic; boost uptake of flu vaccinations; promote HIV testing, and much more beyond. Another year of growth for Weber Shandwick’s healthcare practice was matched by multilingual, Brazil-born Laura’s success in shoring up the network’s Latin American business.
Carol Watson, champion for diversity, equity & inclusion, BCW Global
Barbara Bates, global CEO, Hotwire