Kellee Johnson

About

In 2005 Kellee Johnson founded The Ballast Group, an integrated communications strategy firm, after serving as director of corporate marketing for Abbott Laboratories, where she managed 25 global teams and after she spent Johnson builds and refines domestic brands of global companies and provides lead generation and growth strategies for start-up companies. She and her team build better relationships with stakeholders through story telling that leverages qualified third parties in multiple integrated communication channels. Focused on all aspects of marketing consumer products, healthcare and high-tech services, Johnson has helped companies such as Hyatt, Kaiser Permanente, Stericycle, Safeway, TARGET, Cisco and Ultimate Software think differently about their relationships. See case studies. Johnson positions companies as thought leaders through media relations including US News & World Report, the Associated Press, Wall Street Journal, CNN HeadlineNews, The Boston Globe, Houston Chronicle, Denver Business Journal, Chicago Tribune, Crain’s Chicago and more. She has been a mentor to several young women for 15 years. She facilitates and moderates executive forums, expert panels, seminars for entrepreneurs and industry roundtable discussions. Chicago-based LISA App, the first open marketplace for on-demand beauty that launched in January 2016, appointed Johnson as its Chief Marketing Officer and a partner. With an emphasis on medicine and law, Johnson holds a M.A. in mass communications from the University of South Florida, and a B.A. in English from Rollins College. She serves as an adjunct professor at DePaul University’s College of Communication and regularly recruits and places students as interns. Johnson is currently president of the Rollins College Alumni Board after serving on the Rollins Admission Network. She supplemented her graduate work at The Nelson Poynter Institute for Media Studies and The Niagara Institute. She is a graduate of Dale Carnegie and Leadership Manatee. A member of the citizen diplomacy initiative and PR Committee for WorldChicago, Johnson has traveled to 27 countries, including Vietnam which resulted in a special to Tribune Newspapers after a trip taken with a mentee from the Colorado I Have a Dream Foundation where she served three years on the board. She has spent time as an instructor for 3rd Coast Cruising, raced the Chicago-to-Mackinac Island regatta twice, and dreams of sailing obscure parts of the world.
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IRVIN SHAPIRO