executive perspectives: Be Our Guest
Atlanta is more than just another anchor city for Bravo's Real Housewives franchise. It's an urban music hub, the epicenter of southern hospitality and home to savvy entrepreneurs like Lanelle Henderson, president and chief marketing officer for Oh Nellie Promos.
Henderson has spent over 18 years perfecting her craft, and the proof is in her résumé. She spent several years in computer graphics and website design, working for organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And in 2006, she initiated the Women on the Move Interactive Power Series, a business networking group educating diverse women on relative business practices. Her relationship with sales and marketing, however, has been the one constant in her professional life.
Henderson, who majored in hospitality at Georgia State University, joined the Marriott team after the hotel chain recruited her for its manager-in-training program. She went on to hold various management positions for Marriott and Hilton, before parting ways to raise her son. After exploring some work-from-home opportunities, Henderson launched a welcome service that provided marketing solutions to local businesses and resources to newcomers and residents. She didn't know it at first, but her strategy was lacking something: promotional products.
"Promotional items were the key to a successful welcome service, and my creative background and marketing skills allowed me to offer out-of-the-box solutions to a variety of clients," she said.
In 2008, Henderson rebranded into a marketing agency, adding consulting, email campaigns, Web design and event management to the mix. She briefly stepped away in 2011 when Constant Contact, an online marketing company, approached her to educate small businesses in Georgia and Alabama on best practices and online marketing programs. Henderson used this time to learn where companies struggled and she wanted to help. She returned to her marketing firm in 2013 and came up with Oh Nellie Promos as a way to "put the fun back in business."