Lisa Rene Ellis is an entertainment executive, investor, and producer.
Ms. Ellis is the Managing Partner of PROVENANCE VENTURES, a media company and parent to PROVENANCE MEDIA and PROVENANCE FILMS. The company packages, produces, and develops content, series, and films through shaping stories that resonate in the modern culture, with particular emphasis on music and women subjects. The company currently has a full slate of television series, the first is to release in 2018 and is Co-Executive Produced with Halle Berry, and three features in development including NEVER CAUGHT, which is an adaption of the book of the same title, and a current finalist for the National Book Award.
Until January 2010, Ellis was the Executive Vice President, Sony Music Entertainment, based in New York, New York. Billboard Magazine named Lisa Ellis one of the “Most Powerful Women In Music” in the years of 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009. In 2009, Ellis joined Fireman Capital Partners as Operating Partner. Ellis was #50 on Fast Company Magazine’s List of 100 Most Creative People. At Fireman Capital Partners, she was involved in the first portfolio operations, marketing and sales aspects, including Hudson Jeans, Serena & Lily, Idea Paint, Pilla Eyewear and Evolution Fresh Juices.
Lisa Ellis began her career as a Public Relations intern at Pepsi-Cola Company in Washington, D.C in 1991 for Publisher and Entrepreneur, Earl G. Graves, the founder of Black Enterprise Magazine, and Entrepreneur and NBA All-Star, Earvin “Magic” Johnson. Ellis worked for Graves and Johnson while attending college at the University of Maryland. Ellis accepted a position in 1992 at Cook Inlet Radiostation, WPGC, in Washington, D.C. as Event Marketing Director, the station was soon after purchased by CBS Radio. It is at WPGC where Ellis grew in Music and Entertainment Marketing, Promotion, and Sales and became the Event Marketing Director for that station, and others within the CBS Radio group. In 1993, Ellis took a position at Reebok as Marketing Manager. At Reebok, Ellis oversaw and managed Pepsi-Cola National campaigns on the regional level with retailers, colleges, and managed the regional Marketing and advertising budgets. At Reebok is where she began to work with NBA All-Star, Shaquille O’Neal, and also worked with Reebok founder, Paul Fireman’s son, Dan Fireman on the advanced preparations for the 1996 Olympic projects. In 1995, Ellis joined Sony Music Entertainment and Columbia Records as Promotion Manager, where she began on the road during Bruce Springsteen’s Ghost of Tom Joad Tour. She then went on to tour with artists such as: Tony Bennett, Aerosmith, Mariah Carey, Alice In Chains, The Fugees, Lauryn Hill, Shawn Colvin, James Taylor, Neil Diamond, Train, John Mayer, Marc Anthony, Ricky Martin, Shakira, Destiny’s Child, and Beyonce.
For the next decade at Sony Music Entertainment, Ellis held numerous executive posts and in 2004 was named General Manager, Sony Urban Music. As General Manager, Ellis retooled and re-engineered the structure of the newly merged division that controlled the Artist & Repetoire of the Pop Crossover, R&B, Hip Hop, and Gospel rosters for both Columbia Records and Epic Records”. The division was created as a result of down-sizing in the parent company and establishing one organization within to serve all genres for both labels. In restructuring, Ellis signed new artist John Legend and a label deal with Kanye West’s Good Music. The same year, she lead Platinum releases by Beyonce, Three 6 Mafia, Omarion, Lyfe Jennings, Nas, Mary Mary. She later was promoted to the post of President, Sony Urban Music in December 2005 . The same year, Ellis was on the cover of Black Enterprise” magazine’s “40 Power Players Under 40″issue . During Ellis’ leadership at Sony Urban Music the division received 48 Grammy Nominations, and 27 Grammy Awards. This included 8 Grammy nominations for John Legend in 2006, including his wins for Best R&B Song, Ordinary People and his Grammy for ‘Best New Artist’. The same year, Ellis lead the plan of the return of the artist, Prince, his first studio album in years. Ellis was then promoted to Executive Vice President, Sony Music Label Group. The same year, Prince went on to earn 2 Grammy wins for his album Musicology, including ‘Best R&B Male Vocal Performance’ for the song Call My Name. In 2006, Three 6 Mafia wrote and produced the song Hard Out Here For A Pimp for the Grammy Award nominated film Hustle & Flow. (It was during this production that Ellis met actor, singer-songwriter, Terrence Howard, whom was the lead performing the song). Three Six Mafia went on to upset the Oscars winning the Academy Award for ‘Best Original Song for a Motion Picture’. Three Six Mafia’, their attorney/manager, Aaron Rosenberg, and Ellis went on to create the MTV Production ‘Adventures In Hollywood which began airing in July 2007. Ellis also signed Terrence Howard producing a soul-folk album for Columbia Records. The following year, Ellis’ division repeated the domination of the category with 3 of the 4 nominations for
“Best Original Song for a Motion Picture’ from the soundtrack of Dreamgirls, which was released by her division, and sold over 6 million copies worldwide. She has also managed all aspects of business for the artist, Ciara.
Ms. Ellis serves on the Advisory Board for Brain Juice, a natural supplement that promotes brain function and health. She is also on the Board of Directors for the Nat King Cole Foundation, is a Voting Member of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, and a Member of the Producer’s Guild of America. Lisa Ellis is a Term Member at the Council On Foreign Relations , and is an avid Equestrian and a Member of both the United States Hunter-Jumper Association, and the United States Equestrian Federation. She attended the University of Maryland College Park, and Harvard Business School.