Decatur-based marketing firm announces leadership changes
Mike Killeen first came to Lenz, a Decatur-based strategic marketing agency specializing in healthcare marketing, 20 years ago as a recent college graduate. This month, he was announced as president, CEO, and sole owner of the company.
“This wasn’t the career path I initially envisioned for myself. I really never planned to go into business, but you don’t know what you don’t know. I’m not even sure what they saw in me when they hired me, but once I came to work here, I loved it,” said Killeen, who came to the firm with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from University of Georgia and later earned a master’s degree in business from Georgia College. He was vice president of marketing before assuming his current position.
The company was founded in 1992 by Richard J. Lenz, who was its president and CEO for the last 30 years. Lenz is “stepping away from the daily operations of the company and will become a consultant to the business,” according to a company announcement.
Other changes at the top include the decision of John Lenz, who was with the company since its inception and has served as a vice president for more than 20 years, to leave for a position with one of Lenz’ major clients. He commented in an announcement of the changes, “Lenz has never been in a stronger position than it is now, and Mike helped make that happen.”
The company also announced that Christine Mahin is now vice president, Ricky Pattillo is engineering director, Rachel Cushing is media director, and Scott Sanders is associate creative director.
The company name will remain, its new chief executive said. “The name is part of the company’s core legacy. I would never think of changing it,” said Killeen, adding that his relationship with Lenz and other company executives was—and continues to be—great. “I always tried to follow their leadership model, which involves caring as much about the client’s success as you care about the success of your own company. After all, their success is our success.”
Killeen said much has changed since he came into the marketing industry, but guiding principles remain the same. “We have new tools such as smart phones and social media, but we learn how to use them to serve our clients. Because our specialty is the healthcare industry, we have changed as that industry has changed. The ways people receive healthcare and the options patients now have changed and expanded; it’s our job to keep pace with those changes.”
Calling the new position “a privilege and an honor,” Killeen said he looks forward to leading Lenz toward “a very bright future. Everything I know about business, and much of what I know about life, I learned from Richard and John. They will always be two of my very best friends, and I know they will continue to be there for me and the company when we need them. I am grateful that they took a chance on me 20 years ago, that they invested so much in my development, and for the actions they have taken during the last year to allow for a smooth transition and to set the company and myself up for continued success. They embody not only talent, vision, and hard work, but also generosity.”
In a statement announcing the new leadership structure at Lenz, Richard Lenz said, “The company is in great hands. Nobody is better suited to lead Lenz during its next phase than Mike, and I’m excited to see what comes next for the company, the staff, and our clients. Mike also has a very talented and veteran team to support his vision, and I’m sure under his leadership, he will lead the company to higher heights.”