Rita Dragonette is a writer who, after nearly 30 years telling the stories of others, has returned to her original creative path. A nationally known and award-winning expert in the fields of Public Relations and Marketing, she advised hundreds of clients on branding and expansion strategies in both mature and growth industries. She began her career at the global public relations agency Daniel J. Edelman, Inc. (now Edelman Worldwide), where she built her group into the agency’s largest and was recognized for her efforts by being named its youngest senior vice president. Understanding the potential of integrated marketing, she left Edelman in the early 1980s and co-founded Dragonette, Inc., one of the first agencies to offer comprehensive services throughout the sales chain. The agency quickly became one of the top 15 independents nationally. Seeking access to an international platform, she negotiated the acquisition of Dragonette, Inc. by Grey Global Group (now part of WPP) in 1999, serving as president of its GCI Dragonette subsidiary and on the Global Executive Committee. In 2003, she took her strategic approach to the individual, founding Dragonette Career Strategies, a unique practice that helped executives with personal branding.
A passionate supporter of both business and artistic communities, she has served as Vice Chair of the boards of the not-for-profit LifeSpace Communities and the North Shore Performing Arts Center Foundation in Illinois. She has also served on the the Business Advisory Board of the Wealth Management Practice of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, the Board of Executive Advisors of the Northern Illinois University College of Business, the board of Remains Theater in Chicago, and on the advisory boards of Willa Vodka, Conduit Communications and The Woman Road Warrior. She was also a founder and board member of Project Access, a not-for-profit formed to assist businesses in complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Rita holds a Bachelor of Arts from Northern Illinois University and is the recipient of both the 2015 Distinguished Alumni and Outstanding Alumni Awards from its College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. She earned a Certificate in Creative Writing from the University of Chicago in 2008 and is the recipient of multiple writing residencies granted by the Ragdale Foundation. She hosts regular literary salons to showcase the new books of authors to avid readers and is thoroughly enjoying the process of bridging her worlds, applying marketing to literary endeavors.
Rita Dragonette is a writer who, after spending nearly thirty years telling the stories of others as an award-winning public relations executive, has returned to her original creative path. The Fourteenth of September, her debut novel, is based upon personal experiences on campus during the Vietnam War, and she is currently at work on her next two books: a World War II novel based upon her interest in the impact of war on and through women, and a memoir in essays. Dragonette lives and writes in Chicago, where she also hosts literary salons to showcase authors and their new books to avid readers.