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Employee Spotlight: Ellina Butler

Ellina Butler

Ellina Butler, a manager at ScottMadden, joined the firm in 2014, bringing prior experiences in accounting and finance and consulting experiences in IT and supply chain. At ScottMadden, Ellina works across both the energy and corporate & shared services practices. To better balance work and motherhood, Ellina transitioned much of her time to talent acquisition in 2018. While she remains involved in client work, she is primarily responsible for ScottMadden’s recruiting and hiring efforts. Prior to joining the firm, Ellina attended the University of Georgia, where she received a Master of Accountancy from the Terry College of Business.

Seeking Opportunity

Ellina was born to a Jewish family in the former Soviet Union during a time of severe antisemitism. Seeking equal opportunity, Ellina’s parents and grandparents sought refuge in the United States. With limited funds and small children, the journey to the United States was lengthy and challenging. It included months of paperwork and three months of travel across Europe in the dead of winter. Upon arrival, three-year-old Ellina and her family were placed in Atlanta, GA, due to relatives living nearby. There, her mother began teaching piano and her father became a machinist. Ellina remembers this transition only through the stories of her family. The one exception to this, however, is the memory of Looney Tunes. Prior to kindergarten, Ellina learned the English language through TV.

Growing up, family was a focal point for Ellina, and she developed a close relationship with her grandfather, a Jewish World War II veteran. He shared stories from the war and the hardships that followed, yet he always made these stories relatable to Ellina though her life was vastly different. With lasting advice like “hope for the best, prepare for the worst,” she accredits her grit and unwillingness to give up to her grandfather. One day she hopes to write a book on his influence and impact on her life.

Shifting Gears

As Ellina planned to move away from home, the tribulations and sacrifices of her family remained on her mind. She chose to attend the University of Georgia on the Hope Scholarship to avoid unnecessary financial burdens; and while in attendance, her decision to pursue accounting was motivated by job security. “I never wanted to rely on luck. I wanted to do something that was guaranteed.” Ellina graduated with a Master of Accountancy and accepted a position with one of the big-four accounting firms. After three years, however, Ellina found she was unable to find meaning within the confines of tax. She was unable to see how her work fit into the larger workings of the business.

This realization prompted a frenzy of networking and career exploration, and through this process, Ellina landed on consulting. She began her new career as an in-house consultant for an IT consultancy and later progressed to a procurement consulting firm. These experiences exposed her to management consulting, and in 2014, she joined ScottMadden. As she worked to reshape and rebrand, Ellina developed a wide-reaching network and each opportunity was presented through this web. She even met her husband, Adam, through her networking endeavors!

Valuing Family

After a romantic proposal on a rooftop with the Empire State Building as the prominent backdrop, Ellina and Adam married in Florida in 2017. They held a second ceremony at Ellina’s childhood home for her grandparents, who were unable to travel. Today, Ellina and Adam spend their free time caring for two-year-old daughter Eva and preparing for the arrival of a baby boy in July. With her daughter, Ellina shares her family values and the Russian language, and one day, she will share the stories, which shaped her.

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