Ellie Howard in the Lee Group Newport News office Tuesday May 31, 2022.

Ellie Howard wakes up excited to go to work. She’s liked jobs before but never loved them as much as being a Staffing Manager at The Lee Group.

“This is the best job I’ve ever had,” Howard said. “I am giving people the opportunity of having the futures they’ve dreamed about.”

The Williamsburg native took a circuitous route to the staffing and executive search firm. She grew up aspiring to be a pediatrician but after a discouraging experience assisting a plastic surgeon, Howard sought a different career path. She turned to The Lee Group to find a temporary position and was hired by a medical group specializing in orthopedics. From there, she transitioned to home health, working as a staff coordinator for four years.

Along the way, Howard started a family — son Brody is 11, daughter Hayden is 7 and Layla is 4. She also cut back to part-time work.

Ellie Howard in the Lee Group Newport News office Tuesday May 31, 2022.“Since Layla was our last baby, I took every opportunity to stay home and raise my kids and be a full-time mom,” she said.

The Lee Group had kept her resume on file, and when an internal position in staffing came open, Howard got the call.

“I wasn’t exactly looking for work,” she said. But the chance to work for The Lee Group piqued her interest. She started at the Newport News location in March 2022.

Not only is the office a fun place to be, the rewards are immense.

“It makes me feel good knowing I’m helping people,” she said. “I’m literally helping people put food on their table. They’re doing the interview process, but I’m helping them get their foot in the door. Our goal at the end of the day is temp-to-hire. We want you to succeed. Knowing that we hired the right person for the right seat means they’re being hired at the end of the day.”

Howard and her husband, Ross, are close to celebrating their one-year wedding anniversary. The family loves Busch Gardens and Yorktown Beach.

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