Local Man to Receive Scouting’s Prestigious ‘Good Character’ Award

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Jim Ellis

First published in the Nov. 17 print issue of the Pasadena Outlook.

Local resident Jim Ellis, former dean of USC’s Marshall School of Business, will receive Scouting’s prestigious Good Character Award, the Boy Scouts of America’s Greater Los Angeles Area Council has announced. The award will be presented at the organization’s annual gala on Wednesday, Dec. 7, at the California Club in Downtown Los Angeles and broadcast nationally.
“This award celebrates Jim’s legacy and incredible impact on youth and the community, through a lifetime of civic and professional service,” Rob Shepherd and Steve Silk, co-chairs of the 2022 Good Character Gala committee, said in a mutual statement.
Throughout his decades-long career, Ellis has impacted and mentored thousands of young people going into business. Under his leadership, USC Marshall School of Business became one of the premiere business schools in the world. Additionally, Ellis supports several local nonprofit organizations focused on providing opportunities for the next generation and growing future leaders.
“Throughout his remarkable business career, Jim Ellis has always been a role model to others, instilling his wisdom, ethics, and all-around good character,” according to a BSA spokesperson.
Ellis was the dean of the Marshall School of Business from 2007-19, where he was responsible for the education and well-being of some 5,700 students, both graduate and undergraduate. In addition, he had a full-time tenured appointment as professor of marketing, retiring in July 2021. Prior to being appointed dean, he was the vice provost of Globalization for the university, responsible for building the USC name worldwide.
At USC, he was awarded both the “Teaching Has No Boundaries” award, given by the faculty, and the Golden Apple Award, given by the students. He also was given the Outstanding Teaching and Mentoring Award from the USC Parents’ Association and was named one of the top five professors at the University of Southern California by the students.
Holding an MBA degree from the Harvard Business School and a BBA degree from the University of New Mexico, Ellis worked in the business world as president/CEO of Porsche Design, a high-end accessories company owned by Europe’s Porsche family. Additionally, he was CEO of Port O’Call Pasadena, a high-end home accessory chain, and owner/partner in six other companies.
Ellis sits in a directorship or advisory capacity with a number of companies, continuing direct involvement in the business arena. He has been a member of the Young Presidents Organization since 1987 and has addressed many organizations around the world on various business topics, and continues to consult with businesses and organizations.
“Scouting was introduced to Ellis at a young age. As a Cub Scout, he embodied the values of the Scout Oath and Law, and began his own journey to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes and become responsible, participating citizens and leaders of their communities,” according to BSA.
Ellis currently sits on numerous corporate and nonprofit boards of directors. He was an intricate part of the Board of Directors of the Boy Scouts of America, San Gabriel Valley from 2000-10 and volunteered his professional skills as the vice president of marketing for the council. He also served as assistant scoutmaster to the San Gabriel Valley Council Troop for the National Jamboree, which is a gathering of thousands of Scouts held every four years and organized by the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Scouts from all over the nation and world attend this event, which is considered to be one of several unique experiences that the Boy Scouts of America offers to its youth.
He and his wife, Gail, have five children and 10 grandchildren and live in San Marino. He has a son that is an Eagle Scout.
Proceeds from the Dec. 7 gala support an expansion of Scouting programs throughout the Greater Los Angeles area and San Gabriel Valley to ensure that all youth – regardless of background, gender, or socioeconomic status – have the opportunity to benefit from Scouting’s leadership, character-building, and outdoor programs.
“Jim and his family are longtime supporters of Scouting and securing additional funds for these programs will not only help us honor Jim’s legacy, but will also help maintain the strong connection to a thriving Scouting program in the local area,” said Bill Jameson, Greater L.A. Scouting board member.
To learn more about this event honoring Ellis, visit GreaterLAScouting.org/gala.