Karen Lee


11525 Rim Rock Trail

Austin Texas 78737




Career Profile        Proven creative leadership combined with strong marketing management demonstrated by average annual sales increases greater than 10% per year since 1992 with Schlotzsky’s Deli, a $430 million company with 703 units.  Brand identity design and evolution, strategic planning and administration of $20 million budget, full participation in concept evolution.  Effective negotiator and teacher.


§      Creative Management and Direction

§          New Product Development

§      Media Planning

§          Consumer Promotions

§       Graphic Design

§          Events/Sponsorships

§       Licensing

§          Supplier Relationships

§         Integrated Marketing Communications


§          Effective teacher


Past Year Highlights 


Negotiated 3-Year Austin City Limits Underwriting Sponsorship for Schlotzsky's Deli
Executive Creative Director and Executive Producer for Schlotzsky's Deli Austin City Limits Sponsorship spots
Executive Creative Director and Executive Producer for Schlotzsky's Deli 2002 Network TV spots
Designed and Launched New Packaging Design for Schlotzsky's Brand Potato Chips


Employment            2000-P                       Schlotzsky’s Inc.                                   Austin TX

                              Vice President Brand Management,

Coordinating company-wide branding and marketing initiatives with cross-functional teams and chairing brand evolution committee of 15 senior company executives.  Established first interactive meeting site, developed web site philosophy and evolution plan, coordinated integrated marketing communications planning between national and regional marketing personnel and operations teams.  Responsible for $20 million annual budget and brand efforts across five company subsidiaries.  Voted number one sandwich concept in America for the second time in Choice in Chains annual survey by Restaurant Business Magazine.  Schlotzsky’s Brand Products, a separate entity, has grown from $400,000 annual revenue in 1995 to $7.1 million annual revenue in 2000.


                                        1998 – 2000             Schlotzsky’s Inc.                                   Austin TX

                              Vice President Advertising & Creative

Launched first Network Television Advertising Campaign with $13 million media buy.  Responsible for all advertising and creative output, both in-house and outsourced through design firms, independent contractors and advertising agencies.  Licensing and trademark application oversight.  Total of eight direct reports.  During this period, Schlotzsky’s Deli was growing at the fastest rate of any restaurant chain in America. Company grew from $90 million to $430 million in six years at 24.7% compounded annual growth rate.  Voted number one sandwich concept in America in Choice in Chains annual survey by Restaurant Business Magazine.


                                        1995 – 1998             Schlotzsky’s Inc.                                   Austin TX

                              Vice President Creative

Managed creative transition from private to public company when Schlotzsky’s Deli went public in 1995.  Established creative job cost accounting and time management systems, initiated bidding and purchasing standards, converted department to digital production standard.  Total of three direct reports.  Managed all outside creative contractors, negotiated contracts.


                                        1992 – 1995             Schlotzsky’s Inc.                                   Austin TX

                              Creative Director

                                        Designed and established brand identity, developed graphic standards and applications, initiated and developed in-house agency.  Leveraged marketing fund value to system to provide four times as much print and broadcast support as previous year.  Established package design standards for Schlotzsky’s Brand Products, retail and institutional product lines, coordinated production with suppliers.  Sourced and managed free-lance resources and creative contractors.  Set up fulfillment house relationship and stocking protocols.


                                        1986 – 1992

                              President                KarenLee&Associates                           Austin TX

                                        Communication design services.  Responsible for client development, creative direction, account administration and human resources.  Clients included Texas Monthly, Hart Graphics, Austin AIA, Kinney Kaler Sanders & Crew Architects, Microstation Manager Magazine, High Mountain Press, and Reveille Systems. 


                                        Lecturer                  SW Texas State University                    SanMarcos TX

                                        Taught senior advertising design creative problem solving course in art department on adjunct basis.


                                        1984 – 1985             Utah State University Art Dept.             Logan UT

                              Visiting Professor

Developed and taught curriculum for graphic design program: creative problem solving courses in advertising and graphic design topics, including basic and advanced advertising and graphic design, typography, package design, and special topics


                                        1982 – 1984             Saul Bass Herb Yager                           Los Angeles CA


Design projects for Girl Scout Cookies, AT&T brand identity design and product package design, Lawry’s International Foods package design, Exxon trade dress


                                        1980 – 1982             The Weller Institute                              Los Angeles CA


Design projects for Standard Brands Paints, NFL Properties product packaging, Casablanca Fans



Education               2000 -                     University of Texas                               Austin TX

                              Doctoral program in Advertising

                                        Coursework in Advertising, Marketing, Anthropology, and American Culture


                                        1978 – 1980             Utah State University                            Logan UT

                              Master of Fine Arts in Advertising Design,

                                        Business Administration minor emphasis


                                        1975 – 1978             Utah State University                            Logan UT

                                        Bachelor of Science in Biology

                                        Graduated cum laude, Honors Program in three years



Community                 2001

                                        Austin Children’s Museum                                                   Austin TX

                                        Brand Consultant


                              1997 – 2002

                                        Austin Theatre Alliance Board                                             Austin TX,

Executive Board Member, Board Secretary, Marketing Committee Chair, Programming Committee Chair, Gala Committee, fundraising efforts have generated tens of thousands of dollars for performing arts in region.  Worked with board and staff to help develop Long Range Plan, merge two independent theatre organizations into a single management company, and develop a brand and positioning plan for the resulting entities.


                                        1992 –

                                        Schlotzsky’s Deli Bun Run 5K Race                                     Austin TX

Creative Direction, Brand Management for community service event in 13 cities nationwide, raised over $5 million since 1992 for children’s charities


Awards                        EAT and EAR Gold Award for excellence in restaurant industry advertising, television 

                                        and radio categories


                                        Aurora Gold awards for Broadcast Advertising Excellence


                                        Communication Arts Design Annual


                                        New York Art Director’s Club Gold Award


                                        Austin ADDY In-House Agency of the Year