Marquis Who’s Who — the biographical global publisher for influential and distinguished individuals — has made a historical change to its leadership naming COO Erica Lee as its newest CEO, making this a first in its 120 years of existence.

According to a press release, Lee has served as the COO and president of Marquis since 2016, and will be taking over Fred Marks’ role, who served the company for 35 years before retiring.

In celebration of her new appointment, Lee has announced a series of initiatives that will usher the publishing company into a new era that will include digital branding offerings, thought-provoking lists, as well as more interview services with Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Famer, Star Jones.

“We profile the most fascinating people in the world, but they rarely focus on promoting themselves and that’s where Marquis steps in,” Lee said in a statement. “We give our biographical listees the platforms to showcase their incredible body of work and make their information discoverable on major search engines.”

Marquis Who’s Who was initially founded by Albert Nelson Marquis as a means to properly document the stories of the most prominent figures around the world via print format.

In 2002, the publisher then expanded its services to include an online database, which is utilized by many academic institutions and corporate and public libraries around the globe for research.

This venture then spun out into a personal branding division that helped to fill a void in the digital space for those looking to build up an online presence, a venture that was spearheaded by Lee.

Additionally, Lee has also focused the company’s efforts on brand reputation to set it apart from other competitors who try to imitate the company’s business model.

“Our motto is The Original. Often Imitated, Never Duplicated and this remains true,” Lee said. “We will not rest until these unscrupulous companies are closed for good.”

Looking ahead, Lee will be leading the Marquis Emerging Leaders division later this year, to highlight up-and-coming leaders across various industries and career fields.

Ultimately, Lee’s overarching goal for Marquis is to pair established mentors from the company with emerging leaders to recognize insight, direction and wisdom as they navigate their own career paths.

“Mentorship is something I benefitted from while an undergraduate at Yale and something I have found incredibly rewarding over the course of my professional career,” she said in a statement. “It is up to us to pass on the baton and ensure the next generation is ready to lead.”

For more information about Marquis Who’s Who, visit its website.