WELCOME TO MLA

Our unique public relations strategies help your news travel fast.

MEDIA RELATIONS

The media tell people about your business. We know the media. We tell them about you so they can tell others. Through our long-standing relationships and commitment to understanding the media’s needs, we get your information to the people who want it, in the format they want it.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media can’t be overlooked in today’s communication landscape. Reaching out to your customers and creating an interactive dialog through social media is more important than ever, and MLA is here to get the conversation rolling. Make sure your brand’s message is heard via the major social networks and effective eblasts, and directly listen to what your customers want to experience.

COMMUNITY RELATIONS

We’ll help you make friends within your community by researching non-profit organizations and finding ways to help. They are happy for the support. And you’ll be happy for their support.

SPECIAL EVENTS

Good parties are hard to plan. We take care of that for you. Whether for 20 people or 200, if you want MoonWalks or a string quartet, we can help create an event to remember.

OUR WORK

THE DISH

All of us at MLA are lucky enough to eat and drink for a living and Atlanta Dish gives us a chance to share the wealth with all of you!
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WHAT’S NEW

RECIPE OF THE MONTH

WHO WE ARE

PRESIDENT

Melissa likes to joke that she eats and drinks for a living but it’s not far from the truth. Since founding Melissa Libby & Associates (MLA) in 1992, Melissa has opened more than 300 restaurants, and that’s after spending a few years in hotel public relations, promoting cafes and fine dining rooms. Her skills include publicity, social media, strategic planning, idea generation, event implementation and always ordering the best dish on the menu.

She has received numerous honors, including being named the Crohn’s & Colitis “Citizen of the Year” and is distinguished among her peers for taking Julia Child through the McDonald’s drive-thru while on a media tour. She is president of the Board of Trust for the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication and a long-time board member of Georgia Organics and Adopt A Golden Atlanta and is a KCBS certified barbeque judge. She is a member of several food-focused non-profits including Les Dames d’Escoffier, James Beard Foundation and the National Restaurant Association. She has published two cookbooks featuring Atlanta chefs, Atlanta Cooks (2001 Longstreet Press) and Atlanta Cooks at Home (2006 CityBooks Publishing).

When not eating or drinking, Melissa enjoys traveling, running, gardening and is always up for learning something new.

VICE PRESIDENT

Tuan joined MLA in August 2009 and currently serves as the vice president. He is originally from Huntsville, AL and graduated in 2007 with a B.A. in public relations from Auburn University. Before joining MLA, he made pit stops in Nashville and Charlotte.

In his spare time he enjoys going to concerts, eating and drinking his way through Atlanta and, of course, all things Auburn. He’s willing to try any dish or drink once, but it’s best to not tell him what he’s eating until afterwards.

CLIENT SERVICES DIRECTOR

Growing up with parents in the restaurant business, Emily developed a passion for good food early in life. As a student at the University of Georgia, Emily pursued her interests working in several local kitchens and freelancing as a food writer and cooking assistant. She completed a culinary apprenticeship at Il Bottaccio, a Relais & Châteaux hotel and restaurant in Montignoso, Italy in 2012.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and a minor in Consumer Foods, Emily moved to Birmingham, Alabama to work at Oxmoor House, the publisher for Southern Living, Cooking Light and General Mills. Emily has worked as the client services manager for Melissa Libby & Associates since 2013. In her free time, Emily enjoys Pure Barre, cooking at home, watching UGA football and playing with Parsley.

CONTENT DIRECTOR

Brandon joined the MLA team in January 2013 and currently serves as our content director. Originally from Orlando, he moved to the Atlanta area in the 90’s and has enjoyed living here ever since. Brandon is a proud graduate of Georgia State University, earning a B.A. in film and video studies and an M.A. in communications with an emphasis on digital media.

As a beer and food lover with interests in photography and media production, he is thrilled to be able to pursue his passions at MLA. In his free time he enjoys reading, going to the movies and playing board games with friends.

COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

Destiny joined MLA in 2018 as the social media manager and currently serves as the communications manager. She is a proud graduate of UGA, where she studied public relations and French. Despite growing up in Atlanta, Destiny is a Parisian at heart and loves all things travel. When she’s not helping make things happen at MLA, you can probably find her out and about in Atlanta with a good glass of wine in hand or cheering on the Dawgs.

SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER

Sarah joined MLA in June 2019 as the social media manager. She is a recent graduate of the University of North Georgia with a BBA in marketing and a background in social media marketing for various businesses and organizations. Growing up around the Atlanta area, trying new restaurants and beer has become a regular weekend activity for Sarah, making MLA the perfect place to work for. Sarah loves to travel, go to concerts and bake things inspired by The Great British Bake Off. She regularly tries to keep up with fashion and media trends but also loves to be outside in the sunshine with friends and family. When she’s not going to breweries or restaurants, she’s probably doing a puzzle while watching Parks and Recreation for the 30th time through.

CLIENT SERVICES MANAGER

Allison joined the MLA team in August 2019 as a Client Services Manager. She graduated from Georgia College and State University in May 2019, with a B.A. in mass communications, specializing in digital media marketing and public relations, while also earning a minor in rhetoric. Upon graduating Allison secured an internship with Modern Luxury, a premiere publishing and events magazine in Atlanta, working with Jezebel magazine, The Atlantan, ML Interiors, ML MD and ML Weddings in marketing and events sales before joining the MLA team. At a young age, Allison recognized a passion within herself for people. Connecting and authentic communication fueled her and as she crafted those skills, she found herself falling even more in love with the food industry. As a textbook extrovert and a self-proclaimed foodie, she immersed herself in the restaurant industry, working in nearly every capacity. With experience in social media marketing, event planning and public relations, she is eager to add something unique to the incredibly talented MLA team.

In her free time, she enjoys grocery shopping, yes grocery shopping, The Atlanta Braves, attending both food and music festivals and trying Atlanta’s freshest and most undiscovered restaurants with her friends. She is a firm believer that pineapples do belong on pizza and that a hot dog is in fact not a sandwich.

NATIONAL MEDIA RELATIONS

Gretchen joined MLA in 2000 as account executive and currently assists with national media relations. She also serves as a public relations consultant to a variety of businesses and events in the Atlanta area and in North Carolina.

Originally from Winston-Salem, NC, Gretchen graduated from North Carolina State University with a bachelor of arts in communication. She enjoys cooking, gardening, dining out, biking, running, yoga and reading. Gretchen lives in Cumming with her husband, two children and black lab.

NEW BUSINESS

Caroline first joined MLA in 2003 after working in the communications department of the High Museum of Art. She left in 2005 to move to upstate New York, and then rejoined the team in early 2012 to handle MLA’s new business proposals and timelines. Originally from Chicago, and with a degree in Spanish and sociology from the University of Wisconsin, Caroline now lives in Wilmington, NC with her husband, two kids, and dog. She enjoys traveling, reading, eating, and living at the beach, though she misses all her favorite Atlanta restaurants.

ACCOUNTING

Christine joined the MLA team in November 2006 as our Accountant responsible for client billing, accounts payable and financial statement preparation. She is a licensed CPA in Louisiana. In addition to restaurant PR, Christine has financial accounting experience working in the health insurance, consulting, private equity, real estate and software development industries.
In her free time, Christine enjoys traveling, especially to Europe, reading all kinds of fiction, playing puzzle games such as Suduku, exercising at the gym, and last but not least, eating out and drinking in New Orleans (which is why exercise is a must!)

EDITOR

A freelance writer and editor, Karen Lopez has been working with Melissa Libby & Associates since 2007. Karen is a contributing writer for Atlanta Now magazine, Atlanta Heritage Guide, Peachtree Connects and other publications for the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau. She also is a contributing writer for Around the Park, a publication for Atlanta’s Chastain Park neighborhood. A University of Georgia graduate and a former PR and marketing professional in Atlanta’s hospitality and investment management industries, Karen enjoys playing tennis, traveling and spending time with her husband and two sons.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Mandy has been part of the MLA team since August 2009 and currently serves as a social media consultant. Mandy’s always had an extreme love of both food and music, which led to a natural transition from a music industry career in New York City and London to her current position. Mandy is a UGA graduate with an ABJ in Public Relations. In her spare time, she loves trying out both new recipes and new restaurants, gardening and discovering new music.

CLIENT SERVICES

Caryn joined the MLA team in 2007 as an account executive and currently assists with client reporting. She is a graduate of Georgia College and State University where she earned a degree in Mass Communication. Prior to her time at MLA, Caryn completed an internship at Hope Beckham Public Relations. In her spare time, she enjoys trying new restaurants, watching her favorite TV shows and spending time with her family.

FALL INTERN

Jasmine is a senior at Kennesaw State University and currently serves as our Fall 2019 intern. She is originally from Lexington, Kentucky, and moved to the Atlanta area after serving in the United States Coast Guard. She has prior social media internship experience and enjoyed learning about health communication as the corporate communications intern at UCB Biopharmaceuticals. Jasmine is excited to contribute to the MLA team and develop skills in media relations and client services.

In her free time, she enjoys working out at Pure Barre Kennesaw, discovering new specialty donut shops and planning her October wedding. Jasmine will graduate in May 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations and a minor in gender studies.

RELAXATION SPECIALIST

Earl joined MLA (and the world!) in 2019. His primary role is making sure everyone remembers the value of taking a few minutes to play. Additionally, his napping techniques are world-class.

EXECUTIVE LAP WARMER

A member of the MLA team since December 2014, Parsley quickly dug his way into the PR field with mentorship from his friend Rafer. When he’s not sleeping or teething, Parsley can be found enjoying treats and tummy rubs with co-workers. A natural at social media, this #westie enjoys getting lots of likes on Instagram and friending strangers on Facebook (and at the park). The best work perk for little one? Playtime with Rafer, of course!

CONTACT

THE LUMBERYARD LOFTS

1425 Ellsworth Industrial Blvd
Suite 10
Atlanta, Ga 30318
(P) 404-816-3068
melissa@melissalibbypr.com