AdPR Academy Advancing Diversity Training

 Congratulations 2019 Cohort! 

Participate. Learn. Connect. Lead.

The Power of Diversity

We believe it is imperative that the advertising and public relations industries strategically address the gap in diversity among its staff and strive for a more inclusive and welcoming environment representative of all the voices, ideas, and perspectives of our global society.

The AdPR Academy is a solution to aid in this effort.

The ever-growing, global consumer market is more ethnically and culturally diverse with each generation. This means that the professionals and organizations that serve this market must truly reflect current and future generations but also be creatively nimble and innovative to build and sustain engagement with the global consumer market.

The diversity gap in advertising and public relations is wide! Whites comprise nearly 90% of public relations specialists employed in the U.S., according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, the same data source reports that as of 2011 advertising, marketing and public relations jobs were held by a total of 8.7 percent African-Americans/Blacks, 7.3 percent Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders and 15.3 percent Hispanics/Latinos.

The AdPR Academy is a valuable professional development experience that will strengthen students’:

  • industry knowledge
  • professional skills
  • network of professional contacts

The AdPR Academy is designed to provide each participant with:

  • Over 35 hours of training by leading experts and professionals in the industry
  • Daily networking opportunities with corporate executives and agency professionals from highly regarded institutions in Atlanta and surrounding states
  • Hands-on experience producing a solution to a real-life challenge faced by advertising and public relations professionals
  • Certificate of completion from a nationally and internationally recognized and awarding-winning institution of higher education
  • Increased awareness of the field and connections to potential career opportunities

Please Note: Internships, jobs or shadowing experiences are not guaranteed by UGA, the Ad/PR program or AdPR Academy. However, the Academy is designed to afford participants the opportunity to establish and build relationships with professionals in the field to open the door to these and other potential career options.

Alumni Testimonials

Treajour Abrams

National Traffic Specialist
Spectrum Research
2017 Alum

“Confidence is half the battle when entering a new workplace or during an interview.”

Treajour Abrams is a National Traffic Specialist for Spectrum Reach, her first full time position after graduating from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in 2017. AdPR Academy helped build her confidence as a young professional. The Academy created the space for her to have insightful conversations with veterans in the industry and gained a well-rounded knowledge about advertising and PR. These two components of the program made her transition into the workplace easier. Treajour’s advice for current students is to take advantage of the new roles that are being created in the industry and to find someone who has fulfilled a role you desire. Seek these professionals out and build a relationship. Being a traffic specialist has taught her about orders, commercial spots and rules, TV zone, scheduling the spots and how to bill the clients. She is thankful to AdPR Academy for allowing her to grow professionally and start her career with valuable relationships and skills.

Niguel Anthony

Member Relations Coordinator
Aliera Healthcare
2018 Alum

“Get involved… because that is where the biggest opportunities arise.”

Niguel Anthony is the Member Relations Coordinator for Aliera Healthcare located in Atlanta. He got this position by maintaining a strong relationship with a department head from another local company, where he was previously employed. He credits AdPR Academy with growing his entrepreneurial spirit and for teaching him things that are beneficial for his own business. He advises current students to get involved. Niguel encourages being active in school professional clubs like PRSSA, interning at different companies and agencies, or participating in programs such as AdPR Academy, because that is where the biggest opportunities arise. A major learning from his current healthcare role has been the immediacy, type and frequency of communication that is essential for the public broadly and key groups. It is unmatched compared to other industries.

J'Lesa Wilson

Social Media Intern
Albany State University
2017 and 2018 Alum

“Don’t let fear or doubt talk you out of an opportunity.”

J'Lesa Wilson, social media intern at Albany State University, attended the AdPR Academy two years in a row, 2017 and 2018. She was a part of the first group of students to experience AdPR Academy, which provided her with major insight and advice she has taken to heart. A key learning point was how to run an effective campaign. AdPR Academy was her first introduction to methods and strategies in the world of media. The program inspired her to further explore the industry on her own. J'Lesa has attended seminars, taken additional courses, and earned certifications in digital marketing since attending the Academy. Over the last two years, she has built a portfolio and reevaluated the position she had, serving as a social media intern at a church. Her combined experience with the Academy and The Creative Circus summer program shaped her into the experienced young professional she is today. Since starting her job with Albany State, she has learned how social media works in a pressure-filled industry and discovered the value of her voice.

(click on alumni for full detail)

Sydney Bugg 2018 Alum UGA ADPRAcademy

Inspiring words from 2018 Alum:

Sydney Bugg
Global Communications Coordinator
TBWA Worldwide

"One of the most exciting things about the field can also be one of the biggest causes of anxiety: there’s no exact formula for success. Peers in other industries may have post-graduate journeys completely different than yours, and that’s ok. This is a culture-driven business that needs diversity. Figure out what excites you within the industry and keep in mind that diverse thinking is always in demand. There is always a place for you."

View Sydney Bugg's full profile


  • (2 weeks before) - Exploring Me

    Curious to discover your optimal career path in advertising or public relations? An online aptitude test will provide participants with insight into preferred communication career functions and work environment. The test will be administered the week of February 19, 2018.

  • Monday - Understanding the Possibilities

    There is a place where you can exercise creativity, innovation, and strategic thinking. Explore advertising and public relations career opportunities and discover where you fit based on aptitude test results.

  • Tuesday - Identifying the Solutions

    A campaign that seeks to solve a pressing business challenge for a corporation or nonprofit organization must be backed by a solid plan. This series of courses will guide students through the planning process with a focus on how to effectively determine goals and objectives, identify the target audience and explore the consumer journey.

  • Wednesday - Talking with Consumers

    What, why and how you resonate with consumers takes finesse. This course will outline the creative aspects of message development including “concepting”, writing techniques, and message creation.

  • Thursday - Reaching Consumers

    The toolbox for AdPR professionals provides a variety of options for how to connect with consumers. Which pathway makes the most sense – media, events, film, or social media and which will generate the most return on investment? This series of courses will expose participants to the paid-earned-shared and owned framework.

  • Friday - Engaging Consumers and Measuring Results

    Engaging consumers? In a world of Big Data, KPIs and scorecards, measurement and evaluation can’t be anecdotal or informal. How do you know if your campaign accomplished its intended goal?

  • Saturday - Celebrating Success

    You made it to the end of the week and now it is time to showcase what you have learned and to acknowledge what your team has accomplished. Participants will present their capstone projects to a panel of judges and top campaigns will be recognized at the celebration event.

Our 2019 Speakers

Alex Ebanks

Manager of Brand Public Relations

External Communications

Coca-Cola North America

In her current role, she leads media relations efforts across the company’s brand portfolio including tea, coffee and the Sprite brand.

Prior to joining Coca-Cola, she held a position as a Senior Marketing Manager at Allied MOXY, the multicultural division of Allied Integrated Marketing. In her role at Allied, she strategically managed and created publicity, promotions and marketing campaigns both nationally and regionally, for entertainment based clients within the television & film industry.

As a proud HBCU graduate from Spelman College, she received her bachelor of arts degree in English with a minor in Writing. Alex is a board member of Women in Film & Television - Atlanta (WIFTA) and Coca-Cola's African American Business Resource Group, a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc and in 2017, she was named a Top 30 Under 30 HBCU Alumni, on behalf of HBCU Buzz.

Brian Alsobrook

Senior Strategist


Brian is a Georgia native from Lawrenceville who studied at the University of Georgia earning a B.A. in Advertising and Sociology and a Master's degree in Advertising and Public Relations before heading to the big city and joining the Nebo team. He brings with him a love of research in everything from social media native advertising to the growing world of eSports. He has spent the last 4 years leveraging this passion for inquiry and exploration to help develop data-driven strategies that allow companies to utilize the most effective ways of building their brands. Brian has built strategies that drive digital marketing efforts for a wide range of B2B and B2C clients and conducted quantitative and qualitative research to guide Nebo's design and development teams in reenvisoning websites and online experiences for our clients.

When not in the office, Brian can likely be found investigating the tasty offerings of a new restaurant, tearing through a fantasy novel or fending off the tackling hugs of his dog, Timber.

Debbie Ebalobo

Manager of Brand Public Relations

Coca-Cola North America

In her current role, Debbie manages earned efforts within the hydration portfolio including smartwater, DASANI, POWERADE, vitaminwater, ZICO and Topo Chico.

Prior to joining Coca-Cola, Debbie was the Director of Integrated Marketing at Skip Barber Racing School as well as a communications consultant for companies like MAZDA and pharma brands like Progenics and Argot.

Debbie was born and raised in the Philippines. She found her way to Georgia because of the HOPE Scholarship. She is the first in her family to graduate from college with a degree in Public Relations and New Media from the University of Georgia. While at UGA, Debbie created the diversity council at Grady College, was named an Amazing Student by the University of Georgia and won a Silver Anvil for work on the United States Census with the UGA Bateman team.

Meleigha Millman

Paid Media Specialist

Nebo Agency

Meleigha began her career in digital marketing at Nebo immediately after her graduation from The University of Georgia in 2017. Her focus was originally in paid search and that soon developed toward an emphasis in paid social. She has expanded clients portfolios to include paid advertising on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube. Whether it is a national or a localized campaign, she crafts each strategy with the client and consumer in mind. Her willingness to test new platform applications has resulted in innovative, award-nominated campaigns.

Felicia Turrentine Wasson

Director of Stakeholder Relations

The Coca-Cola Company, North America

Felicia Turrentine Wasson is a well-rounded Public / Government Relations professional with over 20 years of public and private sector experience. Her professional background includes State Senate Chief of Staff, Public Policy Director for a large non-profit health care system and State Government Affairs Director for the nation's largest membership organization. She currently serves as the Director of Stakeholder Relations for the world's most recognizable brand, The Coca-Cola Company, North America. Her experiences place her in a unique position of effectiveness. Felicia creates, develops and maintains strong relationships with local, state and federal legislators and regulators and has the ability to connect issues with solutions. Her professional specialties include government / legislative / public affairs, community organizing, relationship building, communications and stakeholder engagement.

Felicia received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Science from Michigan State University and Master of Public Administration degree from Western Michigan University. Felicia lives by the motto--service is the rent we pay for our privilege of living on this earth. She is committed to serving her community and is honored to do so as a member of the National Council of Negro Women, the Board of Directors for The Horatio Williams Foundation of Detroit, the Michigan State University Black Alumni Association, Inc. - Atlanta Chapter, the Michigan State University College of Social Science Alumni Leadership Council, the Buckhead Atlanta Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated, the Buckhead Cascade City Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, the East Point College Park Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, the President's Circle of the Detroit Branch NAACP and the Atlanta Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. She has previously served as a member of the Sparrow Specialty Hospital Board of Directors in Lansing, MI, Detroit Police Athletic League, Detroit Minority Males for Higher Education, Cobb County (GA) Chamber Chairman's Circle, Cobb County Executive Women, Building Child and Family Initiatives of Lansing (MI) and as a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Felicia was named the 2017 Clifton R. Wharton Distinguished Alumni from the Michigan State University Black Alumni Association. She was featured as a 2017 "Black History Trailblazer" on Fox 47 TV Ð Lansing, MI. She is a Michigan Chronicle Newspaper 2015 "Woman of Excellence" awardee and is listed in the 2015 edition of "Who's" Who in Black Detroit." Felicia was also named as one of the "Best, Brightest and most Beautiful" by the New Citizens' Press Newspaper in Lansing, Michigan in 2007.

Felicia is a native of Minneapolis, MN and resides in Atlanta, GA. Felicia is a daughter, sister, mother and aunt. Her proudest accomplishments are her 3 sons: Joshua, Isaiah and Evan.

LaKesha Brown

Corporate Communications Manager – Network Planning, Regional Operations, Global Sales, Diversity and Inclusion

American Airlines

LaKesha Brown is a Corporate/External Communications Manager at American Airlines. The world’s largest airline, serving nearly 200 million customers each year with 6,700 flights per day to 250+ destinations around the globe.

She is responsible for developing communication strategies for Network Planning, Regional, Global Sales and Diversity and Inclusion departments. She also develops new, company-wide external communications strategies, leveraging social media and personal media relationships to further expand the American Airlines brand, using messaging to deliver confidence and awareness.

Prior to America, LaKesha was Assistance Vice President of change readiness communication at JPMorgan Chase for seven years, where she was responsible for the Corporate and Investment Bank’s internal and external communications and marketing.

During her 15-year career, Brown has held various roles in communications, marketing, public relations, diversity and community relations. Prior to JPMorgan, Brown worked at the headquarters of Blockbuster Inc., where she assumed responsibility for communications, events, diversity and community relations. Brown started her career as a junior account executive for an entertainment PR firm where her clients included best-selling authors, athletes, musicians and actors.

LaKesha holds a Master of Science in Business Management from Texas A&M University at Commerce and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications (magna cum laude) from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Christina Cornell

Corporate Communications & External Affairs

The Home Depot

Christina entered the world of PR and Corporate Communications in 2015 after spending many years as a news producer. She spent time in several local markets as an award-winning producer before heading to The Weather Channel in Atlanta. At TWC she produced live coverage of severe weather outbreaks, dangerous winter storms and tropical events.

She currently works on issues, crisis and reputation for The Home Depot in Corporate Communications and External Affairs. Prior to this role, she supported The Home Depot Foundation, amplifying CSR and veteran giving programs through public relations campaigns and strategies.

Ashley Anthony

Corporate Communications

American Airlines

Ashley specializes in internal and external communications for the airline’s largest hub, Dallas-Fort Worth, at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, the world’s third busiest airport. She also assists with the airline’s communications efforts tied to initiatives in emergency planning and response as well as diversity and inclusion. Ashley has 10-plus years of communications experience, including news reporting, media relations, and crises communications. Before joining American, she previously worked as a press secretary and senior media relations specialist with the Houston public school district. She began her career as a news reporter with Gannett, Inc. She is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and ColorComm. Ashley holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from University of Houston.

Kristina Martinez

Social Engagement Coordinator


Kristina is a California native who received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing from California State University San Marcos. After graduating college, she did a leadership development program with Apple where she completed multiple executive-sponsored projects that resulted in elevating the Apple Store experience for each area of the business. She went on to work at various startups & a medium sized educational organization with a focus around social media marketing over the past 5+ years.

In her current role, she is a Social Engagement Manager at Moxie working at the Coca-Cola North America Social Center. Throughout her career, she has worked on various projects including: overall campaign development, building and engaging online communities, analytics, and partnering with influencers. She is certified in both Advanced Administration & Reporting in Sprinklr.

During her free time, she runs her own beer blog. She loves working on projects that involve the use of her: creativity, attention to detail, working with others, and ability to connect organizations with great people.

Mallom Liggon

Consumer Insights Strategy

Culture & Strategy

Turner Sports

Mallom Liggon serves as Director of Consumer Insights, Culture and Strategy for Turner Sports. Within this role, he is responsible for utilizing relevant data to uncover powerful discovery about consumers, the Aha! moments that inform marketing, business operations, business strategy and acquisitions for the division’s premium sports content across platforms. Additionally, Mallom leads Turner Sports Growth Initiatives, which outlines a strategy for addressing the rapid evolution of media technologies and dynamic cultural shifts occurring within the U.S marketplace.

With his industry foresight, exceptional strategic thinking, and business acumen, Mallom has helped Turner Sports with its ever-growing sports portfolio. Collectively, Turner Sports reaches nearly 65 million people each month through its premium sports content airing across TBS, TNT and truTV. And Bleacher Report, the top digital sports destination for millennial fans, reaches hundreds of millions of fans every month across social platforms alone.

Prior to his current role, Mallom served in various capacities developing a myriad of marketing, business strategy and media research experience.

Widely respected, Mallom has more than 20 years of experience and influence within consumer marketing and insights that has served as a pivotal tool for negotiating influential deals for the company.

Mallom holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Georgia Tech with a specialty in Global Business and a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Communication from New York Institute of Technology.

Mark Dvorak

Executive Director

Golin Atlanta

During his 12-year career at Golin, Mark Dvorak has provided counsel for a variety of the firm’s corporate, association and government clients — including the National Peanut Board, Metro Atlanta Chamber, Flowers Foods and a host of city and state agencies. Notably, for the past five years, he has led the agency’s work to bring balance to the conversation about peanut allergies and promote advances. His current focus is encouraging families to introduce peanut foods early to prevent allergy development.

Prior to joining Golin, Mark served as CMO at United Way of Greater Atlanta – the nation’s third largest and most innovative. There, he launched 2-1-1, the nation’s three-digit telephone service for people who need help or want to help others. He also was part of the team nationally that transitioned the movement from a fundraiser to a catalyst for community change.

Mark earned a bachelor’s degree in history and communications from Loyola University New Orleans, and a master’s in journalism administration from the University of Memphis. A career-long member of the Public Relations Society of America, Mark served as Georgia Chapter president, was a member of the Universal Accreditation Board and co-chaired the 2015 International Conference in Atlanta. He was inducted into the PRSA College of Fellows and PRSA Georgia Order of the Phoenix, and currently serves nationally on the Board of Ethics and Professional Services and Advocacy Committee.

Mark is a 2018 graduate of Leadership Atlanta and is advancement committee chair on the board of Sheltering Arms Early Education and Family Centers – which celebrates its 130th anniversary this year. He chaired the board of Positive Impact (now Positive Impact Health Centers) in 2009.

Michael Hutton

Group Creative Director


Michael Hutton is a seasoned creative with 20 years of experience spanning print, digital and emerging media. He has produced award-winning work for market-dominating brands like Starbucks, AT&T, Netflix and SpaceX. Michael currently leads Moxie’s creative efforts, guiding cross-disciplinary teams in producing social content for various clients, including The Coca-Cola Company (Gold Peak Tea, Dasani), Arby’s and Delta Air Lines.

Nakita M. Pope

Diversity & Inclusion Advisor

The Creative Circus

Over the past 20 years, she has worked as a strategist, graphic designer, creative director and brand manager which has given her experiences that inform how she works with her clients. Her passion for brand strategy is also evident through her teaching advertising strategy, branding and design at the Creative Circus for the past 10 years.

Nakita M. Pope is the Chief Chick and Primary Brand Strategist of Branding Chicks, a boutique branding studio in Atlanta, GA with clients all over the United States. Branding Chicks specializes in brand strategy, development, consulting and management for women-owned businesses and female-focused brands. She helps clients narrow their focus, gives their brands a voice, slingshots their confidence, and clarifies their message so that it resonates directly with their audiences. She also helps businesses large and small to brand or re-brand to attract and grow customer bases for new products and professional services through custom, creative, relevant brand-promoting strategies.

Nakita is a graduate of Hampton University in Hampton, VA, where she obtained a B.A. in Graphic Design. She then went on to a graduate design program at The Portfolio Center (now Miami Ad School) in Atlanta, GA. She lives in Atlanta and is involved in several professional and non-profit organizations including AIGA where she is a board member and Education Committee Co-Chair for the Atlanta chapter and a member of the National Diversity and Inclusion Task Force. She is also the Board of Directors Vice President of Smart Girls on Campus and a board member of Good Thinking Atlanta.

Along with her work and passion projects, she now she gets to share her knowledge and experiences with a variety of audiences on the national speaking stage for organizations like BBDO Atlanta, Phoenix Design Week, The One Club, Public Relations Society of America Georgia Tech College of Business. As always, her goal is to wield her crayons for good.

Sharon Geld

Associate Director

Communications Strategy

PHD Media

Sharon works for PHD Media in NYC, focusing on Google Hardware and B2B brands (e.g. Google Pixel, Google Cloud, GSuite, etc.). Her current role includes distilling audience insights, category trends, and competitive intelligence to craft communications strategies that guide media plans and tactics.

During her time at PHD, Sharon has also worked on the media planning team for Google Hardware brands, where she handled the tactical portions of the campaigns for Google Home and Google Pixel.

Prior to her time at PHD, Sharon worked across multiple agencies (Dentsu Aegis, Mindshare), in various roles (Integrated Publishing, Business Development), and on a broad range of verticals (Microsoft, Discover Financial, Reckitt Benckiser, etc.).

Sharon was born in Israel and grew up in Florida, where she attended the University of Florida (Go Gators!) and majored in Advertising and Communications.

Swan Burrus

Associate Director

Brand Planning


Swan recently joined the Moxie team, helping to lead brand planning across a number of creative teams and accounts, including Delta, Meineke, Maaco, and Georgia Natural Gas. His responsibilities range from consumer research and trend-watching to developing integrated strategies for brand campaigns.

Prior to joining Moxie, Swan has worked in planning and strategy roles at Crispin Porter + Bogusky, The Buntin Group, and Ogilvy, where he worked on accounts such as Domino’s, Royal Bank of Canada, Chinet, SERVPRO, the IHG portfolio, Royal Caribbean, and Samsung. Swan earned his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Washington and Lee University.

Tamara Gilliam

Associate Director

Leadership Development


Tamara manages Moxie's Talent Engagement & Inclusion Initiatives and Business Resource Groups. She is a Facilitator for Publicis Media brands in North America. She is also the Regional Lead for VivaWomen! US, and on the Regional Jury (Americas) for Publicis90. Tamara is a Board Member for VivaWomen of Color. She also produces two series at Moxie/Zenith "The 9:30 Sessions", which showcases the best work each month, & "From the Ground Up", which highlights capabilities by discipline. She is a Certified Executive Coach, whose professional background includes radio, television, and film.

Cristina Cham

VP Experience Strategy

Luckie & Co

Cristina is passionate about developing behavior changing strategies at the intersection of brand, consumer, shopper, and ever evolving digital technologies. She has over 20 years of proven experience in developing and leading successful business practices, and delivering award-winning omni-channel brand communications campaigns. Her career has spanned the agency and client sides including work in the US and globally with clients including Coca-Cola, SABMiller, and The Home Depot among many others. In her current role, Cristina leads the Experience Strategy team at Luckie & Co, and is responsible for delivering consumercentric strategies and experience blueprints that inspire behavior change and effectively impact clients’ businesses.

A native of Argentina, with an MBA from the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, she is fluent in Spanish, Portuguese & Ukrainian. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and two daughters.

Peter Suh

US Director of Communications Planning

PHD Media

Pete currently leads the YouTube brand portfolio (i.e. YouTube TV, YouTube Music, YouTube Originals, YouTube Kids).

In his role, he determines how to best influence target audiences through media to achieve his client’s marketing objectives.

A few of his responsibilities include conducting audience, competitive, and category research and creating strategies and principles to guide integrated media campaigns. He also orchestrates custom partnerships and executions for the brand as well as authoring thought-leadership pieces.

Prior to PHD, Pete journeyed across multiple media agencies (Digitas & Universal McCann) and led a team of analysts at a location-data ad-tech startup, called PlaceIQ. With his blended background of strategy & analytics, he loves finding ways to craft a data-led story.

Pete is originally from Chicago and a proud Wildcat from Northwestern University with Bachelor of Science degrees in Economics and International Studies.

Dwayna A Haley

Vice President / Deputy Practice Director

Reputation Management Practice

Porter Novelli

For over 10 years, Dwayna has led public relations and marketing campaigns for Fortune 500 brands. She’s currently “Causing Good Trouble” as a Vice President at Porter Novelli leading integrated communications strategy for corporate and consumer clients. Currently, she leads the largest business sector of the agency’s anchor, global account: Bayer Crop Science. In addition, she leverages her extensive background in consumer / B2C to build out strategy and activation for Chico’s FAS, Inc. brands White House Black Market and Soma, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Discover DeKalb and more. In 2018, she was appointed to represent Porter Novelli on the inaugural PR Council Next Board – an assembly of rising leaders connected to bring next generation thinking to current industry challenges and strategic undertakings. She was also inducted into the 2018 class of PR Week’s 40 under 40.

Prior to joining Porter, Dwayna worked at MSLGROUP where she was Account Director and senior client contact for the agency’s third largest global and largest U.S. integrated digital account in the network: Comcast / XFINITY. She also managed a cross-functional team of digital, marcom and public relations associates for top-tier accounts including McDonald’s, The Home Depot and P&G.

Taking a break from agency life, Dwayna formed Haley Communications Group (HCG) in 2010 to consult with small to medium businesses helping them to use public relations and digital strategy as the vehicle to drive impactful executive visibility and branding initiatives. She worked with organizations like the W.E.B. Du Bois Society and Partnership Against Domestic Violence (PADV) to strengthen their local and regional brand presence, and attract financial partners.

Prior to forming HCG, Dwayna worked within the consumer brand group at Ketchum. During her tenure, she worked on brand visibility and media campaigns for Kodak, Kellogg’s and Clorox. She also provided crisis communications counsel to both Cracker Barrel and Florida Power and Light. In addition to managing consumer-focused marcom campaigns, Dwayna also led successful media relations efforts for Fortune 500 brands driving feature placement in tier one outlets including: The Today Show, Boston Globe, The New York Times, USA Today and The Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Dwayna began her career at Bob Gold and Associates where she served as management lead for the planning and execution of all industry trade shows, media tours and special events. She also served on the board of the Southern California chapter of Women in Cable Telecommunications and was honored as Board Member of the Year.

Jana Thomas MPA

Executive Vice President

Porter Novelli

With more than 25 years of experience in campaign planning, audience analysis and social marketing, Jana leads the alignment and adoption of Porter Novelli’s Strategic Priorities throughout the organization. She also leads Atlanta’s Strategic Planning, Analytics & Research (SPAR) practice. Her clients have spanned government, foundations, non-profits and corporations. Her current clients include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Healthcare Georgia Foundation and Bayer Crop Sciences.

She holds both a Master’s degree in Public Administration and Policy and a Bachelor’s degree from Florida State University.

Patrice Brown

Senior Manager of Strategy & Acquisition

Turner Sports

Patrice Brown is Senior Manager of Strategy & Acquisition for Turner Sports. She oversees the creation of acquisition materials and provides strategic guidance on acquisition and new business ventures across Turner Sports properties, including: NBA, Major League Baseball, NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, ELEAGUE, Bleacher Report, UEFA Champions & Europa Leagues and professional golf.

Patrice joined Turner in 2005 as a Legal Billing Coordinator. Prior to transitioning to her current role, she held several positions in Finance where she was responsible for financial reporting and analysis. These varying positions and levels of responsibility gave Patrice the opportunity to have frequent direct interaction with Senior and Executive management to offer guidance and deliver results.

Patrice holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Florida and a MBA in Finance from Mercer University. Patrice is a lifelong learner and is passionate about shaping younger generations of future leaders. She spends her free time working with students and early career professionals in various organizations.

Michael Singletary

Senior Social Engagement Manager


As a senior strategist on Moxie's Arby's and Delta crews, Mike Singletary helps unpack a mixture of cultural intelligence, audience insights, and channel behaviors to help kickoff and guide award-winning work from each team, including two entries into the Guinness Book of World Records.

Prior to Moxie, Mike worked as Direct of Operations and Marketing for Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee Co. in Roswell, GA, where he lead the company’s branding and marketing work, as well as the roasting operations. Needless to say, he’s a pretty big fan of great coffee.

When he's not monitoring trends and stats, or writing briefs, Mike is probably found either on a disc golf course or at home, smoking meats while watching his kids try to master the latest Fortnite emote.

Alison Mallard, PhD



Alison Mallard is Founding Partner and President of HRCatalyst, Inc. a 15-year old consulting firm that helps organizations align strategy and talent through assessment, measurement, and leadership and team development. Alison has over 20 years of national and international experience in organizational consulting and research across many industries, including retail, financial services, healthcare, hospitality, information technology, pharmaceutical, transportation, and manufacturing. She also works with not-for-profit organizations including those in higher education, children’s advocacy, and various professional groups. HRCatalyst has grown steadily since its inception and has built an active alliance partner network of respected coaches and consultants to ensure clients get the expertise they need given their specific challenge or opportunity.

Alison helps leaders perform at their best through executive assessment and coaching. She applies techniques grounded in research, including proven strategies for greater self-awareness and lasting behavioral change. She stays informed of emerging leadership requirements and applies this to her coaching. Alison regularly collects data to measure the impact of her coaching; results consistently point to success in targeted areas and overall impact.

Alison works extensively with teams to reach their potential through assessment, development, action planning, conflict resolution, and facilitation. She successfully works with start-up and transitioning teams as well as teams committed to reaching higher levels of performance. She is a go-to resource for many organizations looking for team off-sites that have lasting impact on cohesion and performance.

She partners with clients on organizational-wide programs such competency modeling, leadership development programming, leader on-boarding, strategic planning facilitation, and organizational design/change management. She has worked on a variety of special projects including global assessment center design and delivery, career mapping, and other performance/retention studies.

Alison has taught several psychology, management, and measurement courses at University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business and Psychology department. She has published multiple articles in refereed journals and has presented at several national and international conferences.

She is certified on several assessment tools including 16PF, Hogan Assessment Series, CPI, Birkman, and Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). She has designed and is certified on multiple 360-feedback instruments.

Alison is co-founder of I/O AT WORK (, a free website providing reviews of recent I-O and HR-related research from top-tier journals. The site helps bridge the science-practice gap by making cutting-edge research available to its users. The site has won several awards, including Feedspot’s 2018 Top 25 Business Psychology Blogs. In 2014, the site was nominated for the prestigious SIOP/SHRM Impact Award and in 2016, the site was selected by a premier I-O and HR research journals, Journal of Management, as the site to preview and release in-press articles.

Alison is an NCAA All-American swimmer and has competed in a number of triathlons and half-marathons.

(click on speaker for full detail)

Past Speakers


Join future AdPR leaders from Atlanta and across the southeast for UGA’s Fourth Annual AdPR Academy.

The Academy will take place in March 2020 at Moxie.

The 2020 Application Process will open in the winter of 2019.

Please check for updates in later this year.

Sponsors and Partners


Past Sponsors


This program is supported in part by the President's Venture Fund through the generous gifts of the University of Georgia Partners and other donors.

Interested in supporting the AdPR Academy?

Sponsorship opportunities are available and provide corporations, foundations and individuals with the chance to support a targeted minority recruitment effort that will help to create a pipeline of high-level prospects and leaders for the future of advertising and public relations. Additional information can be found here or please send an inquiry to