AdPR Academy Advancing Diversity Training

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

Orlando Pimentel

Assistant Account Executive
Porter Novelli
2017 Alum

Orlando Pimentel is an an assistant account executive in the research department of Porter Novelli. At AdPR Academy 2017, Pimentel overcame his intimidation of speaking with industry professionals.

“The Academy helped me see just how much the professionals involved wanted to help us-- how much they wanted us to approach them with questions or comments. This got me more comfortable with reaching out to them,” said Pimentel. This newfound confidence paid off when he approached the research head of Porter Novelli during his internship-- a move that would later allow him to acquire the full time role he has now. “If you’re interested in specific work within the communications industry, find a role that will grant you exposure to that field as soon as possible. It can be a class, workshop, internship, volunteer opportunity, part-time job-- whatever it is, just find a way to get involved,” said Pimentel.

Neha Sinha

Associate Account Manager
Duncan Cannon
2017 Alum

After attending AdPR Academy in 2017, Neha Sinha completed an internship with Moxie and is now an associate account manager at Duncan Cannon in San Francisco. According to Sinha, AdPR Academy helped her get a fuller understanding of exactly what each department within advertising and public relations does and what the day to day jobs look like. With the help of AdPR Academy, she felt better prepared to go into the industry, but she still wants students in advertising and public relations to know it’s okay to feel lost at your first job.

“Get ready to re-learn everything you thought you knew about advertising. Nothing equates to working in a real office with real clients and real deadlines. A lot will not make sense until you have immersed yourself in your job and actively made an effort to learn all the steps that go into it. It’s a process that can take a few months, so be persistent,” said Sinha.

Kathleen Exantus

Weber Shandwick
2017 Alum

After attending AdPR Academy 2017, Kathleen Exantus was chosen as one of only 20 college graduates to be part of Verizon’s AdFellows program. She learned about the program from a Moxie HR Director during the Academy. “I didn’t major in advertising or public relations, and the Academy gave me the confidence and knowledge I needed to do well in this industry and take advantage of this opportunity,” said Exantus. She wants current students to know that the best way to get your foot in the door is experience.

“If you’re not able to get an internship, showcase your skills in creative ways like blogging or developing your own portfolio,” Exantus advised.

(click on alumni for full detail)


  • (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 2018 Speakers


State Public Affairs Specialist, USDA NRCS

Amelia Dortch is State Public Affairs Specialist for USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Alabama. In this position, Amelia oversees external and internal communications, media relations, social media management and congressional affairs. Amelia also collaborates with public-private partners to accomplish the agency's mission: Helping people help the land.

Amelia was born and raised in Newnan, Georgia. She is a graduate of the University of Georgia where she earned a Bachelor's degree in Broadcast News and a Master's degree in Public Administration. Prior to pursuing a career in public service, Amelia worked in television news for four years where she served as morning anchor and backpack journalist.

As volunteer Communications Coordinator with the Georgia Farmer’s Market Association (GFMA), Amelia worked to strengthen messaging and branding for GFMA and grow awareness of Georgia’s farmers markets to increase food access in communities across the state. She collaborated with the association, its member markets, sponsors and community partners to increase awareness and support of farmers markets in Georgia. Through strategic branding and communications efforts, awareness of food insecurity and the importance of farmers markets in local economies increased by an estimated 30 percent.

Amelia was recently recognized as an honoree of the University of Georgia's 40 Under 40 Class of 2017.

In her free time, Amelia enjoys reading, running and traveling. She currently resides in Atlanta with her husband, Corey.

Mark Dvorak

Senior Vice President and Executive Director

Golin Atlanta

Mark Dvorak leads the Atlanta office of Golin, a top 10 global communications and marketing firm. He also provides counsel for a variety of the firm’s association, government and corporate clients — including the National Peanut Board, Flowers Foods and several State of Georgia programs.

In 2009, Mark led the team that drove a resumption of consumption of all things peanut, after more than 3,000 products were recalled because of a salmonella outbreak that originated with one manufacturer. More recently, he has helped bring balance to the conversation around peanut allergies and build awareness of food allergy solutions.

Prior to joining GolinHarris, Mark was chief marketing and communications officer at United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta. There, he helped to transform the United Way brand locally and nationally from that of a fundraiser to a catalyst for community change. He is most proud of the launch and growth of United Way 211 — the nation’s three-digit telephone number for community services. Mark began his career as a press assistant to the mayor of New Orleans.

Active in the Public Relations Society of America throughout his career, Mark has been recognized as both the Georgia Chapter’s Luminary Star and Shining Star, and was president in 2002. In 2013, he was inducted into the PRSA College of Fellows and the PRSA Georgia Order of the Phoenix.

Mark taught in the public policy school at Georgia State University. He has an M.A. in journalism administration from the University of Memphis and a B.A. in communications and history from Loyola University New Orleans.

Sonja Stanley

VP, Group Program Director, Moxie

With over 24 years of digital marketing operations experience, Sonja Stanley leads the PMO for Moxie’s Verizon Wireless client with sheer excellence. She has a proven track record of spearheading CRM engagements both on the client side and agency side—Office Depot, The Sun-Sentinel, The Home Depot, Merkle, DigitasLBi and Ogilvy, to name just a few. Her mantra of “the process is your friend” has led to top-notch process efficiency and technology enablement for clients such as Ross-Simons Jewelers, InterContinental Hotels Group, Verizon Wireless, Fios and AMC Theatres. She builds strong teams who understand how to successfully manage complex projects that are accurate, delivered on time and within budget. Her enthusiasm for impactful, flawless work is contagious, and it cultivates an environment of trust, loyalty and visionary leadership with our clients and across the agency.

Michael Hutton

Group Creative Director, Moxie

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.

Joe Jimenez

Senior Director-Diversity & Inclusion
Cox Enterprises

Jose M. Jimenez is the Senior Director-Diversity & Inclusion at Cox Enterprises, Inc. He is responsible for setting the direction for, and leading enterprise-wide diversity and inclusion activities that align with, Cox’s Diversity Strategy plan. Jose also cultivates relationships with Cox’s external diversity partners, and represents the Cox companies at various forums and events, including the recently launched Diversity Council of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. He has been with the Cox family of companies for over 18 years in a variety of roles and locations; about half of his tenure has been in Atlanta. Jose firmly believes in giving back by volunteering in the community, and has been a member of several Boards of Directors of non-profit organizations in Atlanta, including Cable Positive, Positive Impact, Positive Impact Health Centers, and more recently Jerusalem House.

Shawn McGahee

Senior Vice President


Shawn McGahee provides strategic leadership across a diverse set of analytics professionals and marketing channels. As the Vice President of Analytics at Moxie, he’s able to leverage his expertise in cross-channel analytics to deliver innovative omni channel insights and recommendations for Moxie and its clients. Shawn boasts more than 11 years of experience in developing customized analytics solutions for industry giants like Dell, AT&T, Kimberly-Clark, VeriFone, Georgia Natural Gas, Duke Energy and AMC Theatres.

Shawn earned a BS in Marketing from the University of South Florida and an MBA from Georgia Tech, where he teaches a social & digital analytics course to undergraduate students. He is also the co-founder and operations director of Humble Treasures, a nonprofit that serves those in need in the Atlanta community.

Yuna Park

Communications Planning Director, PHD

Yuna Park is a Communications Planning Director at PHD in New York, supporting two global accounts, Audi and Ferrero. In her role, she develops communications approaches based on consumer, category, cultural and brand insights, and collaborates closely with other agencies (creative, PR, shopper) to put ideas into motion. She has worked with brands like Mattel's Barbie, E & J Gallo, American Standard and L'Oreal.

Nakita M Pope

Chief Chick Brand Strategist

Branding Chicks

Nakita M. Pope is the Chief Chick Brand Strategist at Branding Chicks, a boutique branding studio in Atlanta, GA. Branding Chicks specializes in branding women-owned businesses and female-focused brands. As a brand strategist, 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 target markets. 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. Over the past 18 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 (one of the top-rated advertising portfolio schools in the U.S.) for the past 10 years. She is a board member of AIGA Atlanta, member of the AIGA National Diversity & Inclusion Task Force, Board Vice President for Smart Girls on Campus and Board Member of Good Thinking Atlanta. Nakita was also recently honored with a feature in the 28 Days of Black Designers project by Timothy Hykes in 2018. Along with her work and passion projects, she now gets to share her knowledge and experiences with a variety of audiences on the national speaking stage.

Valdez Steed

Associate Digital Director

Valdez “Dez” Steed is an Associate Digital Director at PHD supporting on the Audi business. In his role he outlines how Audi approaches the digital marketplace and what tactics should be used for Audi digital campaigns. He has been at PHD for 4.5 years and has worked on brands such as Foot Locker, Glaxo SmithKline, Volkswagen and Audi.

Tracy YoungLincoln

EVP Intelligence

Tracy is a patent-holding digital veteran who leads the efforts of Moxie’s cross-specialty Intelligence team. She is passionate about improving consumer experiences and solving business problems using data-driven insights and methodologies. A proven C-level communicator and team builder, Tracy has worked across several disciplines on both the agency and client side.

Jon Wright

VP, Behavioral Science

By applying scientific insights and methods from Behavioral Science to client strategies, Jon translates why consumers make the choices they do and how to positively influence brand choice — motivating consumers, creating and enhancing products, and developing and optimizing marketing strategies that help brands grow.  Jon has over 20 years of industry experience encompassing travel, hospitality, automotive, fashion/retail, pharmaceuticals, CPG, finance and tech/innovation.  Jon has managed accounts for many global clients, including; Carvana, Delta Air Lines, Hertz, Hilton, InterContinental Hotels Group, Merial, Porsche, Reckitt Benckiser, Saab, SmithKline & French, Star Alliance, Sony, and Spanx to name a few – giving clients a high level of confidence when creating strategies and implementing initiatives.

Margaret Smith

Senior Manager of Corporate Communications
The Home Depot

Margaret Smith is a senior manager of corporate communications at The Home Depot. In this role, she oversees Home Depot’s innovation reputation strategy for internal and external communications. In her previous role with The Home Depot, Margaret managed merchandising campaign strategy and execution as well as fostered relationships with key national media, internal clients and third-party product suppliers.

Prior to Home Depot, Margaret was a senior editor at Cumulus Media, overseeing e-commerce editorial and creative.

Margaret joined Cumulus from Get Married Media, where she wrote and edited for the print publication, e-commerce site and broadcast television show.

Margaret is a graduate of Miami University of Ohio with degrees in journalism and international studies. She lives in Atlanta with her husband, Philip.

Taylor Jarrells

Social Media Specialist
Nebo Agency

Taylor Jarrells is a Social Media Specialist at Nebo Agency. In her role, she leads strategy, campaign development, analysis and channel management for a range of social media clients, from large B2C brands to local firms and companies. She has worked directly either within the organization or leading social efforts for well-known brands such as Cox Automotive, Brookdale Senior Living, The Metro Atlanta Chamber and FLOR, just to name a few. In addition to her work at Nebo, Taylor is actively engaged with the Atlanta marketing community. She is a member of the American Marketing Association, and attends industry events across all organizations. When she’s not out networking, attending local marketing events, or sharing her marketing expertise, you can find her exploring Atlanta’s many coffee shops and bookstores.

Harold Reid

Jackson Spalding

We recruited Harold to add heft to our bench of sports marketers, but he’s turned out to be a utility player across the agency. In addition to growing our athletic brand work, he’s also on point for projects with Perdue, Mattress Firm and other clients. Harold came to us from Porter Novelli, where he co-founded their sports practice and managed crisis monitoring for the agency’s 11 U.S. offices. He’s also worked for other big names in our business, including Fleishman-Hilliard, Ogilvy, and Hill & Knowlton, earning kudos for his story-telling, ideation and media relations skills. He began his career in New York, promoting financial technology products to the trades. Over a 10-year run in the Big Apple, Harold eventually provided counsel to many top companies, including Charles Schwab, American Express, Deloitte, Dos Equis and Target. When he landed a New York Times feature about the merger that led to Thomson Reuters, “the answer company” recruited him to work in-house as a member of their first global P.R. team. Harold will tell you he had no choice but to become a scholar-athlete in a home where education and athleticism were revered. He had 30 scholarship offers to run track in college and spent his first two years at Eastern Michigan before transferring to Hampton University. There, he joined the inaugural class of the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications and served as captain for the track & field team, which enjoyed two championship seasons on his watch. A native of Piscataway, N.J., Harold migrated south once he married an Atlanta girl, who, incidentally, was the first person he met on his first day at Hampton. They are firmly entrenched here now, with three daughters and a baby boy who carries on the family name. Harold’s outside interests include an endless list of sports activities and volunteering locally to support communities in need. He’s thankful for a caring family who always set the bar high and continue to nurture his winning ways.

Soon Mee Kim

EVP and Global Diversity and Inclusion Leader
Porter Novelli

Soon Mee Kim is executive vice president and Global Diversity and Inclusion Leader for Porter Novelli, part of the Omnicom Public Relations group, which encompasses more than 6,000 professionals in more than 300 offices worldwide. Soon Mee is responsible for evaluating, implementing and developing policies, practices and programs that promote diversity, inclusion and accelerate innovation at Porter Novelli. A dreamer and a doer, she is passionate about workplace culture, developing talent, counseling clients, and creating campaigns and services to make an impact.

Candace Ishmael

Brand Strategist
Definition 6

Candace Ishmael leads teams to craft messaging across all brand touchpoints and mediums. Building on her background in media and publishing, she creates brand stories that connect with audiences and raise the consumer to hero status.

Tamara Gilliam

Leadership Development Facilitator

Tamara began her career in entertainment.  She was a host, writer, and segment producer for “Atlanta Tonight” on WUPA.  She was also the entertainment reporter for “The 2 Live Stews” sports talk radio show for 790 the Zone. Tamara is currently managing Moxie's Talent Engagement & Inclusion Initiatives. She is a facilitator for Publicis Media brands in North America. Tamara is also the Regional Lead for VivaWomen! US, and on the Regional Jury (Americas) for Publicis90. She is the producer for two series at Moxie/Zenith "The 9:30 Sessions", which showcases their best work each month, & "From the Ground Up", which highlights capabilities by discipline. Tamara is a Certified Executive Coach. She is also a member of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

Laura Long

SVP / Strategic Engagement
Luckie & Company

Laura Long has always loved a challenge. With a firm belief that there is a solution to every problem, nothing stops her from delivering excellent results for her clients and her team.

A collaborative leader with over 20 years of success in building high performing teams and developing leaders with a focus on delivering strategic marketing solutions. Recognized as a trusted leader with exceptional communications skills and a passion for helping others achieve success.

Laura has led brands through monumental marketing transformations in both the traditional and digital spaces for brands such as Regions Bank, Alabama Power, The Coca-Cola Company, Kroger, and Chick-fil-A.

Gana Ahn

Director of Media Relations
Golin Atlanta

Gana Ahn is a Director at the Atlanta office of Golin, a top 10 global communications and marketing firm known. For nearly a decade, Gana has provided media relations counsel for a variety of consumer, corporate, government and nonprofit clients at Golin.  She has worked with international and national business, consumer and lifestyle reporters as well as local and trade media in diverse sectors including economic development, food, health and wellness, logistics, and travel.

For five years, Gana managed day-to-day activities, media relations and special events for the Georgia Department of Economic Development. During that time, she coordinated and executed seven international media tours for the state of Georgia focused on Georgia’s key strategic industries (aerospace, bioscience, clean energy, food processing, digital entertainment, logistics, and healthcare IT). She helped promote Georgia as an ideal destination for foreign direct investment, business and tourism in more than 20 countries as part of the award-winning Global Georgia program that took home numerous industry awards including a Silver Anvil and SABRE Award.

In 2013, she helped launch the National Peanut Board’s Truth Squad by activating Golin’s Bridge to correct misinformation about food/peanut allergies and better educate media and consumers. More recently, she served as a day-to-day U.S. media contact for Turkish Airlines working with media to increase the profile of the airline in the U.S.

Gana majored in public relations and earned a B.A. in journalism at the University of Georgia’s prestigious Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. 

Mallom Liggon

Consumer Insights & Strategy
Turner Sports

Mallom Liggon currently helps drive Consumer Insights & Strategy for Turner Sports.  In this role, he is responsible for utilizing relevant data to uncover penetrating discovery about consumers, the Aha! moments, that inform marketing, business operations, business strategy and acquisitions for the division’s sports media environments on television and other platforms. Mallom also 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.

Mallom has a myriad of marketing, business strategy and media research experience serving in various capacities Turner Broadcasting.

Mallom is a graduate of New York Institute of Technology where he received a Bachelor degree in Broadcast Communication.  He received his Masters in Business Administration from Georgia Tech with a specialty in Global Business.

Sergio Velez

Senior Art Director

Sr. Art Director - Moxie | 2016 - Present. Assist with management of team - ACD responsibilities
Clients: Coke Brands, Minute Maid, Simply, Gold Peak, Odwalla, Fuze, Smart Water

Art Director - Realm | 2016Concepts, Art Direction, Assist with management of Jr. Designers
Clients: UPS, Georgia Ports Authority, Deluxe

Creative Director - Irban Group | 2014 - 2015Lead team to create social media content development. Digital.
Clients: Coke, Sprite, Dasani, Sprout

Freelance Creative - SergioCreative | 2007 - 2014Brand Development. Web Design. Logo Design. Creative Direction. Print Collateral. Event Design.
Clients: Moonpie, Royal Oak, EO, Revenue Analytics

Art Director - Current Inc. | 2001 - 2007Retail Advertising. Graphic Design. Web Design. Fashion.
Clients: GGP, Spanx, Simon

Sean Jones

Director of Regional/ National Sales
Comcast Spotlight

Sean began his career at Cox Reps in 1997. In 2003, he started at National Cable Communications (NCC) as an Account Executive prior to becoming the Southeastern Political Lead. In 2004, under Sean’s leadership, NCC billed more political money than the previous ten years combined. Sean also worked for News Corporation for the Fox Network. In 2008, Rupert Murdoch sold eight of his TV stations to buy the Wall Street Journal. In that acquisition, Sean became the VP of Sales for the recently sold FOX station group’s National Representative at Katz Media. He is also the founding director of the ABAC (Atlanta Broadcast Advertising Club) Advertising Mentorship Program with the Grady School at The University of Georgia. He was formerly ABAC President and endowed $50k in scholarships and awards to the Grady School of Journalism.

Sean currently sits on UGA’s Executive Leadership Board.

Sean is the proud father of Isabelle, Blake and Charlie with his wife Aimee. In his spare, spare time he sometimes maintains his food blog

Rebecca R. Glassman

Social Media Specialist
Corporate Communications
Georgia Pacific

Rebecca is a UGA alum with six years of experience as a social media and Corporate Communications professional. Among the sea of Grady grads on her team, she’s a bit of a rebel as one of the members who went the English degree route. She joined Georgia-Pacific in 2013, and has worked on everything from reputation management to crisis management to employee training to B2B and B2C consumer and customer engagement. Currently, Rebecca manages social media for brands in the Consumer Products business including Angel Soft® Bath Tissue and Mardi Gras® Napkins, and she’s astounded every day by the things people will say online about toilet paper.

Felicia Wasson

Director of Stakeholder Relations
The Coca-Cola Company

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 – 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.

Kristin Layman

Strategic Engagement Director
Luckie & Company

Kristin Layman is Strategic Engagement Director over the Consumer business unit managing the CPG and Hospitality teams. She came to Luckie with extensive expertise in the hospitality industry. In fact, 14 of her nearly 20 years of marketing experience have been hospitality-focused, which serves her well as she guides strategy for Luckie’s tourism clients.

Previously at InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), Kristin led senior projects for the Americas marketing team and IHG Rewards Club, driving revenue and stays to nine brands in over 100 countries. In 2014, she led a team that implemented the first consumer co-partner Americas campaign with Coca-Cola titled “Reel Summer.” It won an Adrian Award and garnered 415 million media impressions. Kristin has a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing from the University of Alabama where she was an honors student on the select Presidential Scholarship.

Her hospitality and travel experience include: Visit Williamsburg, Visit Panama City Beach, Marlow’s Tavern and InterContinental Hotels Group.

Simone Pratt

Senior Brand Strategist
Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness

Simone has over 20 years of experience in strategic planning and brand building. Her competencies include cultivating salient insights, intimately understanding the consumer and strategic development for high-profile global brands such as Verizon, Walmart, Pfizer, Ford, Pepsi and General Motors. Simone started her career in Marketing Research, soon bringing her quantitative and qualitative research expertise to the agency world. She specialized in African American and multicultural markets for several years helping clients better understand and establish their brands among this growing and important consumer segment. Working at various agencies including UniWorld Group, GlobalHue, SpikeDDB and Grey NY, Simone is currently the Senior Brand Strategist on the HUMIRA Complete account at Saatchi and Saatchi Wellness. Her very passionate and intuitive strategic approach has been recognized by industry's major awards, including a Bronze Effie.

(click on speaker for full detail)

Our 2017 Speakers


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

March 12-17, 2018 at Moxie

The 2018 Application Process will open the week of December 11, 2017.

Applications are due January 26, 2018 at 6 p.m. EST.

Sponsors and Partners


2017 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