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

DISH AROUND TOWN

All of us at MLA are lucky enough to eat and drink for a living and Dish Around Town gives us a chance to share the wealth with all of you! Sign up for the newsletter below.

FOLLOW DISH AROUND TOWN

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 DIRECTOR

Virginia has over three years of expertise managing global hospitality and lifestyle public relations campaigns for a diverse range of restaurant clients, F&B personalities, and hotels.

After graduating from Sewanee with a BA in English, Virginia traded in the mountains for the Big Apple. It was in New York that she built her career in PR; she worked for two prestigious agencies and quickly developed a passion for growing brands within the food and travel spaces.

In her free time, you can find Virginia chasing the newest hole-in-the-wall restaurants around town, planning a spontaneous trip, or reading a good book.

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.

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.

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

Mailing Address:
2020 Howell Mill Road NW
#D-148
Atlanta, GA 30318
(P) 404-816-3068
melissa@thinkMLA.com