Women’s Leadership Panel will be a highlight of AdPR week at Grady College

AdPR Week is on the horizon at Grady College.  In recent years we have generated a great amount of enthusiasm through special events, guest speakers and a fun social media campaign, #AdPRide, to develop a sense of community and engagement among students and alums in Advertising and Public Relations.  We are excited about the addition of a panel discussion this year, with women in leadership roles who will inspire our students as they prepare for their own careers.  Dr. Karen King, Jim Kennedy Professor of New Media will moderate this impressive panel of guests at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, September 27, 2017 in the Peyton Anderson Forum at Grady College.

Pictured above, clockwise:

Brooke Beach – Founder/CEO, MarketWake: Brooke Beach is the Founder and CEO of Marketwake – a digital marketing agency that focuses on sharing stories and building brands. Most recently she was the CEO of a technology company called Kevy where she helped turn around the company after its pivot into marketing automation in 2015.

Brooke graduated Magna Cum Laude in Public Relations from Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia. After graduation, she became a spokesperson for Fortune 500 companies and helped lead nation-wide PR and marketing campaigns.

A serial entrepreneur and sought-after leader in the industry, Brooke has a passion for helping businesses and leaders grow.

Solange Claudio – President, Moxie: Solange’s expertise runs the gamut from digital platforms and CRM to online media, social and mobile experiences. She understands that the key to staying modern and relevant in what we do lies in the innovative and strategic integration of data, creative, and technology.

Solange stewards Moxie in creating an energizing agency environment that encourages Moxie’s talent to explore new opportunities, challenge the status quo, and continue to drive modern marketing solutions that delivers impactful results for their clients. A graduate of Cornell University and NYU Stern School of Business, Solange lives in Atlanta with her husband and two young daughters.

Donna Speciale – President of Ad Sales, Turner: Donna Speciale is president of Turner Ad Sales, where she oversees all advertising revenue for the company’s domestic entertainment, news and kids multi-media brands.

Speciale joined Turner in 2012 as president of Turner Entertainment and Young Adult Ad Sales, and had an early impact on the business as she redefined the client partnership model. She was promoted to her current role in 2014, and has further re-imagined how Turner collaborates with marketers and agencies utilizing advanced data and content capabiltiies. During a time of vast industry change and clutter, partners have thrived in spaces like content development, social amplification and audience targeting.

Speciale came to Turner from MediaVest Worldwide, where she served as president, Investment & Activation and Agency Operations.  During her tenure, she led the agency’s integrated digital, broadcast, print and out-of-home practice, overseeing investments on behalf of clients including Kraft, Walmart, P&G, and Coca-Cola. Prior to MediaVest, Speciale led the broadcast investment team at Mediacom.

Speciale is well-known for driving innovation in the marketplace and has received numerous industry recognitions. Most recently, she was featured within the Top 10 of the 2016 Adweek “Most Indispensable Executives,” a list she has consistently been recognized by since joining Turner. She has also been honored by Broadcasting & Cable for their 2015 “Hall of Fame” and named as a Multichannel News “Wonder Woman” (2013), Advertising Age “Top Women in Advertising” (2012), CableFAX “100” and “Most Powerful Women” (2012-16),  Speciale was honored in 2014 as a recipient of the “Reisenbach Award for Distinguished Citizenship” by the John A. Reisenbach Foundation.

Alicia Thompson – Managing Director, Porter Novelli: Alicia Thompson has over two decades of experience in public relations and communications. Prior to Porter Novelli, she worked for Edelman, where she was the general manager of the firm’s Atlanta office. In that role, she oversaw operations and talent and was responsible for developing and maintaining a dynamic client roster.

Thompson was formerly a senior vice president in Edelman’s consumer practice, working with clients such as Arby’s Restaurant Group, Interface, Teavana and Nestle/Gerber. Prior to that, she spent nine years leading the communications team at the multinational food chain Popeyes® Louisiana Kitchen. During this time, she managed the development and execution of all internal and external communications. Earlier in her career, Thompson held public relations positions at The Coca-Cola Company, BellSouth, Fletcher Martin Ewing and Cohn & Wolfe.

Thompson’s expertise falls squarely in Consumer products and services. She has deep experience in food and beverage/QSR/casual dining, franchising and crisis/issues management in this category.

Thompson holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a master’s degree in speech communications from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She has earned notable recognition, including winning four PRSA Georgia Order of the Phoenix awards, a member of the GA PRSA’s PR Hall of Fame and being named one of the National Diversity Council’s most powerful and influential women.

Karen King, professor, Advertising;Jim Kennedy New Media Professor
Dr. Karen King, professor, Advertising

Dr. Karen King will be moderating the Women’s Leadership Panel.  Dr. King teaches advertising media planning, advertising campaigns and advertising research. Her research interests include advertising industry issues and health communication.



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