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Mark McNeely
Partner

Since co-founding MBPR with his daughter, Kelly Brockman, McNeely has been a key strategist with the award-winning "Farm to Tap" statewide campaign by the Tennessee Craft Brewers Guild, led work with Middle Tennessee Electric, spearheaded communications efforts by the cities of Lebanon and Madison, Miss., and provided counsel for several entities involved in public affairs issues at the local, state and federal level.

Prior to starting MBPR, he founded what eventually became the largest independent public relations firm in Tennessee - McNeely Pigott & Fox (now MP&F Strategic Communications), which is celebrating its 35th year in operation this year. Before that, he had a career in journalism, public service and politics including Capitol Bureau chief for the Knoxville News-Sentinel and then-U.S. Sen. Al Gore's first state director.

Strategic planning, senior counseling and media relations are his specialties.

Mark is a 1970 journalism graduate of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and served as a member of the Board of Visitors to the College of Communication and Information for 15 years, chaired the group from 2009 to 2011, and was appointed an honorary board member in 2015. He was presented the Donald E. Hileman Distinguished Alumni Award in 2015 for outstanding contributions to the field of communications.

In 2016, Mark was honored with the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce’s IMPACT award for his work in mentoring young professionals through the years. He has been recognized by the Nashville Women’s Political Caucus in its annual “Good Guys” Award, was a member of the board of directors of the Nashville Downtown Rotary Club from 2014 to 2016 and served as a member of the board of the Downtown Nashville Partnership for more than 12 years.

Mark has also been active in the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and the local Public Relations Society of America chapter, which honored him in 2007 with the chapter’s annual Hercules Award for professional contributions to public relations.

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Kelly Brockman
Partner

Kelly has 20 years’ experience in the corporate, nonprofit, government, and public relations sectors. She specializes in media relations, crisis communication, internal communication, and government and community relations.

 

Since founding MBPR with her father in June 2018, she’s managed the community outreach, branding and media relations efforts for the Solid Waste Disposal Authority of the City of Huntsville’s curbside recycling program, Recycling Alliance of North Alabama (RANA). She’s also managed media relations efforts for Amazon, Inc. during its efforts to obtain state and local incentives for a new regional headquarters in Nashville and managed the launch of the “Farm to Tap” campaign with the Tennessee Craft Brewers Guild.

 

Her day-to-day work includes consulting with clients on their communications goals and strategies, whether it’s a new project seeking community outreach and engagement, launching a campaign or assisting in a grand opening event, or working with media to tell client stories.

 

Prior to launching MBPR, she led the media relations effort for the award-winning English-only campaign in Nashville; managed communications for the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance; managed a team of storytellers that handled internal and external communications from news stories, newsletters, blog posts and social media channels for Tennessee State Parks and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) ; worked on communicating policy changes in both Metro and state government; and served as the spokesperson on the “Transit for Nashville” transit referendum campaign in 2018.

 

Brockman is a 2000 graduate of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a bachelor’s degree in communications. She has two children, Ella and Austin, and is married to Brian, a Nashville Firefighter. She’s a member of the Greenways for Nashville board, advisory board for Nashville Children’s Alliance, executive committee for the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Counselor’s Academy and a member of BrainTrust.

 

A Nashville native, she enjoys cheering for her kids at their school and sport functions, spending time on Nashville’s greenways and connecting old friends with new.

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Lydia Lenker 
Senior Advisor

Lydia Lenker joined the staff of MBPR in November 2021 as senior advisor, bringing her extensive experience in media and media relations. To date, her work with the Tennessee Craft Brewers Guild “Farm To Tap” initiative resulted in a feature on Tennessee Crossroads and a three-part series on RFD-TV. For Soles4Souls, the Nashville-based global nonprofit, she has helped net local TV and print coverage of its programs to assist children experiencing homelessness and its relief efforts in the Ukraine.

 

Lenker launched her journalism career in radio news, then transitioned to television. She was a political reporter and weekend anchor at CBS affiliate NewsChannel 5 in Nashville and won an Emmy for “Best Weekend Newscast” in the Southeast region during her tenure.

 

Covering politics sparked a career change, and Lenker joined the gubernatorial campaign of candidate Phil Bredesen, serving as his press secretary. She continued to serve in that role when Bredesen was elected the 48th governor of Tennessee. In Bredesen’s recent U.S. Senate campaign, Lenker served as chief of staff to former First Lady Andrea Conte.

 

A move to higher education brought Lenker to Lipscomb University. She served as executive in residence and managing director of the Nelson and Sue Andrews Institute for Civic Leadership, and director of events and community engagement for the College of Leadership and Public Service. 

 

As a media relations consultant, her clients have included Senior Ride Nashville, Main Street Nashville, the Metropolitan and Development and Housing Agency and Vine Street Christian Church.

 

Lenker is a summa cum laude journalism graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. She serves on the boards of the Rotary Club of Nashville and Senior Ride Nashville, and the Board of Advisors for Lipscomb University's Department of Communication and Journalism. 

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Honor Garrett
Account Executive

Honor Garrett joined McNeely Brockman Public Relations as an account assistant in May 2020. In July 2021, Garrett was promoted to assistant account executive, then to account executive in May 2022. Prior to joining the team, Honor served as a communications intern at MP&F Strategic Communications in Nashville, Tenn., and was an account assistant at The Callaway in Nashville. She also had a handful of other internships throughout her college career. Garrett has experience in brand development, copy writing, event planning, and digital and social marketing.

 

During her time at MBPR, Garrett has worked on projects in both support and leadership roles on client teams such as the Tennessee Craft Brewers Guild, Genesco Inc., nonprofit Soles4Souls, Walker Building Group, Memphis Innovation Corridor, and more.

Garrett graduated from the University of Georgia in 2019 where she received a bachelor’s degree in consumer journalism with an emphasis in advertising and a certificate in new media studies. She is a current member of the Frist Museum’s Warhol Society and Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Nashville Chapter.

As someone with many places to call home, Garrett enjoys traveling, watching football games, playing pickleball and baking homemade bread and desserts.

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Jessi Grant 
Executive Assistant

Jessi Grant, a Nashville native, has joined MBPR as an Executive Assistant. She has over 15 years of experience in communications, client relations and executive assistant work. Her previous experience includes 11 years as an administrative assistant at MP&F Strategic Relations.

 

When she’s not at the office, she can be found teaching reiki, baking cookies or hiking with her pup, Eva. 

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Olivia Blumb
Assistant Account Executive

Olivia Blumb joined McNeely Brockman Public Relations as an account assistant in January 2022. During her time at MBPR, Blumb has worked on client teams such as the Tennessee Craft Brewers Guild, Soles4Souls, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee, BrainTrust, Fort Negley and more.

 

Prior to joining MBPR, Blumb served as a public relations and social media intern at Bader Rutter in Milwaukee, Wisc., marketing specialist and booking agent at Gresham Hill Management in Franklin, TN, intern for Nashville-based Parthenon PR, and as an Intern at O’Connor Connective of De Pere, Wisc.

 

Blumb is a December 2021 graduate of Belmont University in Nashville, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in public relations. During her time at Belmont, Blumb was an active member of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), including serving as president of Belmont’s chapter for the 2020-21 academic year. Blumb is now a member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Nashville Chapter.

 

A native of Green Bay, Wisconsin, Blumb enjoys cheering on the Packers, playing golf, cooking the latest recipe she has discovered and traveling to see her family and friends.

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Avery Foster
Account Assistant

Avery Foster, a Knoxville native, joined MBPR as the Tennessee Craft Brewers Guild intern for the statewide “Farm to Tap” initiative in November 2021. In July 2022, Avery joined the team full time as an account assistant. During her time at MBPR, Foster has continued her work with the Tennessee Craft Brewers Guild, as well as joining client teams such as Genesco Inc. and BrainTrust.

 

Foster graduated from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in May 2022, with a bachelor’s degree in public relations and a minor in business administration. During her time at UTK, Avery was a member of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and served as Assistant Reference Officer of her sorority, Delta Delta Delta.

 

When not in the office, you can find Avery trying local restaurants, working out or spending time with her pup, Cash.

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