Malana M. Joseph Mitchell, a native of Edgard, Louisiana, is the Director of Public Relations and Community Engagement for Spears Group, an award-winning PR and strategic communications firm. Malana brings more than 10 years of public relations, media, journalism, communications and event planning experience to the company.
Beginning her career in 2005 as a Mayoral Fellow in New Orleans City Government, she was instrumental in helping the administration get the city up and running following Hurricane Katrina. During her five-year tenure at City Hall, Malana served as publicist, Community Affairs Coordinator, and Director of Boards and Commissions. A member of PRSA since 2012, she has served on the organization’s Board of Directors and recently was Programming Chair. She was also the recipient of the 2015 Ball of Fire Award, presented to the member who goes above and beyond in the chapter.
She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Dillard University in 2005 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mass Communications with a minor in Speech Communications and received her Master of Arts Degree in Mass Communication with a concentration in PR from Kent State University in 2015. She is a member of the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau’s PR Council, the National Association of Black Journalists, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the all-female Krewe of Muses. Malana is also listed in the 2012 Edition of Stanford’s Who’s Who.
Cory Cart, President-elect and programming chair
As a tourism and hospitality marketing professional, Cory Cart, APR, works with travel media, produces influencer campaigns, and crusades for tourism advocacy. Through in-house and agency experiences, Cory’s expertise has benefited Clearwater Beach, Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department, New Mexico Tourism Department, National Dude Rancher’s Association, New Orleans Plantation Country and others.
He currently manages HUB, an integrated communications agency with offices in New Orleans, New York City, Florida and New Jersey.
Using a relationship-centric approach, Cory secures coverage with travel journalists from across the U.S. and Australia, Holland, Germany, England, Scotland, Japan and Canada from media outlets such as NBC’s Today, BBC-London, Travel + Leisure, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, National Geographic Traveler, and more.
Cory is nationally accredited in public relations, a member of National Speakers Association, was selected 2016 PR Practitioner of the Year by Public Relations Association of Louisiana and named a Sr. PR Practitioner by the Southern Public Relations Federation.
Fatima is a Public Relations Specialist at Jones Walker LLP, one of the largest 120 law firms in the United States serving local, regional, national, and international business interests with offices in Alabama, Arizona, California, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, Ohio, and Texas. In her current role, Fatima is responsible for a variety of internal communications projects, as well as, assisting in efforts to maintain and leverage the firm’s brand.
Fatima joined Jones Walker is 2015, shortly after graduating from the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University with a B.A. in Public Relations and a Minor in Business Administration. While at LSU, Fatima interned with several boutique agencies and also gained experience in non-profit management through an internship with Susan G. Komen Baton Rouge.
Elliot has a wide variety of public relations experience, including special events, social media activation, governmental relations, issues management, and grassroots outreach. Throughout his career, he has also specialized in scenario-based crisis communications planning and coordination of large client groups for media training exercises. His overarching scope of work includes media relations and overseeing logistical accommodations for news conferences, media briefings, brand engagement and signature events.
At Zehnder, Elliot works closely with clients to oversee entire local and national media outreach and press coverage, as well as producing annual series of special events. In his role, he consistently ensures the client’s public relations efforts and key messages are delivered and showcased through a variety of traditional, non-traditional, and digital channels. Elliot is also involved with various New Orleans-based organizations and entities including Son of a Saint, Link-Stryjewski Foundation, and Ogden Museum’s Magnolia Ball. A cum laude graduate, Elliot holds a public relations degree from LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication.
Christine Albert, Membership Co-Chair
Christine is the Associate Vice President of Marketing and Development at Touro Infirmary, New Orleans, a not-for-profit hospital which has a 160 year legacy of serving the New Orleans community. In her current role, she is responsible for strategic and crisis communications, media and public relations, advertising, internal communications and fundraising.
Christine has more than ten years of experience in healthcare communications. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations and French from Loyola University, New Orleans, and a Master of Public Policy from The George Washington University.
Wendee Bloom, Membership Co-Chair
Wendee is the National Communications Consultant for the American Heart Association. She leads the organization’s community positioning strategy to ensure maximum mission and revenue impact. She also serves as the liaison between the National Center and the Communications staff in the field located across the country. Wendee has been with the American Heart Association since 2004.
Wendee received a Mass Communications degree from the LSU Manship School of Mass Communications. She also served as the President of the New Orleans Chapter of PRSA in 2014.
Tambry serves as a senior public relations manager at Zehnder Communications, a full-service advertising agency. Her expertise in strategic planning and implementation of traditional and digital public relations initiatives serves several Zehnder clients in the banking, healthcare and food and beverage industries. Tambry earned a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications and an MBA with a concentration in Marketing from LSU.
Stew Krane, Sponsorship Chair
Born and raised in New Orleans, Stew Krane has dedicated his professional career to promoting the Crescent City. Formerly the volunteer coordinator at the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation, he helped recruit more than 20,000 like-minded locals to assist in showcasing New Orleans to the world for the 2012 NCAA Men’s Final Four and Super Bowl XLVII. In 2013, Stew joined the sales team with the New Orleans Convention Center, and has worked with clients from every industry and corner of the globe, including the Dublin-based team behind Collision Conference.
Stew earned his bachelor’s degree in Art History from the University of Michigan, and his Master’s in Tourism and Hospitality from the University of New Orleans. A Millennial Award winner in the Hospitality category, Stew lends his time to the Young Leadership Council, and helps to build awareness of Touro’s mission as an active member of Touro Tomorrow.
When he’s not extolling the greatest city on Earth, Stew can be found boasting about his love for Sean Payton or wandering through a music festival, local beer in hand. Who dat!
Cheryn Robles, National Delegate and Accreditation Chair
Cheryn Robles is an accredited public relations professional whose experience focuses on community outreach and environmental compliance. She is currently the Community Outreach Manager for City of New Orleans, Department of Public Works.
Cheryn is a Past President of the New Orleans Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America and has served on the New Orleans Chapter Board for more than 10 years.
Jeffrey Ory, ABC, APR, PRSSA Liaison
Jeffrey is the President/CEO of il Stratega, a full-service communication, marketing and public relations firm in New Orleans. Jeffrey has more than 18 years of experience. He is a highly sought after speaker/presenter for professional development organizations internationally and universities/colleges throughout the region.
Jeffrey is an adjunct professor at Loyola University New Orleans and the professional advisor for the Loyola Bateman Competition team, PRSSA’s premier national case study competition for public relations students, which has advanced to the national finals the last 11 years and has taken home the 1st place, national title for seven of those years. He also is a Past President of the New Orleans Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America and has served on the New Orleans Chapter Board for many years.