Our Team

In 2003, Mary Beth West planted the seed for a company that would redefine the role of public relations in East Tennessee. Twelve years later, we continue to push the envelope on what strategic communications and marketing can do…now on a national basis. Seated in our core values, we help clients communicate, engage and build meaningful connections with their stakeholders through brand relationships, digital innovation and competitive impact. We don’t mean to brag, but check out our kudos here.  Want to hear more from us? Sign up for our monthly gossip here.

PROFESSIONAL MODE
AFTER HOURS MODE
  • Mary Beth West, APRPRINCIPAL, Mary Beth West Communications, LLC

    Information

    Mary Beth West is a public relations executive with 20 years’ experience managing marketing communications strategies and campaigns, with proven business results meeting companies’ and organizations’ sales/development, branding and reputation management objectives.

    Experiences

    Celebrating 12 years in business in spring 2015, Mary Beth West founded her public relations firm in March 2003. Her team’s award-winning work has included creation and implementation of national media relations campaigns, employee communications programs, consumer and business-to-business marketing initiatives and crisis preparedness systems. More about Mary Beth...

    Mary Beth West, APRMojito Beth

    Get to know me

    What can’t you live without? Staying within consistent proximity to kiss my kids goodnight and be there for the moments of life
    Favorite procrastination method? The Scarlett O'Hara method: "I'll think about that tomorrow."
    What’s your favorite word? "Strategery." Just kidding. Kind of. "Serendipitous."
    Favorite breakfast food? Mixed berries & Chobani Yogurt, when I'm on good behavior.
    Favorite drink after hours? Mojito. Check out the one at The Cloister in Sea Island, GA. It'll make a Mojito your favorite, too.
    Favorite reality tv show? “Inside the Wormhole” with Morgan Freeman is about as close to the reality genre as I can handle!
    Favorite song chorus/lyrics? "Life is long...If you give it away." Great song by David Byrne

    Wes BolingSENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE

    Information

    Wes brings experience in journalism, marketing, communications and business strategy to his role at MBWC. As a senior account executive, he serves as the front-facing contact between the clients he manages and the rest of the team. His role includes daily project management and addressing clients' needs and objectives throughout campaigns to make sure projects are running smoothly, on-time and within budget.

    Experiences

    Wes brings nearly a decade of communications and business strategy skills to the MBWC team. For four years, Wes managed the communications and marketing for the Brentwood Hearing Center, helping the family-owned practice double its patient base during his tenure. Prior to that, Wes produced and delivered on-air television reports as a sports reporter and convergence editor for WVLT-TV in Knoxville. His education includes an M.B.A. with a marketing concentration from the Massey Graduate School of Business at Belmont University and a B.S. in journalism and electronic media from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

    Wes Boling

    Get to know me

    What can’t you live without? My faith, my wonderful wife and family, Tennessee Volunteers football and authentic Neapolitan pizza
    Favorite procrastination method? Browsing news and sports scores on Twitter
    What’s your favorite word? Charcuterie (it’s also one of my favorite tastes).
    Favorite breakfast food? A honey croissant with fresh preserves – indulgent, yet portable
    Favorite drink after hours? On cold days, nothing beats a dram of smoky, peaty Scotch (neat, of course).
    Favorite reality TV show? College football! It’s suspenseful, unpredictable and actually real (unlike a lot of reality shows!).
    Favorite song chorus/lyrics? “To love another person is to see the face of God.” – Les Misérables

    Sarah MerrellManager, Digital Media and Production

    Information

    Sarah Merrell brings nearly a decade of experience in marketing and business within a variety of industries to her role at MBWC as Digital Media and Production Manager. Sarah works closely with clients to achieve results through websites, social media and newsletters while also managing production timelines.

    Experiences

    Sarah began her career as a financial analyst before transitioning into marketing management. She served as Marketing Manager for an outdoor gear manufacturer and retailer and most recently led the marketing department for Leisure Pools, the largest swimming pool manufacturer in the world. Sarah has also worked as a freelance marketing consultant, event planner and public relations professional, and has been responsible for the execution and publicity of several fashion week events including Asheville Fashion Week, Chattanooga Fashion Week and Knoxville Fashion Week. In 2007, Sarah earned an MBA from Western Carolina University and has since been named an alumni success story by the university. In 2013 she was named one of Asheville, N.C.’s Top 40 Under 40 Young Professionals. Her innovative approach to marketing, event planning and media relations has been recognized by a number of national and regional publications including Capital at Play, SNEWS, Verve Magazine, the Citizen-Times and Asheville Grit.

    Sarah enjoys giving back to the community and engaging in professional organizations. She has served on the board of directors of the American Advertising Federation, the Western Carolina University MBA Advisory Board, the Asheville Affiliates and the Western North Carolina Nature Center. In her free time, Sarah is a fashion correspondent for WATE-TV and enjoys directing charity fashion events. She lives in Knoxville, Tennessee with her husband Jud.

    Sarah Merrell

    Get to know me

    What can’t you live without? My loved ones, my motorcycle and a great pair of heels
    Favorite procrastination method? Doing one of the many things I enjoy
    Favorite word? Grace, it’s an important part of my faith
    Favorite breakfast food? Eggs benedict and black coffee
    Favorite drink after hours? A good Malbec, or in the summer a gin and tonic by the pool
    Favorite reality TV show? Project Runway
    Favorite song/chorus/lyrics? Suddenly I See by KT Tunstall

    Tonya JelfOffice Coordinator

    Information

    Tonya’s background in office administration helps her in the role as office coordinator at Mary Beth West Communications, where she oversees internal office scheduling, office inventory, phone calls and media monitoring.

    Experiences

    Tonya possesses over 15 years of office administration experience. She has a Bachelor’s degree in English that she has utilized in her communications, supply chain and community service work. She also has a background in accounting, including receivables, payables and roll-forwards for inventory. Tonya attended the University of Louisville. While in Louisville, Ky., she served on the board of Louisville Poetry Guild and co-hosted a community television show recognizing local poets. She was also an import broker and team lead for UPS Supply Chain Solutions in Louisville for seven and a half years. Before moving back to her home state of Tennessee, she served as office administrator for Key Electronics in Southern Indiana. In her free time, Tonya enjoys writing and is a published poet. She also volunteers for Breaststrokes, an organization enabling breast cancer patients without medical insurance to pay their bills. She is an avid hiker and active in Knoxville’s arts and music scene.

    Tonya Jelf

    Get to know me

    What can’t you live without? God, nature and music
    Favorite procrastination method? Ignoring what needs to be done and doing what is fun instead
    What’s your favorite word? Quintessence
    Favorite breakfast food? Omelet with spinach, mushrooms, cheese and crispy bacon
    Favorite drink after hours? Rittenhouse Rye Old Fashioned or Blue Zen
    Favorite Reality TV show? “A Chef’s Life” on PBS, or NFL and college football, baby!
    Favorite song chorus/lyrics?
    Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
    
Let me walk upon the waters
    
Wherever you would call me
    
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
    
And my faith will be made stronger
    
In the presence of my Savior - "Crowns & Thorns (Oceans)” by KB

  • Jason ReevesSENIOR DIRECTOR, TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT

    Information

    Jason brings nearly 20 years of technological design and development, management, and leadership experience in the high-tech industry to his role at MBWC. He provides technical consulting on development and technology solutions for a range of client projects. Jason achieves results through exceptional subject matter expertise, technology leadership, intensive innovation and client collaboration.

    Experiences

    Jason worked as a graphic designer and art director in the agency world before opening An Ion Design, Inc. in 2003. He has worked on business-to-business and business-to-consumer campaigns for companies like Bellsouth, AT&T, NASCAR, Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc. and Siemens. His experience also includes multimedia projects using illustration, photography, and video. Jason lives in Charlotte, North Carolina.

    Jason Reeves

    Get to know me

    What can’t you live without? My dogs, coffee, pencil, and paper.
    Favorite procrastination method? Cleaning, laundry, etc… I’m usually thinking of how I’ll do something while I do those. It’s a weird form of meditation for me.
    What’s your favorite word? Awesome! I grew up in the 80’s. That word has been bonded to me on a molecular level.
    Favorite breakfast food? Coffee. I’m a late eater so breakfast rarely goes down. Although I really like breakfast for dinner…
    Favorite drink after hours? I’m a big Yogi tea drinker.
    Favorite reality TV show? I’m not really a reality show person. Documentaries on Netflix is where it’s at. Anything strange.
    Favorite song chorus/lyrics? That’s tough. I’ve become a big Phosphorescent fan here lately. I really dig The Quotidian Beasts. Ask me next week and I’ll probably have a new one.

    http://www.marybethwest.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Jason_Reeves_Headshot.jpg Jason Reeves

    Jay LandersSenior Developer

    Information

    Jay is a jack of all trades with ample experience as a lead developer, web programmer, multimedia developer, and consultant. His tool belt includes technical knowledge of the CSS, HTML, PHP, and CMS systems which control the content of websites. Over the years, his projects have included computer animation, graphic design, flash design, sales, project ideation, and timeline management. Jay is continuously staying up to date on current trends and developments of the ever evolving Internet to expand his knowledge and talents to best serve our clients.

    Experiences

    An Ion Design, Inc.
    CTO
    2012 – Present 

    DMGx
    Programming Director
    2007 – 2011 

    Deloops
    Owner
    2004 – 2007 

    In10sity
    Multimedia Director
    2002 – 2004 

    Internet Laboratories
    Programmer 
    2000 – 2001

    Peak Quest
    Lead Programmer
    1999 – 2000 

    Jay Landers

    Get to know me

    What can’t you live without? My family - It is the only thing that has been constant over the years
    Favorite procrastination method? Let me think about that and get back to you.
    What’s your favorite word? Bellicose 
    Favorite breakfast food? Eggs and Bacon
    Favorite drink after hours? Rum and Coke without the Rum.
    Favorite reality TV show? TV is not a reality.
    Favorite song chorus/lyrics? This is the song that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friend. Some people started singing it, not knowing what it was, and they'll continue singing it forever just because…

    http://www.marybethwest.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Jay_Landers_Headshot.jpg Jay Landers

Our Process

Discovery

Discovery

The discovery is the starting point for all clients. We’ll listen to you and gather information to begin a thorough assessment of where and how we can work together. This might include learning about the company’s strengths and challenges, or collecting information such as mission, vision and positioning statements. It might include looking at business and strategic plans for the company as a whole or for specific projects. The discovery usually helps our clients know what services they need us to focus on before we get to work. This process should be a two-way conversation, with our goal to be able to create a framework for our relationship. With that process in place, we’ll be able to determine which promotion tools will best create a positive result for each type of business and each budget. 


Strategy

Strategy

Next we’ll develop a strategic blueprint that will be a custom-tailored blend of traditional and interactive digital media to enable you to reach the right audience with the right message on time, every time. We do this by evaluating the company and its goals, crafting brands, digital products and messaging to fit those goals, and then disseminating these through social and traditional media outlets that we have developed trusted relationships with. With over ten years in business and up-to-the-minute digital technology in our company’s toolbox, we help all our clients achieve greater impact with their messages and digital impact by leveraging the business and media relationships we’ve developed locally and regionally. 


Creative

Creative

Creative is key to captivating your audience’s attention and making a strong visual and emotional impact. Our competent and creative team is known for award-winning approaches to solving complex and everyday brand problems. Our content and digital design isn’t just going to tell a story, it will pull people in to engage them at a new level. We’re confident because we’re competitive about having fun. When we let loose our creative minds, our clients win big time. 
 


Execution

Execution

A brilliant, creative plan means nothing without the ability to execute it seamlessly with professional finesse. With an effective plan in place, we go to work to turn it into reality. Execution takes place with the help of timetables and open communication, not to mention our ability to engage our friends in business and media to help us connect your message to thought leaders. 


Intelligence

Intelligence

Once the plan has been executed, we won’t leave you wondering what the effect of our work was. We’ll take a look at the tracks we’ve made and put together analytics that are easy to understand to help you navigate how your company is growing in its public perception and digital footprint. Whether you need analytics for a one-time project or on an ongoing basis, we’ve got subscription tools and skills to crunch data for all your pr and marketing needs.

Services

PUBLIC RELATIONS

Through public relations campaigns, we help our clients position themselves in line with their business goals and enable them to successfully reach their audiences. Our work connects the right strategies with relationship-building outreach as well as compelling content for local media and other points of influence. Our public relations expertise includes media relations, community outreach, employee communications, crisis preparedness and response, event planning / execution, investor/donor relations, third-party stakeholder outreach, and industry trade / B2B campaigns.

SOCIAL MEDIA

We provide intelligent and effective interactive social media plans to our clients. Every day, we help manage the communities surrounding a variety of brands and use our resources to widen a company’s audience. Our team has experience with a full range of social media tools and strategies to weave into traditional PR strategies.

DIGITAL

Our team of creative and technical experts will develop custom digital products to help your business strengthen its presence in today’s digital universe from mobile apps and responsive website design to social media contesting, digital brand development and much more.

ADVERTISING & MARKETING

As a full-service agency, we offer print and digital advertising design and marketing for a range of media outlets. Whether you need a brand overhaul or help creating a specific powerful message, we have the creative and strategic capacity to take you wherever you need to go with your brand.

  • Our members—retailers, restaurants, spas, salons, galleries—were  looking for ways to  increase foot traffic and drive sales. Wow! We have been blown away  by the sleek mobile app they developed for us. Customers are ecstatic.
    Our members—retailers, restaurants, spas, salons, galleries—were looking for ways to increase foot traffic and drive sales. Wow! We have been blown away by the sleek mobile app they developed for us. Customers are ecstatic.

    -Bebe Vogel, The District in Bearden

  • I can’t say enough about how well their team did on our first project. From the project’s onset through to the final deliverable, their team impressed me with their knowledge, communication, and expertise.
    I can’t say enough about how well their team did on our first project. From the project’s onset through to the final deliverable, their team impressed me with their knowledge, communication, and expertise.

    -Aaron Gerraughty, WAXIE Sanitary Supply

  • From the very beginning, their team quickly understood our business challenges and helped develop solutions that addressed them.
    From the very beginning, their team quickly understood our business challenges and helped develop solutions that addressed them.

    -Mike Asbury, Personal Computer Systems

  • I have found them to be very focused. They actively listen to you…no canned “stuff” based on what they do but targeted solutions in response to what we need – results confirm this. They are definitely a part of our team…an extension of our firm, darn near family.
    I have found them to be very focused. They actively listen to you…no canned “stuff” based on what they do but targeted solutions in response to what we need – results confirm this. They are definitely a part of our team…an extension of our firm, darn near family.

    -David Cockrill, Red Chair Architects

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