Seigenthaler adds public policy veteran as VP

Former MDHA communications director joins six other newcomers at local PR agency

Seigenthaler Public Relations, Inc., announced today it has added seven professionals to its Nashville office, including local public policy veteran Mark Drury as vice president of client services.

Drury (pictured) arrives from the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency, at which he served as director of communications. Prior to joining MDHA, he was assistant commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic Development. His resume also includes stints as a reporter for Nashville’s WTVF-TV, press secretary for former Nashville Mayor Phil Bredesen and communications manager for Dell, Inc.

“Mark is known throughout the state of Tennessee for his communications acumen and professionalism,” Elizabeth S. Courtney, SPR chief executive officer, said in a release. “Our clients will benefit from his professional strengths, including journalism and public relations experience, coupled with deep knowledge of and roots in our community.

The other six newcomers include the following:

* Stacey Nickens, senior account executive

* Hayley Martin, account executive

* Richard Exton, account coordinator

* Olivia Gagnon, account coordinator

* Minh Le, account coordinator

* Shalan Trotz, marketing coordinator

Nickens was formerly the marketing manager at Meharry Medical College.  She has a communications degree from the University of Tennessee at Martin.

Martin, who holds a communications degree from the University of Tennessee, worked in public relations and marketing for East Tennessee Children’s Hospital and Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Exton joins SPR after relocating from Washington D.C. where he worked for the Presidential Inaugural Committee and as an organizer for the campaign to re-elect President Barack Obama. A specialist in political affairs, Exton also has served as campaign manager for Metro Councilwoman Burkley Allen and as an intern for Representative Jim Cooper. He is a graduate of Tulane University.

Gagnon has held corporate internships at Bridgestone Americas, Inc., Essential Broadcast Media and Caterpillar Financial Inc. While completing her public relations degree at Belmont University, she was vice president of the school’s chapter of PRSSA and executive director of Tower Creative Consultants, a school-run public relations firm.

Le earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing and a master’s degree in business administration from Middle Tennessee State University. He worked as a marketing and communications intern for the Tennessee Chapter of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America, as well as at SPR. Le also worked at the Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence in First Amendment Studies at MTSU.

Trotz, a recent graduate of Belmont University, completed an internship with SPR in the spring of 2013. Trotz, who provides research, media relations, marketing and design support, completed internships with Happy Tales Humane and Hospitality Consultants/Randi Events.