Chefs, restaurant managers, caterers and more will gather at the Georgia Restaurant Association’s 2nd Annual Meeting, Monday, June 25th at the Westin Atlanta Perimeter North, to learn how to protect their businesses. “This will be a day of critical information sharing and affordable professional development,” said GRA Executive Director Karen Bremer. “There will be a wide range of programming, but those who place a high value on marketing won’t want to miss our Branding Boot Camp session during the Chairman’s Luncheon.” GRA Chair, Patrick Cuccaro of Affairs to Remember Caterers, will be moderating this marketing panel comprised of restaurant marketing experts Ellen Hartman (Hartman PR), Melissa Libby (Melissa Libby & Associates), and Jo Ann Herold (Arby’s Inc). The Branding Boot Camp will focus on social media, crisis management, and cause marketing, with take-away projects restaurateurs can implement immediately in their businesses.
About Our Speakers
, in his role as general manager of Affairs to Remember Caterers in Atlanta, is accountable for 6 key managers. He also predicts catering trends and then works with his culinary team on product research and development, which he claims causes him to have to eat constantly. This is one of the things he tells me that he likes most about catering.
Patrick also has a hand in training Affairs to Remember’s permanent staff of 55 culinary professionals as well as their 200+ part-time and seasonal employees. He told me that many of them also eat constantly.
In his “spare” time, he serves as Chair of the board of the Georgia Restaurant Association. If there’s any time left over, he tells us that he writes and tries to remember that in a past career he was a published playwright.
He will soon be a featured columnist on a new business blog about sustainability in the food industry – called “The Green Files: Search for the Truth.”
Ellen W. Hartman, APR, Fellow PRSA
Ellen Weaver Hartman is president of Hartman Public Relations, based in Atlanta. Ellen has 30 + years of experience working for such well-known brands as Coca-Cola, Kraft, Popeyes, Avon Products, Arby’s, and Chili’s. She specializes in consumer and B to B communications and is a crisis expert with experience in legal and labor issues, workplace violence, food-borne illnesses, environmental disasters, product recalls and financial issues.
Prior to forming her own company, Ellen was president of the Atlanta office of Weber Shandwick one the largest communication companies in the world and a vice president of AFC Enterprises.
A community leader for 25 years, Ellen serves on eight community and industry boards including service with Les Dames de Escoffier, the Women’s Foodservice Forum and the Multi-Cultural Foodservice Hospitality Alliance.
Jo Ann Herold
Arby’s Restaurant Group, Vice President of Brand Marketing, Vice Chairman of the Arby’s Foundation
Jo Ann is currently VP of Marketing at Arby’s. Prior to Arby’s she spent 16 years at The HoneyBaked Ham Company and was formerly their Chief Marketing Office. She has also owned her own marketing firm where she worked with Intercontinental Hotels Group and others. Her passions include volunteerism. She was recently recognized by the GRA for her distinguished service and serves on the Board of Advisors. She is the President of the 1,000 member AMA Atlanta chapter, on the Board of the Atlanta Convention and Visitor’s Bureau and a graduate of the 2012 Leadership Atlanta class.
Prior to founding Melissa Libby & Associates (MLA) in 1992, Melissa Libby enjoyed a successful career in hotel public relations, promoting upscale and casual restaurants, beverage outlets and room nights. Since starting MLA, Melissa has opened more than 150 restaurants and served hospitality and retail clients through publicity, event planning and implementation, marketing, strategic planning, social media marketing and crisis communications.
Melissa is also active in the community. She is secretary/treasurer of the Board of Trust for the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication,and is a board member of Georgia Organics and Adopt A Golden Atlanta. She is a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier, American Institute of Wine and Food, James Beard Foundation, National Restaurant Association, Public Relations Society of America, and Greystone Garden Club. Melissa has produced two cookbooks featuring local Atlanta chefs, Atlanta Cooks (2001 Longstreet Press) and Atlanta Cooks at Home (2006 CityBooks Publishing).
Melissa graduated from the prestigious Buckhead Business Association leadership program and has been recognized as one of Atlanta’s rising stars. She received the Crohn’s & Colitis “Citizen of the Year” award in November 2007. Melissa is an original member of PRConsultants Group, a nationwide group of PR consultants providing public relations and marketing communications services to a wide range of clients. She graduated from UGA with a Journalism degree. In January 2010, MLA was named one of the University of Georgia’s Fastest Growing Bulldog Businesses.