Partners

Mark McNeely, APR
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Mark McNeely, APR

Senior Partner
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Mark McNeely founded the firm in 1987 as a one-person consultancy after a career in journalism and politics, including four years as Capitol bureau chief for The Knoxville News Sentinel and a stint as then-U.S. Sen. Al Gore’s first state director. Strategic planning, senior counseling and regional media relations are his specialties, and the majority of his client work is in special events, health care and public affairs.

As senior partner, Mark assists in overall firm management as well as client relations. He 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 honorary board member last year. He was presented the Donald E. Hileman Distinguished Alumni Award in 2015 for outstanding contributions to the field of communications. In 2016, he was honored with the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce’s Nashville Emerging Leaders 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” Awards, was a member of the board of directors of the Nashville Downtown Rotary Club from 2014 to 2016 and has been a member of the board of the Downtown Nashville Partnership for more than 10 years. He 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.

Mike Pigott
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Mike Pigott

In Memoriam
Nov. 8, 1954 – June 29, 2015
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Founding Partner and Senior Counsel Mike Pigott, who passed away unexpectedly on June 29, joined McNeely Pigott & Fox in 1988 after having been an award-winning investigative reporter and political editor for Nashville’s former afternoon newspaper, the Nashville Banner, for 12 years.

Mike put his knowledge of the local and national media to work for his clients on a daily basis, and also offered clients his expertise in market research and crisis communications. His clients and projects through the years included the NFL Yes! campaign to bring the Tennessee Titans to Nashville, the Titans themselves, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Metro Nashville’s curbside recycling campaign, Nashville Electric Service, and Skanska Construction.

He was named several times by local publications listing city leaders and public relations industry leaders.

Mike had political campaign experience over the course of his career, including serving as communications director for three of the former Tennessee Governor/Nashville Mayor Phil Bredesen’s campaigns, as well as for Nashville Mayor Karl Dean’s 2007 runoff campaign. He also helped guide successful state Supreme Court and state legislative campaign efforts.

Mike served on the Safe Haven Family Shelter board and on the advisory council for Hands On Nashville, a longtime pro bono client of MP&F.

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Mike moved to Nashville after his graduation from Purdue University in 1976.

David Fox
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David Fox

Partner
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David Fox joined McNeely Pigott & Fox as a partner in 1990, after several career stops as a journalist, political campaign operative, author and PR executive. At MP&F, David has led teams working with clients in the fields of automotive, health care, hospitality, government and urban affairs. He specializes in strategic planning and media relations.

Over the years, David has managed some memorable moments for his clients: He coordinated a positive interview for one client with Mike Wallace of “60 Minutes” and managed a national campaign for another that culminated with a press conference at the National Press Club, resulting in a Page 1 article in USA Today; he ran media relations for a weeklong sale of A.J. Foyt’s memorabilia at the Indy 500 Motor Speedway and worked with “Good Morning America” on a feature story about a Mississippi blues band. He has also played a role in shaping the public dialogue in Nashville through his work with the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce.

Prior to joining MP&F, David was vice president of Atkinson Public Relations, where he managed the Nissan Motor Manufacturing Corp. PR team for three years. Before that, David wrote books. He is the author of three published, nonfiction books and a number of magazine articles from his four years as a freelance writer. David began his career as a newspaper reporter, working at The (Memphis) Commercial Appeal, and covering Tennessee politics for the Nashville Banner and United Press International. He also worked in the presidential campaigns of Howard Baker and Jimmy Carter.

David has served on the boards of several nonprofit organizations, including the Nashville Chamber, the American Cancer Society, the Center for Nonprofit Management, University School of Nashville, and the Center for Living and Learning in Franklin. He has been recognized for his community service with the John C. Tune Award presented by the American Cancer Society and the Good Guy Award presented by the Nashville Women’s Political Caucus. A native of Memphis, he graduated from Vanderbilt University with an English degree in 1972.

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Katy Varney

Partner
Katy Varney
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Katy Varney joined McNeely Pigott & Fox as a partner in 1993, bringing to the firm a strong background in government affairs, communications and coalition-building, as well as a nationwide network of contacts.

Since she joined MP&F, Katy’s skills in strategic planning have resulted in innovative campaigns such as the Tennessee District Attorneys’ “Meth Destroys” statewide education and awareness campaign, Metro Nashville’s “Curby” recycling education initiative, the campaign to defeat an “English Only” charter amendment in Nashville, and the World Wildlife Fund’s “Earth Hour” campaign, all of which won national PRSA Silver Anvil awards. Katy also played a key leadership role in the “Friends of Gaile Owens” campaign, which won a national SABRE award. Katy leads grassroots, event planning and communications strategy for the Nashville Public Education Foundation, including the Project RESET initiative – a winner of eight Nashville PRSA Parthenon awards and two IABC Awards of Excellence.

In addition to her work for other clients, ranging from national branding and communications initiatives for Kirkland’s to The Hermitage, Katy leads account teams handling communications and national advertising campaigns for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Job Corps program.

Katy is active in numerous civic causes and organizations. Most recently, she has been involved with the YWCA of Nashville and Middle Tennessee, served as board chairwoman of the Nashville Public Library Foundation, serves on the board of WPLN, and serves as a trustee of The Andrew Jackson Foundation. She also served as chairwoman of the Tennessee State Fair Board. In addition, she is an active member of Nashville’s Christ Church Cathedral.

A graduate of Earlham College in Richmond, Ind., Katy worked on the White House staffs of First Lady Rosalynn Carter and Vice President Walter Mondale, and has served as an adviser to several presidential campaigns. Katy also served as former Gov. Ned McWherter’s chief lobbyist on Capitol Hill.

Katy and her husband, Dave Goetz, have two children, Kathleen and Vic.

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Keith Miles

Partner
Keith Miles
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Keith Miles joined MP&F in 1995 after careers in journalism and politics, becoming a partner in the firm in 1998. Keith specializes in technology, media relations, grassroots organization, strategic planning and governmental relations, and provides leadership and direction to the firm’s digital product – mp&f/d.

Keith’s clients cover financial services, real estate development, infrastructure, retail and manufacturing. He has consulted on grassroots organizing and government relations support for companies like FirstBank, Tennessee Bankers Association, Tennessee Road Builders Association, Mountain States Health Alliance, Metro Nashville Planning Department and Republic Services.

Prior to joining MP&F, he served eight years as press secretary and state coordinator for former U.S. Senator Jim Sasser and previously wrote for the Nashville Banner, Johnson City Press, Kingsport Times-News and other publications.

He is a member, and past chairman, of the board of directors for The Housing Fund. Keith is a member of the Public Relations Society of America and Counselors Academy, and he has served on advisory committees for the communications departments at Middle Tennessee State University, Belmont University and East Tennessee State University. He is the professional adviser for the Belmont Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA).

Keith has been a contributor to national and regional publications, including The American Banker and Southern Exposure. He is a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). Keith is active on the social media scene, maintaining several blogs and websites devoted to photography and music.

He and his wife, Cindy, reside in Nashville. He is a 1980 journalism graduate of East Tennessee State University.

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Alice Chapman

Partner
Alice Chapman
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Alice Chapman joined MP&F in 1995 as a staff associate and became a partner in 2011, and is the only person ever to rise from an entry-level position to an equity member of the firm. Along the way, she has worked for an array of clients at the local, regional and national levels, leading award-winning campaigns and coordinating winning strategies for several public affairs initiatives.

Alice’s specialties include grassroots campaigns, media relations and event planning. Her current clients include the TriStar Health, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association and Acumen Physician Solutions.

She most recently led MP&F’s successful, multiyear grassroots campaign in support of wine sales in Tennessee’s retail food stores on behalf of the Red White and Food coalition. The campaign resulted in the passage of local referendums in 78 municipalities and a historic change to the state law that previously limited wine sales to retail liquor stores.

Alice is actively involved in the Nashville community. She is the immediate past president of Communities In Schools of Tennessee and is a longtime member and former board member of the women’s networking organization CABLE. Her accolades include CABLE’s Civic Outreach Award (2006) and the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce’s Nashville Emerging Leaders Award for Public Relations, Advertising and Marketing (2011). She is a graduate of the Young Leaders Council (Class 41) and a former board member of the Women’s Political Collaborative of Tennessee and the literacy nonprofit Book’em. She also serves on the board of the Public Relations Society of America Counselors Academy.