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 in 2015. 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.