Blue Wagon Group is a small communications firm serving clients across a wide spectrum of industries. With our roots in healthcare, we currently provide our services to clients in both the non-profit and for-profit realms – trade associations, technology companies, and healthcare organizations.
Blue Wagon Group is an evolution of Mayes Communications Inc. After 15 successful years in the NoVa/DC area, MayesComm relocated in 2019 to Alpharetta, Georgia, outside of Atlanta. Those 15 years “up north” fostered some amazing growth and collaborations with clients, partner agencies, and comms pros, leading MayesComm to evolve into a true-blue team. Celebrating our 15th anniversary and relocating were the catalysts for a rebrand that better reflects our team approach.
Why a wagon and why is it blue?
Because it’s fun and creative, and it implies we – as a team – and our clients are going somewhere. The color blue represents calm, strength, stability, confidence, and trust – the very traits we use to build relationships with our clients and colleagues.
Meet Blue Wagon Group
Blue Wagon Group is an “independent practice,” meaning principal and owner Nancy Mayes is in the driver’s seat, yet she’s assisted by several skilled navigators. The BWG team is comprised of savvy, smart women with strong experience and credentials. And if a client’s needs warrant other expertise and additional staffing, Blue Wagon operates as a “virtual agency” to bring in those resources.
Nancy Plemens Mayes, APR
Keys to My Sanity
Deadlines, to do lists, occasional spa days, good wine, and a daily dose of fresh air and sunshine. And chocolate.
Dream Dinner Party Guests
Anderson Cooper, Dolly Parton
What You Can Find in My Home Office
A Great Dane; fancy coffee; and the latest edition of the AP Stylebook.
Words to Live By
What you sow today determines your harvest tomorrow.
Nancy Plemens Mayes, APR
With nearly 30 years of experience doing just about everything when it comes to marketing, communications, and public relations, Nancy brings both expertise and energy to any project she’s involved with. Clients who work with her quickly see that she is a quintessential “go-to” person.
A Tennessee native, Nancy began her career working on a local school-to-business partnership program where she learned the importance of establishing strong relationships, community involvement, and project management. Seven years of her career were then spent at a not-for-profit health system in Knoxville, moving through the ranks in the marketing and public relations division. She worked and learned at six facilities with unique and plentiful opportunities to build a solid base of communications expertise. Nancy relocated to the Washington, D.C. area in 2003 and launched Mayes Communications — now Blue Wagon Group — in 2004.
In addition to the hands-on work she’s done in the field, Nancy also has plenty of paper on her walls to verify her credentials. She graduated from Middle Tennessee State University with a bachelor’s in communications, earned her master’s in communications at the University of Tennessee, and is accredited by the Public Relations Society of America. She’s currently on the adjunct faculty roster for Johns Hopkins University’s graduate communications program, teaching courses in public relations and managerial communications.
Through the years, Nancy has worked extensively with clients in the healthcare industry, as well as non-profit associations. Clients come to her for her strengths in project management, teamwork, and strong writing skills.
Melana Boscio Hydrick
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Board games, bakeries and flea markets
Ideal evening out
Live music, great dessert and comfy shoes
Things I find magical
Robert Sabuda pop-up books, seashells, dogs and snowflakes
Melana Boscio Hydrick
Melana has nearly 20 years of experience in health care public relations and marketing. In her work for a large not-for-profit hospital in central Tennessee, she managed internal and external communication projects and coordinated a variety of publications. Additionally, she has experience in media and employee relations in her work with a nationally known teaching and research medical center in Nashville. For Blue Wagon, Melana manages media relations projects and provides editorial and writing services to a variety of healthcare clients.
Melana holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communication with an emphasis in public relations from Middle Tennessee State University. She offers extensive knowledge of effectively relaying information, whether the audience is seasoned employees or the general public.
Dream dinner date
Ruth Bader Ginsberg or Dolly Parton
“Work begins when the fear of doing nothing at all finally trumps the terror of doing it badly.”
—Alain de Botton
Rescue dogs, cheese, NPR and libraries
Vanessa is an innovative communicator with significant experience in branding, marketing, corporate communications, and event planning. She has a passion for solving complex challenges and developing actionable strategies to engage target audiences across a variety of channels.
Prior to joining Willis Tower Watson, Vanessa honed her tactical communications and project management skills in a variety of nonprofit and health care settings, including Evolent Health, NRECA, Kaiser Permanente, MedStar Harbor Hospital, and the Navy Marine Coast Guard Residence Foundation.
Vanessa obtained a bachelor’s degree in communications with a concentration in public relations from Hood College in Frederick, Maryland and recently earned her MBA from The Johns Hopkins Carey Business School.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Traveling – I have visited 20+ countries and have many more on my list!
Breaking boards (I got my black belt at 12)
Dream dinner date
“I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” —Albert Einstein
Amanda is a communications professional with more than a decade of experience in marketing, public relations, business development, and project management. As the assistant vice president of marketing & communications at an independent community bank, her responsibilities included creating brand messaging and advertising campaigns, developing and distributing materials to area media, managing the bank’s website and social media content, and coordinating and implementing tactical marketing initiatives to support the institution’s strategic goals and strengthen community relationships.
She also served on the American Advertising Federation-Greater Frederick Chapter’s board of directors and volunteered with several nonprofit organizations to support their marketing outreach efforts. Amanda received her bachelor’s degree in communications with a concentration in public relations from Hood College, followed by an MBA with a focus in marketing from Mount St. Mary’s University.
In my fridge you’ll find
Probably six different coffee creamer flavors
A winner is just a loser who tried one more time
Where you’re most likely to find me
A tennis court
“You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.”
Robin is a passionate, energetic communications, media, and public relations professional with 20 years of experience.
After a decade as a broadcast journalist in Virginia, she transitioned her career to the other side of the camera, working in corporate communications. She has served as the vice president of communications for a large mental health and substance use non-profit in North Carolina. Robin also works with several events and businesses in the Tarheel state as a communications and digital media consultant.
Robin graduated from the University of Virginia with her bachelor’s in history and completed her master’s in communications from Johns Hopkins University, with a dual concentration in public and media relations and digital communication.
New Orleans, LA
Family, friends, running, & Saints football
I can often tell the time down to the minute without looking at a clock.
Dream dinner date
I would love to be able to go back in time and spend an evening with each of my grandparents.
“There is still a beauty about simply doing the difficult thing that I will never be good at, for the pure pleasure of having engaged in the process.”
Tanya has worked on marketing and public relations projects in a variety of industries, including healthcare, home improvement, and non-profit organizations. Having spent more than 15 years as an in-house communications director in the financial, banking, and educational sectors gives her a sophisticated point of view and a keen awareness of compliance and regulatory requirements. She has an instinctive ability to capture and convey targeted messaging through compelling, strategic content that builds brand engagement and brand value. As a member of the Blue Wagon team, she assists with a variety of initiatives, such as project management, web development, brand management, and strategic communications.
She received a bachelor’s degree in drama and speech from Loyola University New Orleans. Her early professional experiences in college admissions and higher education outreach initiatives led her to pursue a master’s degree in communications from the University of Tennessee, where she concentrated in public relations with a focus on crisis communication.
Alissa Momberg Lawver
Saint Petersburg, FL
Navy for every day and gator blue for game day (Go Gators!)
Keys to my sanity
Calendars, notebooks, strong coffee, good wine and walks along Tampa Bay
What I’m streaming on Netflix
What you can find in my home office
Laptop, ear pods, to-do lists, Hint water and my daughter’s Daniel Tiger figurines
Words to live by
I do my best to follow the Golden Rule: “Do unto others…”
Alissa Momberg Lawver
Alissa is a communications specialist with more than 15 years of experience in public relations.
Previously, Alissa served as an account director at JPA Health Communications, where she provided strategic counsel and day-to-day support for a variety of national health organizations, and as a manager with Burson-Marsteller where she focused on media relations, thought leadership, advocacy and messaging for health care and corporate clients.
Early in her career, Alissa served as the communications manager with the Center for Health Transformation and as an associate with the Advisory Board Company.
A Florida native, Alissa received her undergraduate degree in English from the University of Florida and her master’s degree in communications from Johns Hopkins University.
Glen Burnie, MD
KEYS TO MY SANITY
Coffee and color-coded calendars
WORDS TO LIVE BY
“Diversity is a fact; inclusion is an act.”
True crime dramas
Leslie is a seasoned communications professional with nearly 15 years of experience—almost exclusively in health care.
Leslie worked for a community hospital in Baltimore under the umbrella of a large nonprofit health system in the Maryland/D.C. region. Her primary focus areas were in employee communications, especially related to human resources, information technology, and quality and safety, as well as community outreach and community engagement.
Leslie earned a bachelor’s degree in communication arts with a public relations focus from Hood College.