About

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

Hometown

Rockwood, TN

Favorite Blue

Tiffany

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

Maggie Haberman, 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 more than 27 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

Hometown

Fayetteville, TN

Favorite Blue

Robin’s egg

Favorite quote

“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.”
—Maya Angelou

Guilty pleasures

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.

Vanessa Granville

Hometown

Medina, NY

Favorite blue

Midnight Blue

Dream dinner date

Ruth Bader Ginsberg or Dolly Parton

Favorite quote

“Work begins when the fear of doing nothing at all finally trumps the terror of doing it badly.”
—Alain de Botton

Passionate about

Rescue dogs, cheese, NPR and libraries

Vanessa Granville

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.

Amanda Ebert

Hometown

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Passionate about

Traveling – I have visited 20+ countries and have many more on my list!

Hidden talent

Breaking boards (I got my black belt at 12)

Dream dinner date

Kurt Vonnegut

Favorite quote

“I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” —Albert Einstein

Favorite blue

Ocean

Amanda Ebert

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.

Robin Lindner

Hometown

Winston-Salem, NC

Favorite blue

Forget-me-not

In my fridge you’ll find

Probably six different coffee creamer flavors

Life motto

A winner is just a loser who tried one more time

Where you’re most likely to find me

A tennis court

Favorite quote

“You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.”
—Robin Williams

Robin Lindner

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.

Tanya Ickowitz

Hometown

New Orleans, LA

Passionate about

Family, friends, running, & Saints football

Hidden talent

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.

Favorite quote

“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.”
—Mirna Valerio

Favorite Blue

Indigo

Tanya Ickowitz

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.

Paige Pelot

Hometown

Atlanta, GA

Favorite blue

Periwinkle blue

In my fridge you’ll find

Pelegrino, mixed greens, chicken stock, olives

Favorite quote

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world: indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
—Margaret Mead

Favorite place

Cashiers in the North Carolina mountains

Where you’re most likely to find me

At the grocery store or at a coffee shop

Guilty pleasures

Gluten free bakeries, baths, going to the movies…a lot

Ideal evening out

A great dinner followed by an art gallery opening or concert

Paige Pelot

With more than 16 years of experience, Paige provides media relations, marketing and social media tactics and online communications for her clients, consistently telling their stories and expanding their brands.

Paige's experience includes industry relations, marketing communications, media relations, social media and writing for clients including: imba Means Sing, (a documentary about The African Children's Choir), The NBA's Final Four in Atlanta, Randstad North America, The Salvation Army, Sasa Designs by the Deaf, ShelfGenie, and The Yale Center for Faith and Culture. She has also done media tours for publishing houses including Moody Publishers, Thomas Nelson, Inc., Tyndall House Publishers, and Zondervan Publishers.

She has served on marketing committees for various nonprofits, including PRSA of Georgia and TEDxPeachtree, as well as the Board of the YWCA. She is passionate about good design and good food and resides in Atlanta. Paige earned her bachelor’s degree in communications at the University of Tennessee.

Alissa Momberg Lawver

Hometown

Saint Petersburg, FL

Favorite blue

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

Workin’ Moms

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.