Alicia McNease: GWCCA's first Forty Under 40 recipient

A talkative and inquisitive child, Alicia McNease was forever asking “why?”

“She was always very curious about things,” said her mother, Allison McNease.

The younger McNease, 31, channeled that curiosity into a public relations and communications career and was honored Thursday (April 25) as one of the industry’s brightest young stars in the Peach State.

Alicia McNease, GWCCA Sr. Communications Specialist, is a 2019 PRSA-Georgia Forty Under 40 honoree.

McNease, Sr. Communications Specialist for the Georgia World Congress Center Authority (GWCCA), was inducted into the inaugural class of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Georgia Chapter’s Forty Under 40 program held at Emory University’s Miller-Ward Alumni House.

“As the nation’s second-largest PRSA chapter, we are honored to launch this new and exciting program and celebrate not only the state’s emerging PR and communications leaders, but also the organizations who best prepare young professionals for future success,” said Jasmine Hoffman, PRSA Georgia President and Associate Dean/Chief Operating Officer for the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory. “This program commemorates the game-changers who are breathing new life into PR, marketing, advertising and/or social media efforts through new expertise, leadership and innovation…all while simultaneously giving back to the profession and their communities.”

In addition to her role at the GWCCA where she focuses on internal communications, including managing the organization’s intranet and planning corporate events, McNease is active in several professional associations, including, of course, PRSA.

She serves as executive director of ColorComm Atlanta (an organization for minority women in communications), is a member of BPRSA (Black Public Relations Society of America-Atlanta) and WISE (Women in Sports and Events).

On top of all that, McNease works on the Atlanta Hawks’ stats crew, and is an adjunct professor at her alma mater, Georgia State University, where she teaches courses in the school’s Sport Management program.

McNease began her career at the Authority as a Georgia Dome intern in 2012. The following year she became New Media Coordinator for the organization, overseeing social media accounts for the Georgia World Congress Center, Centennial Olympic Park, and the Georgia Dome. In 2014, she was named Communications/Public Relations Specialist and in 2015 promoted to Sr. Communications Specialist.

Hoffman said PRSA Georgia aims to transform the Forty Under 40 program into a signature event in the coming years.

“Being honored alongside some of the brightest public relations professionals in the State of Georgia was such a great experience,” said McNease, who is also an unConventional blog contributor. “The ceremony was very nice and fun.  Seeing old friends and meeting new ones was also a plus.”