Wagstaff Media + Marketing recently welcomed hospitality public relations professional Valerie Wilson as Managing Director, Culture and Lifestyle. This new position was created specifically for Wilson, a former Wagstaff employee, to continue the company’s commitment to a diverse team of the out-of-the-box thinkers doing excellent work in an environment that celebrates, and is respectful of, our cultural differences.
Wilson is a public relations and brand strategy veteran with incredible experience in the food, wine, and lifestyle industries. Over the last 20 years, she has served clients from Gallo to Wines from Spain, Robert Mondavi and the Miss America organization. She has also worked with international organizations including the Region of Campania (Italy). Her hospitality experience includes leading media relations for iconic culinary marketing platforms including NYC Restaurant Week and Restaurant Day as well as The James Beard Foundation Awards. Before founding her own agency in 2010, Wilson worked at leading PR and Event agencies including M. Young Communications, Kaplow Communication, DeVries Public Relations, and was the Director of Wagstaff’s Chicago office for two years in the early 2000s.
With her Harlem-based company ValincPR, Valerie has played an instrumental role in building Harlem’s premier hospitality brands and culinary scene, raising its visibility through strategic media and branding activations as well as with influential programs and organizations including Harlem Park to Park, Harlem Eat Up! and the Harlem Business Alliance, among others. Her work attracted top brands and personalities to her client roster such as Uber and UberEats, Shea Moisture, The James Beard Foundation, Shake Shack, and celebrity chef JJ Johnson.
Wilson is an avid supporter of the arts, working with artists like LeRone Wilson and incorporating art into her work such as with the production of the Black Lives Matter Harlem Street Mural and the Renaissance Pavilion at Strivers’ Row presented by Uber Eats.
Agency namesake and president Mary Wagstaff says of Valerie’s appointment, “Valerie and I worked together more than 20 years ago when she helped open our Chicago office. I admired her communication and organizational skills at that time and have had the pleasure of watching her career flourish. I especially appreciate how her love of the arts is a driver of much of her work. We see so much opportunity to not only provide a more diverse client base with outstanding PR and Marketing support, and to also work together to provide opportunities for new voices and fresh perspectives shaping how a hospitality marketing company shows up in the world and for our clients today.”
Wilson says of her new role, “The time seemed right to rejoin Wagstaff. There is an opportunity to take the work I’ve done in hospitality and the arts coupled with my work in Harlem for the past 11 years, and put that into play on a larger stage. Wagstaff has a strong national and international client base, as well as a vibrant group of colleagues with specialties including Luxury PR, International Travel Trade Marketing, Digital and Social Media Marketing, and Wine & Spirits PR and Marketing. I couldn’t think of a better group to team up with especially at this time when so many opportunities for more culturally diverse work and impact abounds.”
Valerie will be bringing clients from ValincPR to Wagstaff including Chef Preston Clark of Lure Fishbar in Manhattan, Miami, and Chicago. She will join Wagstaff’s Diversity & Inclusion Active Participant Group and will work closely with Wagstaff Managing Partners Jessica Rodriguez and Maite Conway on client strategy development, new business development, and leadership.
About Wagstaff Media & Marketing
Since Mary Wagstaff founded the company in 1999, Wagstaff has grown from a humble staff of one to an international full-service agency with more than 60 account executives and offices in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Vancouver, Canada. From the beginning, Wagstaff has been dedicated to supporting clients in all verticals of the hospitality world, including travel and tourism representation, hospitality lifestyle, and culinary products, personalities, events and festivals, hotels, airlines, as well as distinctive wine and spirits brands – creating innovative marketing strategies that build brand awareness, drive business, and secure results that matter. Wagstaff was included in Forbes’ inaugural list of America’s Best PR Firms, and Mary Wagstaff was honored as part of Los Angeles Business Journal’s Women’s Leadership Awards 2020.