Directors At Large

Mandy Drakeford

For the past eight years, Mandy has focused her professional career on strategic public relations and communications. Mandy serves as VP of Marketing & Communications for the Levine Museum of the New South. Prior to joining the museum, she served as Account Director at boutique PR firm in Charlotte, where she developed strategic public relations plans for several clients. Mandy also led the communications and marketing efforts for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation and worked for the University of Cincinnati Foundation, employing communication strategies for the $1 billion Proudly Cincinnati fundraising campaign. Her expertise is in media relations, strategic social media, content creation, and web and social analytics.

Mandy has served as an adjunct instructor for the University of Cincinnati and University of Oregon, teaching an array of public relations courses. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communication, Master of Arts in Communication and Public Relations Certificate from the University of Cincinnati. In 2016, Mandy earned her Accreditation in Public Relations (APR), which recognizes practitioners who have mastered the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to develop and deliver strategic communications.

Mandy is a member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Charlotte chapter where she was named New Professional of the Year in 2014. In her free time, she enjoys cheering on her Bearcats, practicing yoga, traveling, cooking and spending time with her son and husband.


Efthimiou_Greg.jpgGreg Efthimiou

Greg Efthimiou, APR, is a PRSA Charlotte board member at large and serves as a liaison to the chapter's communications committee.

Efthimiou heads up corporate communications at Bank of America Merchant Services, a payments-focused financial services-technology joint venture co-owned by Atlanta-based First Data and Charlotte-based Bank of America. In this role, he is responsible for media relations, executive communications, content, brand, internal communications and social media.
Prior to joining Bank of America Merchant Services in 2016, Efthimiou led Duke Energy's brand journalism operation and employee communications.

He earned a bachelor of arts degree in leadership studies from the University of Richmond and a master of arts degree in mass communication (public relations) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
He currently serves on the Board of Advisers for the School of Media and Journalism at UNC-Chapel Hill and the Special Olympics steering committee for Mecklenburg County.

bio-towanda-long.jpgTowanda Long, APR

Towanda Long is a Sr. Marketing Communications Specialist for Charlotte Pipe and Foundry Company. In this role she manages public relations and marketing projects, social media initiatives and works closely with the company's advertising agency.

Prior to relocating to Charlotte, Towanda was a Marketing Associate for Amper, a large Northeast Accounting Firm. At Amper she was responsible for all public relations and marketing campaigns in the Northern New Jersey office.

Her work experience includes corporate communications for various midsize companies and project management at Landor Associates, a branding firm, where her accounts included Procter & Gamble and Philip Morris.

Towanda graduated from North Carolina A&T State University with degrees in Public Relations and Print Journalism, and a minor in Business. She serves nationally as a Silver Anvil Judge. 


Meagan Soffera.jpgMeagan Soffera

Meagan Soffera is a Director of Communications at TIAA, supporting the Institutional Investment & Endowment Services organization. Meagan joined TIAA from Brighthouse Financial, where she lead the organizations internal communications activities. Prior to Brighthouse Financial's separation from MetLife, Meagan was a member of the Global Communications team with responsibility for MetLife's U.S. Retail communications. Meagan joined MetLife from Ketchum, a public relations agency, and worked with a variety of clients including PayPal, Facebook and Polycom, among many others. Megan began her career at Barnes & Conti, a consulting firm where she worked as the Marketing Manager. She has more than a decade of experience in communications and public relations, and has worked across a wide range of industries from financial services to technology.
Meagan earned her Bachelor's Degree in Communications with a concentration in Public Relations and a liberal arts concentration in Art History from Boston University. When she's not working, Meagan enjoys spending time with her husband and their two daughters.

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