Linda Kavanagh

Founder, MaxEx Public Relations, LLC
Food & Travel Writer

Having worked her way through the exciting hospitality world, including stints as a chef, bartender, catering director, and every other life-affirming task that draws one into the hospitality industry forever, Linda left the kitchen side of the business and transitioned into being a supporter of the industry - trading her apron in for the almighty press release.

Linda’s first client was South Norwalk’s, now uber-popular, Barcelona Restaurant. “It was their first restaurant in the company and my first PR client on my own after leaving my New York firm in 1997, “she recalls. And the rest is history as Barcelona went on to be one of the biggest restaurant success stories in Connecticut and MaxEx became the go-to firm for restaurants and chefs looking to make a name for themselves.

MaxEx has worked with over 300 Connecticut and New York restaurants to date, as well as a myriad of spirit brands and consumer products. Linda has led media tours throughout Friuli Venezia Giulia Italy, cooked across America touting Ghirardelli Chocolate’s baking line, and hosted Side Dish, the Allied Domecq / Pernod Ricard sponsored food and wine radio show on COX Media for three years.

Linda is the co-founder of the New England Culinary Group 501(c)(6), a networking group and support arm for the hospitality industry comprised of a vast array of talented individuals who specialize in providing restaurants and hotels with the necessary products, services, and guidance to create, open, and operate a successful business.

An award-winning food and travel writer, Linda contributes to such regional and national publications as Venü and Total Food Service. As a frequent speaker at The International Restaurant & Foodservice Show in New York, Marcum Events, The CT Writer’s Conference at Norwalk Community College, and Southern Connecticut State University's Making Connections Journalism Conference, Linda addresses the issues pertaining to the promotion of the hospitality industry and the responsibility that food journalists and publicists have to the industry as a whole. Linda is a Hospitality Consultant, conducting seminars for the CT Chapter of the Women's Business Development Council, among other business support groups throughout the region.

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For your Reading Pleasure

VENÜ Magazine


Total Food Service  
Public Relations and Chef Profiles - Monthly Column
 

Julie Webel

Social Media Director

With a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Connecticut in the field of Human Development and Family Studies, Julie joined the workforce with a broad knowledge of people, behavior, relationships, and communication. She entered the hospitality world as a bartender and quickly developed a love and knowledge of fine dining and high caliber service.
 
During her time as a bartender, she discovered she had a knack for social media and a passion for food photography and began managing the restaurant’s social media presence. Experience in the social media world and word of mouth within the biz brought in additional clients, solidifying a full-time career in the digital world.  Julie continues to hone her skills and evolve with the industry while growing a social media presence across many platforms for her clients.

As the Social Media Director at MaxEx, Julie is doing what she loves on a larger scale while supporting an industry she has a tremendous amount of respect for. Crafting broad reaching campaigns on multiple platforms, Julie integrates all aspects of MaxEx's PR and Marketing efforts on behalf of their clients into a robust, comprehensive and visually exciting dialogue. 

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Serena Norr

Digital Content Director

Upon graduating from Hunter College, Serena developed a passion for digital media while serving as an Editor/Writer at Playbill and Tea and Coffee Trade Journal. Expanding upon the digital side of the media industry, Serena took on the role of Managing Editor for Momtrends.com, and later as the Editor-in-Chief of Unilever's All Things Hair and the Editorial Director for CottagesGardens.com. She has also been a freelance writer for over 16 years, covering family travel, food, music, culture, and more!
 
Serena enjoys working behind the scenes; crafting strategies for brands, producing target market, and high profile events, leveraging a brand’s social media platforms, ultimately creating an online presence that's meaningful and authentic. She is a frequent speaker at numerous social media industry conferences, including Blissdom, where she shares her knowledge of digital writing, SEO, and industry trends.
 
Serena also loves to write plays and covers travel, food, and adventures on her blog, TheWeekendJaunts.com, as well as contributing events, resources and local news on NorthernWestchesterMoms.com.
 
At MaxEx Public Relations, LLC, Serena incorporates her tremendous set of skills and passion for the hospitality and lifestyle industry to help brands stay connected to their audience, as well as grow in an organic, yet strategic way.

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Cristina Masi

Junior Associate
 
Cristina graduated from Manhattanville College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies and a triple minor in Sociology, English, and Philosophy. Throughout the course of her Manhattanville College career, Cristina immersed herself in the communication and media industry. Her role as an Event Planning Intern for Chartwells Higher Dining Education Services sparked her desire to be in the hospitality industry. Soon after, she served as Manhattanville College’s Alumni Relations Communication Intern, where she discovered her passion for social media and graphic design. 
 
Currently, Cristina is working towards earning her Master of Arts degree in Strategic Communication and Public Relations at Sacred Heart University.
 
As part of the MaxEx team, Cristina is able to merge her love for hospitality with her love for media. She incorporates her media skillset within her graphic designs, creating impactful promotional assets that strengthen the clients' social media and digital presence. 

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