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 250 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 Woman to Woman, Venü, Act Two Magazine, and Great Restaurants Magazine. 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.

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Andrea Viscuso

Senior Associate

Nearly a decade of experience working in travel and lifestyle public relations agencies throughout New York gave Andrea Viscuso the ingenuity to turn a client’s news into a captivating story fit for a targeted audience. She has developed integrated public relations campaigns for an array of national and international brands spanning the travel, hospitality, spirits, and real estate industries. Understanding that promoting a brand these days extends beyond traditional media relations, Andrea continually scouts influential marketing opportunities and explores top-tier partnerships. She became a "MaxEx Girl,” as the industry refers to them, in 2012 as a consultant for national media relations and has been a full-time senior associate for the firm since 2014. 

With a fondness for travel and a passion for food, Andrea’s desire to be in-the-know with the latest industry trends lends an advantage when promoting clients within the luxury lifestyle industry. Andrea resides in Fairfield, CT.

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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 work force 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 at her first bartending job, 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 SM world and word of mouth within the biz brought in additional clients, making social media a regular part of her everyday life. Julie continues to hone her skills and implement her SM presence across many platforms. 

As a freelance SM Manager for over a year, Julie is excited to be a part of the MaxEx team as their Social Media Director and is now 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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Kate Schlientz

Marketing Associate
 
Kate's professional track is rooted in journalism. Shortly after graduating from the Newhouse School of Public Communications, Kate traveled to the tri-state area to work with local publications produced by The Journal News. While working at Woman's World Magazine and freelancing for Westchester Magazine, Kate recognized her natural ability to converse with the local market, connecting the best chefs and restaurateurs with new audiences. In 2013 Kate launched IntoxiKate.com, a website and digital magazine committed to connecting fellow foodies to the best food, events, and restaurants in Westchester and Fairfield counties. Riding on the success of IntoxiKate, Kate hit the airwaves with "Fork This with IntoxiKate", a weekly talk radio show which airs on 1490 WGCH and is also available as a podcast. Kate is a regular contributor for Symrise In-Sight, a B2B blog run by one of the largest flavor companies in the world.

As the lead marketing associate 
for MaxEx, Kate continues to produce high profile events and identify strategic partners on behalf of the firm's clients, ensuring that clients further broaden their audience and stay active within their community, as well as their industry.

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Carolyn Browning

Special Event Director
CMP, CMM 

 
Organizing and planning seem to be part of Carolyn’s DNA.  From her high school years running student council meetings and the annual gala for the French Club to being the student manager for the dining service in college, handling staffing and catering needs around campus, Carolyn realized that meeting and event planning was a natural fit for her. After her start in marketing, she redirected her corporate career into managing internal and client meetings and communications for Sprint and GE Capital.  Upon leaving the corporate sector, Carolyn focused her talents on a variety of non-profit and pharmaceutical clients managing their meetings and events. As the Special Event Manager for MaxEx Public Relations, Carolyn heads up such high profile events as Community Plates' Food for All annual fundraiser. 
 
Passionate about meetings and education, Carolyn has spoken at a variety of meetings industry conferences and has also conducted guest lectures for the Introduction to Hospitality class at Norwalk Community College (NCC).
 
Carolyn is a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) and earned her Certificate in Meeting Management (CMM) in 2013.  She is a multiple-award winning member and two-term past president of the Meeting Professionals International (MPI)
WestField Chapter and a volunteer leader of Senior Planners Industry Network (SPIN).