Dog Days of Summer: Meet the Board

This summer brings new opportunities for work and play, and our 2021-2022 Board of Directors are making the most of it.


By: Emily Ann Martin



With mask mandates being lifted and COVID-19 precautions settling down, it seems that the days of being stuck inside, staring at a computer screen are finally behind us. Between summer internships and preparing for the upcoming agency year, our board is doing nothing less than seizing all opportunities that come their way. However, it certainly would not be summer without some much needed rest and relaxation!


Check out the 2021-2022 board and what they are up to this summer...



Riley Scruggs, Co-Director

Riley is staying busy this summer working as a strategic engagement intern at Luckie. As a Co-Director for Talking Dog, Riley will be holding board of directors meetings, coordinating with advisors and getting everything ready for another amazing year at the agency! Aside from working, Riley’s summer vacation plans include visiting family in Missouri and the board retreat at the end of July.


Song of the summer: Olivia Rodriguo’s “Sour” - The whole album!


Lane Berry, Co-Director

This summer, Lane is working for BarGlance as an advertising and social media intern. Lane works with a small team, gathering social media content, planning promotions and events while also keeping the content feed in the app up to date. But don’t think she has forgotten about Talking Dog! Lane is working directly with Riley, holding meetings with the board of directors, department heads, our partners and other industry experts to discuss ways that the agency can improve this year. As busy as she is, Lane is still enjoying herself as she is going on vacation to Mexico and Los Angeles in July!


Song of the summer: Dancin' by Aaron Smith, Krono, & Luvli


Abir Raza, Co-Director of Member Relations and Recruitment

Abir has landed a summer job with The Home Depot as a production innovation PR intern. As the Co-Director of Member Relations and Recruitment, Abir will be planning for recruitment which begins in the fall. Aside from her job with The Home Depot and Talking Dog, you can find Abir enjoying time off relaxing at the beach in July!


Song of the summer: “Brutal” by Olivia Rodrigo


Anna Gilstrap, Co-Director of Member Relations and Recruitment

This summer, Anna is an integrated communications intern with Real Chemistry (formerly W2O), an agency that focuses on healthcare clients. She is working on the PR account team for Livalo, a medicine that helps lower cholesterol. In regards to Talking Dog, Anna is working with Abir to develop a recruitment plan before school starts in the fall. Aside from working, Anna’s summer plans include going to Gulf Shores with her family and lake trips on the weekends!


Song of the summer: “The Spins” by Mac Miller


Valentina Drake, Director of Intern Relations

Valentina has taken on a full schedule this summer! After graduating from The University of Georgia this past May, Valentina is pursuing her Master’s Degree in integrated advertising and public relations. The post-grad life for Valentina includes working for Georgia Power as a social media intern where she spends time strategizing the content calendar, analyzing insights and helping with campaigns. As the Director of Intern Relations, Valentina is excited to meet and interact with all the new interns. She’ll help guide them through this opportunity to learn the industry while still in high school. Valentina’s summer plans include attending Braves games, going on beach trips and spending time with friends!


Song of the summer: “Slow Summer” by Zachary Knowles


Rachel Puvvada, Director of Fetch

This summer, Rachel is a Freelance Researcher at AJC/AccessAtlanta and Cox Enterprises. In regards to Talking Dog, Rachel is currently working with Luckie and the Talking Dog Co-Directors, Riley and Lane, to revamp the Fetch department. They are looking to incorporate more data analytics and critical questioning into the research and strategy that we offer for future clients. Aside from work, Rachel will be going to Hawaii for the first time!


Song of the summer: “Greek Tragedy (Oliver Nelson TikTok Remix)” by The Wombats


Ali Meek, Director of Media

This summer, Ali is interning with Georgia Clinical and Translational Science Alliance creating flyers and social media ads. The designs she creates help the company communicate potentially confusing medical terminology to recruit prospective participants for research studies. As the Director of Media, Ali is collaborating with multiple board members to put together a content calendar for Talking Dog. She is excited to share more of what Talking Dog has to offer and interact with our followers. Outside of work, Ali traveled to Chicago for the Fourth of July!


Song of the summer: “Beach Song” by Busman’s Holiday


Jocelyn Pena, Director of Production

This summer, Jocelyn is a radio promo, marketing, and media intern at Sony Music Entertainment. Along with her internship, Jocelyn will be working hard this summer getting ready for the new Production Team so they can create top tier content. Aside from working, she is looking forward to enjoying summer with family and friends!


Song of the summer: “Best I Ever Had Remix” by Drake and Nicki Minaj


Tara Anastasoff, Director of New Business and Client Relations

Tara landed a fabulous internship with Michele Marie PR and The Smith Agency this summer. As the Director of New Business and Client Relations, Tara has the responsibility of securing clients for the year. She is looking forward to building our client list and having more opportunities to connect with Talking Dog members in person. Aside from work, Tara is going to Maryland and NYC this summer!


Song of the summer: “Doses & Mimosas” by Cherub


Alise Crittendon, Creative Director of Copy

Alise is keeping busy this summer as a Copywriter Intern at FCB Chicago. As the Creative Director of Copy, Alise is excited to support creatives in the agency. Being a creative can be a difficult role to jump into, and Alise is ready to foster a community amongst the creatives that emphasizes teamwork, appreciates unique perspectives and forms a fun agency culture. Aside from work, Alise will be vacationing in Jamaica at the end of summer!


Song of the summer: “Kiss Me More” by Doja Cat ft. SZA


Lydia Burns, Creative Director of Art

This summer, Lydia is a graphic design intern at Marketwake. When she is not busy interning, she is working on designing graphics for social media and updating Talking Dog’s brand guidelines. Lydia likes to stay busy so she does not have any set vacations planned, however, you can find her in Athens for a few weekends this summer!


Song of the summer: “Sleeve” by Nate Smith


Emilio Morales, Director of Finance

This summer, Emilio is keeping busy as a tax intern for Ernst & Young. Along with interning, Emilio is planning for the upcoming agency year by setting new goals as he is the first Director of Finance the agency has ever had. When he is not working, Emilio will be spending his summer vacation in Texas and celebrating his birthday mid July!


Song of the summer: “Rapstar” by Polo G


Emily Ann Martin, Director of Communications

Emily Ann is working as a marketing intern for Korman Fine Jewelry in Austin, Texas this summer. Her days are filled with planning events and curating social media content. Besides work, Emily Ann is building out blog posts and working with other board members to create the social media calendar for the year. Because she is living in Austin for the summer, Emily Ann is enjoying spending time on the lake, shopping down South Congress and keeping Austin weird!


Song of the summer: “Love You Long Time” by The Black Eyed Peas