Michael brings perspective, a deep rolodex and "I've seen it all" experience to his role of founder and president at VALEO, built upon a 20-year career growing and protecting brands in the corporate, PR agency, nonprofit, trade association and political sectors. His diverse background and experience moving the brand needle provides unique insight into client organizational, reputation and communication needs; driving successful public policy; and building critical stakeholder relationships that enable desired outcomes. He is particularly adept at helping clients find white space that creates new revenue, programmatic or other impactful opportunities.

Previous roles and experience include:

  • Executive Director, Public Affairs and Sustainability, Golin Atlanta (Agency)
  • President, Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (NGO)
  • Southeast Public Affairs Director, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (media relations, PR, community affairs, public affairs and CSR across seven states)  
  • Deep reservoir of healthcare, water, education, animal welfare and climate change issues management experience honed at various public relations firms (Agency)
  • Founder, Vote for America Georgia/Coalition for a Voting America (NGO)
  • Candidate, Secretary of State (2010); Legislative aide, Secretary of State Lewis Massey; and campaign press secretary, Lieutenant Governor Mark Taylor (Georgia Politics)
  • Authored the 2009 book, “Battling Democracy’s Decline
  • Bachelor’s degree, Hobart College; Master’s degree (Communications), Georgia State University; and Advanced Management Certificate, University of California, Haas School of Business

Personal Life:

  • Lives in both Atlanta, GA and the Finger Lakes, New York (with wife Dr. Audrey Roberson)
  • A tennis enthusiast and hockey player (played at Hobart College)
  • Can be found skiing Bristol, hiking New York State trails or on the Atlanta Beltline
  • Owned Barefoot Mailman Records, and is known for making wicked playlists
  • Serves on the Atlanta Beltline Partnership’s 67 Coalition and Leadership Committee of PittsFORWARD
  • Likely to offer champagne, Finger Lakes Wine and Rye Whiskey recommendations
  • Can be found online on Michael's blog; @michaelmills; @FLXRegion; and LinkedIn.