Defining Moments: Lainey Johnson Garcia, B.S. Public Relations 2008
Lainey Johnson Garcia considered herself an “impressionable” undergrad and one class with Dr. Mary Ann Ferguson left an impression that she would carry throughout her career. Dr. Ferguson encouraged her students to consider the role of business to be a force for good in the world and as communicators, to champion positive brand stories rooted in meaningful corporate social responsibility efforts. Since graduation from UF, Garcia has taken this advice to heart and is a champion for corporate responsibility. In her current role, she considers it a privilege to publicize the positive changes McDonald’s continues to make to their food and the impact it has within the communities it serves.
Garcia added to her education credentials with an MBA from the University of Notre Dame after working at global and local PR/Communications agencies. Since 2010, she has served the McDonald’s brand in various communications capacities. In her current position of Marketing Communication Manager for McDonald’s USA in Chicago, Garcia has access to key leadership decision makers to help develop and lead strategic communication campaigns. Among other responsibilities, she is the national public relations lead for McDonald’s All Day Breakfast and McDonald’s sub-brand, McCafé. Prior to this position, Lainey was responsible for developing digital and social media strategies that built and supported McDonald’s national marketing efforts. Garcia and her colleagues recently enlisted research assistance from The Agency at UF to provide millennial insights for a pilot project to inform the brand’s mobile restaurant strategy.
The College of Journalism and Communications named Garcia as a 2015-16 Outstanding Young Alumni. The award was created by the UF Alumni Association in 2006 to recognize Gators under the age of 35 who are leaders in their profession and community.