Julie Tannehill Is The Glue That Keeps Phelps Media Group Together Natural Leader

Julie Tannehill Is The Glue That Keeps Phelps Media Group Together

Natural Leader

Businesses can be compared to a living, breathing organism. When they are born, they need strong guidance and dedication to get them off the ground. Once they are a few years in, they need stable guidance by a steady and caring hand, and once they reach maturity, they need honest, accomplished and experienced management.

In many instances, it is hard for businesses to find and keep the type of people who can fill these roles. It is even more difficult to find the same person that fulfills each need. Phelps Media Group, an equestrian-focused marketing and public relations agency, is fortunate to have a professional that fills those needs and more through Wellington local Julie Tannehill.

Tannehill was born in New Castle, Pennsylvania, and spent most of her young life in Memphis, Tennessee, where she was a typical horse-crazy teenager. It was not until 1996 that she and her family relocated to Boca Raton. During that time, Tannehill was a professional in the hotel and hospitality industry. During the late 1990s and early 2000s, Tannehill enjoyed a successful career that took her from Boca Raton to Orlando and back again.

After meeting and marrying her then husband, Tannehill was able to fulfill her lifelong dream of purchasing a farm and owning several horses, while focusing on training and natural horsemanship. “The horse farm was the dream of my life, and for seven years, I chose to not work and enjoy my home and horses,” Tannehill recalled.

After her professional hiatus, Tannehill dove back into the workforce at the American Cancer Society in West Palm Beach. Little did she know that the nonprofit organization would lead her down an entirely different path that included Wellington businessman Mason Phelps.

“The American Cancer Society was where I got my foot back into the door of Wellington,” Tannehill said. “While I was working on the American Cancer Society gala in Wellington, I ended up meeting Mason and working with him on event sponsorships. Because of my lifelong history with horses, Mason had always been an idol of mine, and we really clicked when we worked together, which was thrilling.”

Phelps courted Tannehill to come to work for Phelps Media Group in 2007.

“One of the main reasons I took the position with Mason was because the first offices were located on the show grounds of the Winter Equestrian Festival,” Tannehill recalled.

She accepted the position of office manager with the fledgling business and immediately proved her versatile skill set and “can do” mentality by assisting in helping to organize the United States Equestrian Team Foundation’s appearance at the Rose Bowl.

Following the trajectory of equestrian sports in Wellington, Phelps Media Group continued to grow and gain traction within the industry. It transitioned offices from the show grounds to the Lake Wellington Professional Centre, and eventually to its current home in the Chancellor building in 2011.

The growth of Phelps Media Group happened rapidly, and through it all, Tannehill rose to meet the firm’s needs.

“The challenge was that fairly quickly, we went from a small company, where you do everything, to a bigger company where everyone’s role is more specialized and things need to be streamlined,” Tannehill said. “In the very beginning, I did everything from sales, to human resources, finance, event management and the list goes on. As we grew, I took on the finances and brought them in-house. I still do a little bit of everything, but now I am really a devil for the details.”

Today, Tannehill is married to her life partner, Don McKenzie, and is a staple in the Wellington professional community. Phelps Media Group has grown to become the largest equestrian marketing and public relations agency in the United States with a full-time staff of more than a dozen that travels extensively, works from all corners of the continent and is constantly striving to meet the needs of an ever-expanding industry. No matter what each new year brings, the one constant is Tannehill.

“Phelps Media Group has turned into a company that I could have never dreamed of,” founder and president Mason Phelps said. “We have had our fair share of challenges, and through it all, Julie has remained a constant guiding light and dependable ally. I really believe that we would not have been able to transform the way we have if it were not for her commitment and dependability to my vision and the mission of the company.”

She enjoys the day-to-day workings of the company. “I enjoy working with our varied staff and being exposed to more than just one thing in a day,” Tannehill said. “I like having my hand in a little bit of everything, and this group certainly keeps me on my toes.”

In a group of employees mostly comprised of young women, Tannehill serves not only as an organizer, but also a mentor and valuable reference for what has worked in the past and what has not. She is also a key component that continues to connect Phelps Media Group with the local Wellington community.

“I want to continue to see Phelps Media Group grow and strive to take our services to the next level,” Tannehill said. “I would like to see Phelps become even more specialized and valuable to our clients. Branding, social media, web site development, and strategic marketing — the sky is truly the limit to what I think we are capable of achieving.”