Mary Louise VanNatta has over 30 years of association management and public relations experience and is one of the few people in Oregon to have earned her Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation from the American Society of Association Management (ASAE). She earned her APR (Accreditation in Public Relations) in 2017 from the Universal Accreditation Board and the Public Relations Society of America. She specializes in community relations, designing membership and promotional programs tailored to individual associations, conference and meeting planning, and promotional writing.
Throughout her career, VanNatta has consulted with such nationally recognized clients as the NFL, NBA, Alamo Rental Car and Cricket Communications. She has worked with the Medical Foundation of Marion and Polk Counties to plan fundraising events with celebrities such as Jane Goodall, Jean-Michel Cousteau, Christopher Gardner, Barbara Bush, Sarah Ferguson Duchess of York, former South African President F.W. DeKlerk, and Henry Winkler/Marlee Matlin. She served a number of years as the social editor for the Statesman Journal writing over 350 columns for “Out and About” with Mary Louise VanNatta. She continues the column in the quarterly Salem Magazine. When Salem was chosen to be the site for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, VanNatta and her team served as the voluntary PR representative for the project.
VanNatta and VPR have been recognized multiple times by the Oregon Business Magazine as one of the top PR firms in the Mid-Willamette Valley and listed in its Power Book, including 2018. For two years in a row, the company took home awards for public relations and event planning from the state chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. In 2008, she was a nominee for the prestigious Statesman-Journal Athena Awards that honors women for excellence in their chosen field. In 2010, the company was recognized as Micro Family Business of the Year by the Austin Family Business Program at OSU. In 2017, she helped the company take home three awards from the Oregon Chapter of the PRSA for event planning, programming and public service announcements.
She has been active in the South Salem Rotary Club since 1991, where she served in multiple leadership positions and was named 1999-2000 Rotarian of the Year. She is nationally published by the ASAE Association Management Company Section and by the Oregon Society of Association Management. She has traveled extensively and was selected to be part of the City of Salem’s Delegation to Russia in 1987. She is active in various charitable endeavors. Most importantly, she values time with her husband and two adult sons.