Meet the MNN Team

Joel Babbit

Chief Executive Officer and co-founder
Joel Babbit

Joel Babbit is the CEO of MNN and its parent company -- NARRATIVE CONTENT GROUP.

Prior to launching NARRATIVE, Joel spent over 30 years in the advertising and public relations industry. He began his career at McCann-Erickson, where he worked on The Coca-Cola Company account, and was a co-founder of Babbit & Reiman Advertising (acquired by Gold Greenlees Trott) and 360 (acquired by WPP's Grey Global Group). He also previously served as President of WPP’s GCI Group and Executive Vice President of Chiat/Day. Following Atlanta’s selection as host for the 1996 Olympic Games, Joel took a leave of absence from the private sector and was appointed as the City’s first Chief Marketing and Communications Officer and a member of Mayor Maynard Jackson’s cabinet.

He has been active in numerous civic and non-profit organizations including Young Presidents Organization, The CDC Foundation Board of Visitors, Management Executive Society, GCAPP, The Atlanta History Center, and The Anti-Defamation League. He is a Director of Primerica (NYSE: PRI), GreenSky Credit, and The National Health Museum. In 1992, Joel received the John Drewry Award for Distinguished Achievement in Journalism and was an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist in 1997. In 2015, he was awarded The John Holliman Lifetime Achievement Award by his alma mater – The University of Georgia’s Henry Grady School Of Journalism.

Chuck Leavell

Director of Environmental Affairs and co-founder

In addition to his musical career, Chuck is one of the nation’s most respected voices for land conservation and the environment. He has been a board member of several important and influential organizations including the American Forest Foundation and The U.S. Endowment for Forests and Communities. Well known on Capitol Hill, his testimony to the U.S. Congress played a critical role in forming the past two U.S. farm bills. In 1999, Chuck and his wife Rose Lane were named National Tree Farmers of the Year for the management of Charlane Plantation, their 2,500-acre farm near Macon. In 2012, the U.S. Forest Service appointed him an Honorary Forester, only the second person to ever receive that honor. He is the author of four books – "Forever Green: The History and Hope of the American Forest," "Between Rock and a Home Place," "Growing a Better America," and "The Tree Farmer," which received the American Farm Bureau’s Book of the Year award.
In 2009, Chuck co-founded Mother Nature Network.

Emily Murphy


Emily is the President of Narrative Content Group. She was the Managing Editor of when the site launched in 2009. Prior to MNN, she was an award-winning multimedia producer at and, where she helped launch National Geographic for Kids magazine and the accompanying web site in 2000. She started her career at CNN, where she was an Emmy Award-winning producer. She is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and a Ted Scripps Fellow of Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado. Emily is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists and the Online News Association.

Hope Dlugozima

Vice President and Director of Community and Social Networking
Hope Dlugozima

Before coming to MNN, Hope was Vice President of Community & Social Networking at WebMD, where she launched the Web’s largest health message board community, blogging initiative, and live chats along with WebMD’s Facebook and Twitter presence. Hope's more than 20 years of editorial experiences includes serving as community leader at iVillage, producer at Time Warner, creative director at Creative Multimedia in Portland, OR and features editor of the Prague Post in the Czech Republic. She was also named one of the top 100 Multimedia Producers in the U.S. by Multimedia Magazine.

Megan Erisman

Executive Assistant | Office Manager

Megan has a proven track record of leading offices and serving as a bridge between upper management and task teams. She brings a fresh perspective to Narrative Content Group with a keen interest in implementing cost‐savings and streamlined processes.

Michael Jacobson

Chief Financial Officer

Michael Jacobson has over twenty-five years of experience assisting numerous companies in strategic planning, financial procedures, financial statement preparation, business and marketing plan creation; and operation analysis and implementation. He previously held management positions with the international accounting firm KPMG Peat Marwick. Michael is a member of the Georgia Society of CPA’s and the American Institute of CPA’s. He holds an MBA from Georgia State University and a BS/BA from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Sarah Hicks

Managing Editor

Sarah was part of the team that launched Before MNN, she worked in a wide variety of roles at and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, including planning, design and management roles. In her 11 years in the AJC newsroom, she managed the online entertainment site,, served as the newsroom planning editor and designed the front page of the newspaper.

Mary Jo DiLonardo

Senior Writer / Editor

Mary Jo DiLonardo is a senior writer and editor at MNN. She has covered health, education, parenting, pets and more for media outlets such as WebMD and Atlanta magazine, and has contributed to, Ladies Home Journal, Parents and Family Fun magazines. She wrote a family travel book for Random House and worked on several national radio shows.

Angela Nelson

Senior Editor / Writer

Angela is a Pulitzer Prize-winning digital editor —  and an exhausted mom of two young daughters — with more than 15 years of experience delivering news and information to audiences worldwide.

Lisa Agostoni

SEO and Social Editor

Before joining MNN, Lisa was Senior Manager of Organic Search at The Home Depot. She’s been an online marketing and communications professional for more than a decade in industries from nonprofit to retail to telecommunications. Lisa has a degree in Psychology from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. She’s a dog lover, blog writer and certified yoga instructor.

Russell McLendon

Science Editor

In addition to being an Earth Matters blogger, Russell creates infographics, special projects, and features for Translating Uncle Sam. Prior to working at MNN, he was the copy editor for Creative Loafing in Atlanta, where he edited the alternative newsweekly and wrote for its news blog. He graduated from the University of Georgia in 2005 with degrees in magazine journalism and environmental anthropology. While at UGA he spent four years working for The Red & Black independent student newspaper as a writer, editor and editorial cartoonist.

Christian Cotroneo

Social Media Editor / Writer

Christian is a former reporter and columnist at the Toronto Star. He traveled throughout Asia as a foreign correspondent before landing back in Toronto, Canada, where he became a founding editor at HuffPost Canada. Christian was also a staff writer for the Dodo, where his passion for animal welfare opened up a whole new audience for his work.

Sponsor Relations

Travis Bright

Vice President of Sponsor Relations

Travis joined MNN after a successful stint as the Director of Marketing for the Shop At Home television network, where he was responsible for all on-air, direct, and online marketing for the network. Prior to Shop At Home, Travis was the Director of Channel Operations at WebMD where he led the development of new publishing tools and oversaw the creation of dozens of sponsor programs for Fortune 1000 Pharmaceutical, Biotech, and CPG companies.

Aimee Durham

Senior Account Director
Aimee Durham

Aimee brings over 17 years of experience in the marketing industry to MNN. She started her career at an integrated advertising agency, handling advertising and interactive projects from strategic planning through project implementation. While there, she focused on accounts in the residential real estate, building product and utility sectors. Most recently, Aimee was with WebMD where she managed sponsor relations for CPG clients such as Bausch+Lomb, Johnson & Johnson, Walmart and Procter & Gamble.

Product & Engineering

Justin Caratzas

Director of Technology
Justin Caratzas

Justin works on the CMS that powers MNN. He comes to MNN from Cox Media Group and previously worked at Lockheed Martin. When Justin is not preparing for the upcoming Singularity, he enjoys hanging out with his family.

Michael Graham

Senior Software Developer

Michael is a senior software developer who brings over a decade of experience to our team. Prior to MNN, Michael has worked on high-performance APIs, interfaces and devices through agencies serving many Fortune 500 companies.


Everett Adams

Senior Video Producer & Editor
Everett Adams

Everett has more than 20 years of experience in creative, corporate and broadcast video production. His career runs the gamut from writing and producing indie films, corporate and civic video production, working as an animator for [adult swim], broadcast advertising production, to news and custom content production for CNN.  He also makes a mean piece of toast!     

Ben Bolton

Senior Digital & Branded Content Developer

Ben Bolton joined the MNN team after several years in local news covering sports and hard news. Before joining MNN, he worked in the digital team at FOX 5 Atlanta. Ben has covered major sports and news events like National Championships, The Masters and the 50th Anniversary of the Selma March. He’s also led FOX 5’s live digital coverage of major political and national news events. In addition, he has produced stories and content for various brands including Tropical Smoothie Café and Tin Drum.

Pauline Lu

Interactive Designer / Animator

Pauline discovered the amazing world of computer graphics when she was 13 years old, and has not stopped loving it since. She volunteers for local and international organizations, including ACM SIGGRAPH, supporting the arts and education. Whenever possible, she loves to travel and eat lots of sushi. She also produces videos and livestreams with her husband, as Most Uniquest.

Media Relations

Dan Beeson

Director of Media Relations

Dan Beeson was formerly Senior Vice President and Director of Media Relations for the worldwide public relations firm Porter Novelli and served in a similar role with GCI Group. He specializes in creating high impact media communications programs and has counseled blue-chip clients including Dell, Coca-Cola, Sony Ericsson, Holiday Inn, Safeco, Equifax, Hewlett Packard, AT&T, Aflac and IBM.