CHICAGO, Sept. 15, 2009 – The Chicago chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC/Chicago) announced that its board of directors has appointed a chapter president and past president following the unexpected death of Karen Utterback, who held both positions.
Julie Baron, MSC, has been named president of IABC/Chicago. As a long-term and active IABC member, Baron served as Chicago chapter president from 2004-2005 and has held other volunteer leadership positions, including director of programming, sponsorship and president-elect.
With 20 years of communications experience, Baron is principal of Communication Works, Arlington Heights, Ill. The firm offers strategic planning, implementation and measurement of employee communications, public relations and marketing communications, and has a proven track record of positively impacting financial and operating results through internal and external communication. Communication Works clients include Abbott Laboratories, adidas-Salomon, HSBC, the National Association of Realtors and Sterno. Baron also is a trainer for the “Internal Communication Black Belt Program” offered internationally by Melcrum Publishing.
Before founding Communication Works in 2000, Baron held senior communication positions for NEC Technologies and Motorola. She received her master’s degree in communications (MSC) from Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill., and her bachelor’s degree in broadcasting from the State University of New York-Buffalo.
Julie Bjorkman, PhD, ABC, APR, has been named past president of IABC/Chicago. She was IABC/Chicago’s president from 2003-2004 and also has served as the chapter’s director of educational relations, membership, president-elect and past president. She was director-at-large on the IABC international executive board from 2004-2006.
Bjorkman is an adjunct faculty member at Roosevelt University, Argosy University and Benedictine University. Previously, she was director-employee experience for Takeda Pharmaceuticals, where she was responsible for initiatives to foster employee engagement, retention, diversity and corporate values. While director-human resources and culture communications for Sara Lee, she created and managed change communication strategies as Sara Lee transformed itself from a holding company into an integrated operating company. Earlier, Bjorkman held communication positions for GE and Allstate Insurance Co.
Bjorkman earned her bachelor’s degree in English from John Carroll University, University Heights, Ohio; her master’s degree in organization development from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland; and her PhD in organization development from Benedictine University, Lisle, Ill. She is an IABC accredited business communicator (ABC) and also an accredited public relations professional (APR) through the Public Relations Society of America.
The role of IABC/Chicago president-elect remains open, as the chapter’s nominating committee continues to identify candidates for that office.
The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) is a global network of communication professionals committed to improving organizational effectiveness through strategic communication. Established in 1970, IABC serves more than 15,000 members in more than 80 countries with a multi-disciplinary approach to corporate communication, public relations, employee communication, marketing communication, media relations, community relations, public affairs, financial communications and government relations. IABC/Chicago (www.iabcchicago.com) is the oldest IABC chapter in the world and one of the largest IABC chapters in the United States, with about 450 members.