Welcome to the 2012-13 IABC/Chicago board year! I am extremely honored and excited to serve as president in one of IABC’s largest and most tenured chapters. Our board officially began its term on July 1 and we have a fantastic year planned.
Looking back, June proved to be an extremely exciting (and busy) month! The 2012 IABC/Chicago Bronze Quill Award banquet took place, recognizing excellence in communication practice. The awards committee reported a 25% increase in participation from the 2011 campaign, primarily due to an aggressive marketing campaign and migration to an electronic awards submission system. Then, just a couple of weeks ago, 1,400 plus communicators descended upon Chicago for the 2012 IABC World Conference. The annual conference provided learning, networking and fun for a global communications audience. We heard from Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on the state of the environment, Cirque du Soleil’s Lyn Heyward on inspiring creativity, learned about new IABC Research Foundation studies and a myriad of fantastic speakers. This was my first World Conference and I have to say, it was an outstanding four days! The Chicago chapter received enormous amounts of praise for their hospitality and planning, and I’d like to personally thank all the volunteers who made these June events possible – especially Tom Keefe, ABC, Gabrielle Loring, Tina Korecky Bowness and Julie Baron!
We have a multitude of activities planned the upcoming year. Our executive committee, which includes myself, the past president, president-elect and treasurer, will develop the IABC/Chicago three-year strategic plan. This plan, compiled by input from board members, feedback from member surveys and comparative analysis, will help steer our organization to new heights and ensure we remain competitive through 2015.
The IABC/Chicago programming team plans to expand the number and variety of events. In addition to our professional development luncheons, we hope to add more social events, allowing members and non-members the opportunity to network. We also plan to create “members-only” events, enhancing the value of IABC membership. Our city’s communicator demographic consists of vastly different professional backgrounds, experience levels and geographic locations. We’ve heard you…and want to provide interesting and engaging events for everyone!
We plan to unveil a new chapter website. It will be more visually appealing, easier to navigate and provide a better overall user experience. We hope this will launch sometime late fall and we’ll be asking for your feedback, once complete.
Finally, and probably the most important, I’ve ensured volunteer engagement and recognition is a priority for the board. Volunteers stand as the single most important element of our organization. I witnessed a renewed invigoration among the numerous World Conference volunteers – both seasoned and new to IABC – as they worked along side conference staff. I would like to carry that excitement throughout the entire year by providing value to all volunteers while, concurrently, setting up our board of directors for future success.
Whether a committee member, event greeter or leader on our board, volunteering provides the opportunity to either enhance a current skill or safely learn new ones. Additionally, by donating your time and efforts to IABC/Chicago, you better our industry. So, I ask you, “How would you like to help during the 2012-13 year?” Please contact our volunteer team today at firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved!
I would like to thank the outgoing board for an outstanding job! The chapter witnessed an increase in individual and corporate membership, an increase in university relations and mentors, creation of a highly engaged young professionals committee and increased Bronze Quill Award submissions. Thank you for setting the stage for success in the 2012-13 year!
My job as president is to listen to our members’ needs, further the mission of our organization and guide our chapter to bigger and better heights. If you have suggestions or comments, please email me directly. I hope you will accompany me on this year’s journey by supporting IABC/Chicago with your ideas and time, from now, through 2013 and beyond.