The 2013-2014 IABC/Chicago Executive Committee has selected Thomas C. Keefe, ABC as the recipient of the 2014 Karen Utterback Volunteer Award. Tom will receive the award at the IABC/Chicago Bronze Quill Awards Celebration June 4 at Nacional 27 in downtown Chicago. Tom has served as communications professional, mentor, leader and volunteer throughout his career and consistently donates his skills to the betterment of the community.
For more than 30 years Tom has used his writing, presentation and production skills within both public and private U.S.-based companies. He currently serves as communication specialist within VW Credit, Inc., the financial services subsidiary of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., where he been for the past decade.
Tom joined IABC in April 2000 and went on to earn the association’s Accredited Business Communicator (ABC) designation in 2005. Shortly after, he was invited to join a small group of bloggers who contributed to the IABC Café, the official IABC blog. In April 2008, Tom joined the Social Responsibility Subcommittee of the IABC Executive Board. That subcommittee created a website focused on social responsibility communications and began to promote the “Gift of Communication” program nationwide.
Tom joined the IABC/Chicago Board of Directors in 2009, as co-director of marketing. He focused on developing the chapter’s social media presence and digital communications. After the unexpected death of Karen Utterback in August of that year, Tom volunteered as president-elect and became chapter president in July 2010.
In 2011, Tom chaired the IABC World Conference Hospitality Committee in Chicago. That committee created conference marketing and publicity material, planned and organized numerous social activities, and recruited chapter volunteers to serve during the 2012 IABC World Conference. He has been a speaker and panelist at local, regional and international IABC conferences, and at workshops and conferences organized by other communication associations.
In addition to IABC, Tom is a member of Toastmasters International, and currently serves as an area governor, supporting five Toastmasters Clubs in the northern suburbs of Chicago. He has earned the Advanced Communicator Silver and Advanced Leader Bronze educational awards within Toastmasters. He also serves on the PR Council of Lake County.
In his spare time, Tom maintains a blog and podcast at www.commakazi.com.
“We are proud to announce Tom as this year’s Karen Utterback Award recipient. His leadership and dedication to excellence moved the chapter forward during the years after Karen’s unexpected death. He consistently gives back to the community, represents excellence in communication practice, and leads with unparalleled integrity” said Justin Brunner, past president of IABC/Chicago. “He has donated countless hours to IABC. We’re proud of Tom’s work and thrilled to award him the chapter’s highest honor.”