IABC/Chicago’s Board of Directors are professional communicators from diverse backgrounds, who are passionate about providing valuable professional development and networking opportunities for Chicagoland communicators.
Our goal is to provide growth opportunities for current and aspiring Chicago communications professionals, and to raise the profile of communications as a strategic leadership function.
We work collaboratively to deliver exceptional experiences for IABC members and volunteers, and to build relationships between IABC/Chicago and the broader professional community (including communications professionals, sponsors, and partners).
|President||Julie Bjorkman, PhD, ABC|
|Past President||Sara Burcheri|
|Director, Chapter Operations||Heather (Blondin) Natal, CMP|
|Director, Finance||Jocelyn Flint|
Board of Directors
|Director, Membership Communications||Carolynn Muci|
|Director, Marketing Communications||Rhonda Carlson|
|Director, Membership||Julie M. Bjorkman, PhD, ABC|
|Associate Director, Membership||Caroline Gransee-Linsey|
|Director, Sponsorships||Sara Burcheri|
|Director, Professional Development||Lauren Westbrook|
Julie Bjorkman, PhD, is the director of the doctorate of education program in higher education and organizational change at Benedictine University. She also leads the Arthur J. Schmitt Future Leaders program at BenU – directing the leadership development of high performing undergraduate students. After three decades of leading change communications and supporting organizational transformation at some of the world’s best Fortune 100’s she transitioned to higher ed to get more into the research side of the field and slow down a bit. Julie is a past president of IABC/Chicago, and served in many board roles over the years, including IABC’s International Executive Board, and most recently as a Chapter Advocate for the Pacific Plains Regional board.
With over 13 years of experience focused on experiential marketing at a large retailer, Sara decided to take her corporate knowledge and apply it to helping small businesses. She is currently a Success Consultant at Reverie Organizational Development where she is able to focus on her passion- helping to design and implement solutions for small business growth.
Director, Chapter Operations
Heather (Blondin) Natal, CMP
Marketing Manager, Manufacturing Solutions
Computer Aided Technology
For over 15 years, Heather has been working at international companies in Marketing and Communications. Her breadth of experience ranges from copywriting and graphic design to strategic brand management, internal communications, and digital media. In her current role, Heather specializes in event planning to ensure that each event is unique in its message and memorable for the attendee. She received her B.A. in Communications from the University of Illinois at Chicago and holds the IABC’s Communication Management Professional (CMP) Certification.
Like perhaps many internal communications professionals, Jocelyn fell into the field backwards by channeling her previous experiences in management, teaching, writing, and editing into a career path that obsessively focuses on improving the employee experience. With over 15 years in employee communications and community management, many of which were spent as a team of one, Jocelyn’s expertise ranges from the sky-high big picture (employee communications strategy, content strategy, culture and employer brand building) to the in-the-weeds details (copywriting, metrics, slide deck creation). She can be counted on to ask the question that no one else dares ask, and to add Oxford commas to everything she edits.
Director, Membership Communications
Change Communications Manager, Customer Service
Carolynn Muci (MS, Corporate and Organizational Communication) has spent her career crafting content that connects with audiences, starting her career in advertising and making the shift to internal communication because she believes in the tremendous impact engaged employees can have on the success of an organization.
Currently the Change Communication Manager at Wayfair, Carolynn creates communication strategies and digestable messages for management and customer service consultants as they adopt and adapt to various initiatives.
Co-Director, Marketing Communications
Global Internal Communications Guru
Rhonda works for TransUnion, a global insights and analytics company. Her client is the IT organization. She can decode “tech talk,” as well as develop content and executive communications, employee engagement and shape culture and so much more. Just ask her!
Within open source software company Red Hat’s IT organization, Lauren facilitates internal communication, corporate events, and associate engagement. Lauren is an alumna of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and graduated magna cum laude with a degree from the Hussman School of Journalism and Media (concentrating in marketing) and dual minors in public health and fiction writing. In her free time, you will probably find Lauren reading, enjoying a workout at the gym, or trying a new dessert recipe.
Astrid Greve-Spencer has significant leadership experience in PR, journalism, branding, and communications. She is currently the Global Director, Corporate Affairs & Communications, at Wolters Kluwer’s Enablon business – a leading global provider of integrated software solutions for Risk & Compliance; Engineering & Operations; EHSQ (Environment, Health, Safety & Quality) & Sustainability; and ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance). In this role, Astrid develops, leads and executes strategy, plans, and tactics for internal and external communications and branding. She is part of the business’ Executive Leadership Team.
Prior to her current role, she was the Communications Manager for North America with AkzoNobel (a global paints and coatings company headquartered in Amsterdam, The Netherlands), where she was responsible for brands awareness and reputation, public affairs and government relations initiatives in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
A former journalist, Astrid gained extensive experience in media relations while working as an award-winning TV news producer in various cities across the U.S., including Chicago; Portland, OR; and Toledo, OH. After making a career switch to strategic public relations, she worked at KemperLesnik, one of Chicago’s top PR agencies, primarily with B2B clients – and some B2C – across several industries.
Astrid holds an MBA and a Master of Science in management from the University of Maryland University College (now University of Maryland Global Campus), as well as a Master of Arts in magazine design and bachelor’s degrees in broadcast journalism and communication from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Over the years, IABC/Chicago has received recognition from IABC in exemplary leadership and chapter management by receiving Chapter Management Awards (CMAs). The CMAs are an annual awards program that recognizes the leadership, management, creativity and teamwork of IABC chapter leaders around the world. It’s an opportunity to showcase IABC chapter successes and demonstrate the value that each chapter provides locally.
We appreciate the all hard work and dedication of IABC members. Our community of communication professionals is growing and thriving because of you. We’d like to take this opportunity to recognize the leaders of the Chicago Chapter over the years that have contributed to the successful steadfast commitment to our local communication community.
Chapter Management Awards
|2020||Award of Excellence – Strategic Planning|
|2016||Award of Merit – Leadership Development|
|2009||Award of Excellence – Financial Management|
|2009||Award of Merit – Membership Marketing|
|2008||Award of Excellence – Financial Management|
|2008||Award of Merit – Membership Marketing|
|2005||Award of Excellence – Membership Marketing|
|2005||Award of Merit – Professional Development|