Get to know Kari McLean – marketing communications professional, recipient of the Karen Utterback Volunteer award, IABC member and animal lover
We continue our Getting to Know You series with Kari McLean. Kari earned a bachelor’s degree in communications and theater from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and later, a master’s degree in integrated marketing communications from Roosevelt University in Chicago.
She began her career working in theater as a stage manager. She left theater to pursue a career in communications. She worked for several not-for-profit organizations. Today, she’s consulting while she looks for a full-time communications role in the Greater Cincinnati area.
It’s been an exciting year for Kari. IABC Chicago recently presented her with the prestigious Karen Utterback Volunteer award for her outstanding work for the Chicago and Cincinnati chapters. She also won a scholarship from the IABC Heritage Region in Ohio to attend the 2019 IABC World Conference in Vancouver. Please congratulate her next time you talk with her.
Tell us about your career in communications.
“My career in communications started unconventionally. I worked in theater as a stage manager before deciding that I needed to find a career with more advancement. Communications seemed like a good fit because many skills are transferable, such as project management, vision and strategy. I’ve worked primarily in the not-for-profit sector at The American Orthopaedic Association and The Night Ministry.”
What are some of your career highlights?
“Winning the Karen Utterback Volunteer award was unexpected and really exciting, as well winning the scholarship from the IABC Heritage Region to attend the World Conference. I recently worked on several research projects for the Integral Communications Group. These projects wouldn’t have come my way if I hadn’t attended the conference and met their CEO, Ethan McCarty. I like the way the IABC keeps me learning, growing and connecting.”
How did you become involved with the IABC?
“I’ve been an IABC member since 2008. It was at the suggestion of a friend that I join. I started my membership with the Chicago chapter then transferred it to the Cincinnati chapter when I moved back to Ohio. Throughout the years, I’ve been on the board, judged local, regional and Gold Quill award entries, attended networking and career development sessions, and made some good friends. Gabi Loring, Connie Mayse, Mary Hills are among my Chicago tribe. Pat Frey, Teresa Zumwald and Jackiedra Wilson are among my new Greater Cincinnati tribe.’
‘All have been great experiences. One thing I know for certain is that the IABC has been an integral part of my career development. It wouldn’t be where it is today without them. I recommend anyone who works in communications join or at the very least attend IABC events. I plan to lead a road trip from Cincinnati to the 2020 World Conference in Chicago.”
What do you like to do for fun?
“I like spending time with my family, attending local theater and fine art events, and visiting the top zoo in the nation, right here in Cincinnati. I also have a bunny named Princess Sparkles Bunny Rabbit that I like hanging out with too.”
Do you know someone who should be featured in the Getting to Know You series or would you like to be? Please contact Rhonda Carlson.