|Past President||Dionne Gomez|
|Director, Finance||Peg Wander|
Board of Directors
|Director, Awards||Brendan Gannon|
|Director, Chapter Marketing & Public Relations||Heather Natal, CMP|
|Committee Member, Chapter Marketing & Public Relations||Rhonda Carlson|
|Committee Member, Chapter Marketing & Public Relations||Anthony Fleet|
|Director, Creative Services||Astrid Greve-Spencer|
|Director, Membership Communications||Carolynn Muci|
|Director, Membership Services||Christopher Hickey|
|Co-Director, Professional Development & Events||Arek Gazda|
|Co-Director, Professional Development & Events||Kellie Harris|
|Committee Member, Professional Development & Events||Amisha Shah|
|Committee Member, Professional Development & Events||OPEN|
|Director, Sponsorships||Sara Burcheri|
|Director, Volunteers||Belia Ortega|
|Director, Web Content Management||OPEN|
Head of Business Development and Operations
Ragan Consulting Group
Rebecca is responsible for the daily operations of Ragan Consulting Group. She serves as a measurement consultant and often project manages client work, ensuring that projects are tracking on schedule and the client’s needs are being met.
Previously, Rebecca was a senior internal communications analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, where she conducted the Bank-wide communications audit, managed special projects, Town Halls and leadership meetings, employee award programs and contributed news stories to the Bank’s intranet site.
Before joining the Fed, Rebecca spent seven years as a conference producer at Ragan Communications, creating tailored content for corporate communication professionals. In this role she worked with corporations such as Microsoft, The Walt Disney Co., The Coca-Cola Co., Mayo Clinic, Chesapeake Energy and Southwest Airlines.
Juston Teach is the Managing Producer, Multimedia Content for PCMA where he oversees the production of content ranging from video to written communications. Prior to joining PCMA, Juston was Director of Virtual Events for Lawrence Ragan Communications, where he lead a team of virtual events producers with the goal of creating the best content for internal and external communicators. Before he came to Lawrence Ragan Communications, Juston helped lead the way on a grassroots marketing and public relations campaign for the Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau that led to over 1 billion earned media impressions for a professional lumberjack competition. Juston spent his early career as a photojournalist, documenting life throughout the Midwest. His images and videos have been published through various outlets, most notably the Chicago Sun-Times, ABC and ESPN. Juston graduated Purdue University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications.
Named 2017 PR News’ Rising Star 30 & Under, Dionne brings cross-cultural communication expertise and a strong understanding of change communications and employee engagement to Fortune 500 companies in the public/private sector. At Zeno Group, Dionne supports numerous clients, developing and implementing executive positioning and PR strategies. In her prior role at Gagen MacDonald, Dionne channeled her skills on M&A initiatives for two leading Fortune 500 companies and a global pharmaceutical company, landing clients and the firm numerous awards. In addition to her thought leadership, Dionne serves as a passionate advocate for the importance of mentorship. A regular guest speaker at DePaul University’s Public Relations and Advertising program – her alma mater – she has helped numerous students make valuable business connections with key industry players. Dionne earned her M.A. in Public Relations and Advertising in 2014.
Kris Gallagher, ABC
Associate Director, Corporate and Employer Outreach
Kris Gallagher, ABC, is associate director of Corporate and Employer Outreach at DePaul University, where she has worked for 23 years. Her expertise includes writing, editing, marketing communications, social media and communications strategy and she is enjoying becoming more proficient in sales research and reporting. She joined the Chicago IABC chapter in 1984 and served on the board for several years until taking a break to raise her two sons, who are now in college. A winner of five Gold Quills, Kris has served as an evaluator for local, regional and international IABC competitions. She also hosted accreditation exams in Chicago under the prior format.
Peg’s 20+ years of experience cover a broad range of communications disciplines from both a tactical and strategic perspective, and in both corporate and not-for-profit settings. Her primary disciplines include employee, member, executive, multicultural and customer communication, media relations, special event planning, volunteer management, community relations and audio-visual production for which she has received numerous awards. Her past experience also includes writing for local newspapers and hosting a public affairs talk show on WNUA and WGCI in Chicago. In addition, she has considerable expertise in business development as well as organizational development/behavior and is a skilled facilitator, meeting designer and leadership coach. Peg also teaches diversity and introductory/ overview courses (including writing, research, teambuilding, presentation skills) for the Chicagoland campus of the University of Phoenix. She holds a B.S. Degree in Communications/Social Science from Northern Illinois University and a M.A. Degree in Whole Systems Design/Organization System Renewal (focus: Change Management/Organizational Development) from Antioch University.
Director, Internal Communications, Transformation
Mary Goodrich, communications manager, CDK Global, brings more than 20 years’ experience leading global organizations in diverse industries, including technology, retail, service, manufacturing and telecom/media. Leading external communications strategies for CDK in the automotive technology market, she has also directed internal and external communications and marketing operations in B2B and B2C markets.
Most recently, Goodrich led internal communications strategies for Sears Holdings Corp. (SHC) where she managed teams and technology platforms for three divisions, including more than 1,000 North American stores and service locations. Prior to joining SHC, Goodrich managed P&L responsibility for four business units in the publishing industry, as well as ecommerce, marketing, media relations and crisis communications for organizations, including Cummins Allison Corp., Quebecor World and non-profit organizations in education and social welfare. Goodrich holds a master’s degree in leadership from Judson University and a bachelor’s degree in English from Northern Illinois University.
Director, Chapter Marketing & Public Relations
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.
Astrid leads external communications in North America for AkzoNobel, a global paints and coatings company headquartered in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She is responsible for building leading brands and reputation and for supporting 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. After making a career switch to strategic public relations, she worked at a PR agency, primarily with B2B clients – and some B2C – across several industries. Astrid earned an MBA and a Master of Science in management from the University of Maryland University College (now University of Maryland Global Campus), and a Master of Arts in magazine design and bachelor’s degrees in broadcast journalism and communication from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Director, Membership Communications
Internal Communications Manager
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 Internal Communication Manager at Harper College, she counsels leadership on best practices for effective internal communications and develops consistent, coordinated messages to meet the needs of the organization and the faculty and staff.
Chris has had a passion for effective communication his entire life, mainly due to the fact that at first he was not particularly good at it. Although Chris had opportunities in grade school to perform as a soloist and orchestral music and theatre performer, it was not until a speech teacher in high school convinced him to take a speech course that he became excited about public speaking and business communications. Chris earned his degree in Communications at the University of Illinois. Chris then embarked upon a career which now has 20 years of progressive sales, marketing and communications experience at Fortune 500 companies and several start ups. Chris is currently the Co-Founder of Two (2) Step (www.twostepsbus.com), a Salesforce CRM Software consulting firm. Chris enjoys building diverse teams by recognizing each individual’s strengths and applying those combined unique skill sets to business problems.
The constant theme for Chris has been an appreciation for the importance of effective communication. Two of the greatest compliments he received were from a client and a manager; “You are not just trying to sell me something, I appreciate that” and “You’re the only one we trust to write the RFP response, so you will write it”.
With almost ten years of experience in corporate communications, Arek knows how to drive employee engagement through a use of a well-rounded set of strategic and tactical approaches necessary to successfully strengthen the employee experience and employment brand. As a Co-Director of the Professional Development and Events Committee at the IABC Chicago chapter, Arek’s committed to extending his expertise and connecting our members and event attendees with industry leaders to further improve the employee experience at your company. He’s really looking forward to meeting you at our next event.
Kellie leads external communications for thyssenkrupp North America. She is responsible for brand and reputation initiatives including earned media, digital strategies, issues management and executive communications across the U.S., Canada and Mexico. For more than 20 years, she has worked with Fortune 500 companies and has deep expertise in delivering quantitative-based strategies to high-value brands. Kellie earned a Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications from Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Arts from Smith College.
With over 12 years of Marketing experience, Sara has expertise in event management, marketing strategy, integrated marketing, and branding. She loves finding innovative and creative ways to engage others and looks forward to creating new relationships through IABC. Sara graduated from the University of Iowa with B.A. in Communication Studies, worked in Special Event Marketing at Macy’s for over a decade and is currently looking forward to a new step in her career path.
Belia has more than 15 years experience in global external communications. Most recently she worked for Guidehouse, a professional services firm, where she lead external communications and social media. Belia has a Master of Arts from Columbia College Chicago and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Committee Member, Chapter Marketing & Public Relations
Global Internal Communications Expert
Rhonda is a global internal communications guru. She most recently worked for PepsiCo, a consumer package goods company. Her client was 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!
Committee Member, Chapter Marketing & Public Relations
Corporate Communications Specialist
Anthony Fleet currently works at Beam Suntory on the corporate communications team. He creates and manages content for the company’s internal and external channels, develops the company’s weekly global newsletter, supports internal communications for several functions and helps develop diversity & inclusion communication. He is the Executive Lead for Beam Suntory’s Black Employee Impact Group and is a member of the company’s North America Diversity & Inclusion Council’s core leadership team. Anthony has a Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications from Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Arts in communication from La Salle University.
Committee Member, Professional Development & Events
Communications and Change Management Professional
For over 20 years, Amisha has immersed herself in all aspects of internal communications including organizational change, end-user experience, leadership, and internal marketing. Her experience spans across many industries including financial, resources and pharmaceutical as both an external and internal consultant. She has a passion for working in a team to develop strategic communication plans; while also playing with words to develop tactical communications independently. She received her B.S. in Psychology and Speech Communications from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign and an M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communications from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. She lives in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago with her husband and two tween children.