Message from the President
The transition to maximizing value virtually
IABC International’s most recent strategy was under development during this past year. Having said that, the board continued to craft our strategy under the same pillars of Advancing the Profession, Creating Connection, and Developing Strategic Communicators – and, despite being six feet apart, we achieved gains in these areas. We started off the board year with a non-traditional kick off. Rather than hosting a virtual social event, volunteers on the board created connection by phoning members personally to check in. Members provided insights into how they were doing and how the local chapter could support them. The phone-a-thon indicated the majority of members were craving more connection (not surprisingly), which informed our strategy focussing on high caliber PD events and more opportunities to network and check in.
With that strategic focus in mind, IABC Saskatoon took the opportunity remote events presented to focus more on collaboration among IABC chapters and a mix of our own networking events to provide relevant content and opportunities to create connection. Unfortunately, that meant postponing CommuniCon until we could reassess when and how it should be held when there is more certainty on the horizon with in-person events. Instead, we held a mix of late day “Wine About It” and early morning “Coffee Chats” with small groups of members to check in and connect. The chapter also worked closely with other chapters in the Canada West Region to offer higher caliber virtual professional development sessions with speakers from across North America. With less costs incurred, we were able to offer these events for a nominal fee! While it may not be the same as sitting and listening in a room with our local comms colleagues, we tried to make it possible for members to make the most out of their memberships in a different way.
This year we continued to postpone certification exam sittings until they are safer to hold. However, according to our recent certification survey, members have indicated a significant interest in writing the exam within the next year. The board is looking to host two exams: one in the fall of 2021 and one the following spring. We will be sending information out to members who have declared interest in writing their certification and will be announcing upcoming examination dates and study groups in the near future.
Thank you to our IABC Saskatoon volunteers
I would like to extend a deep appreciation and thank you to our board members and volunteers. You are the lifeblood that keeps our chapter going. Without our volunteers, we would not be able to have a local chapter. I would also like to send some thank yous to some fantastic communicators who I have had the pleasure to get to know over the past few years and to call my colleagues:
- Thank you to Lana Haight, who has served as the Director of Professional Development for several years. During your time on the Board you have offered first-rate PD events with a fresh line up of fantastic speakers.
- Thank you to Michael Robin who has completed his term as our Finance Director. You have helped to keep the chapter organized and ensured the chapter is in good financial order.
- Thank you to Jana Al-Sagheer who took on the role of Member Services this year. Your perspectives as a new IABC member provided fresh insight to offering value to members.
- Thank you to Ben Borne for serving on the Board in various roles over the years and transitioning from a Board role to a non-board role to assist the Member Services Director.
- Thank you to Krystal Rudyk who served as our Past President. Krystal has shown strong leadership on the board these past several years.
- Thank you to Melody Lynch who was the VIP of VPs. The year offered many exciting twists and turns and you were a constant and steady force – always ready to lend a hand, roll up your sleeves, offer your expertise, and model the behaviour of a solid leader.
Please, reach out!
From our membership survey this year, we learned that many members are not aware of many of the benefits that IABC Saskatoon and IABC International offer. We will continue to focus on ways that we can communicate and convey value, and welcome and encourage your feedback!
Onwards and forwards
As the board year and my term comes to a close, I would like to thank our members for granting me this opportunity, albeit it a challenging one, to keep the ship running. IABC is a very special community. It is unlike any other I have witnessed and I am very proud to be a part of it. If you have the time to give back to this special group, I strongly urge you to volunteer in the capacity you are able. I promise you will get back what you give tenfold. For the 2021-2022 year, the chapter is poised well with an experienced leader such as Melody at the helm and I am excited to see where our chapter will grow.
President, IABC Saskatoon