IABC Golden Horseshoe Executive Board

The IABC Golden Horseshoe chapter is managed by a board of volunteers nominated and elected by the chapter membership annually at the Annual General Meeting.

To learn more, read about our board member roles and responsibilities.

2017-18 Board of Directors

Marie Fitzpatrick


IABC GH – Immediate Past President (2014- 2016)

IABC GH – V.P. Prof. Dev. & Events (2013-2014)

IABC Canada East Region – Board of Directors (2014-2016)

IABC Toronto – V.P. Volunteers & Mentorship Program (2009-2011)

Marie is an award-winning, accredited business communicator with more than 25 years of experience developing and implementing strategic communications, marketing and digital campaigns. As a former journalist, Marie brings a wealth of knowledge from both sides of the media with extensive knowledge in corporate communications, public engagement and government relations.

She holds Bachelor of Arts from Ryerson University (Broadcast Journalism) with a certificate in Public Relations. She studied with the CBC’s Peter Mansbridge and the Journal’s Mark Starowicz and holds an executive education certificate in Risk and Crisis Communications from McMaster University’s DeGroote School of Business.

Marie is an avid community builder having sat on numerous boards over the past two decades.


Executive Vice-President/Incoming President

Helen Powers

Vice-President of Membership

Communications is a second career for Helen after more than a decade in landscape architecture and environmental planning. Since 2010 she has focused on her love of sharing stories and information to enlighten and engage audiences. Helen brings experience and knowledge in a variety of sectors including non-profit, municipal government, magazine publication, education, healthcare, and land use planning.

Helen has previously served on the board in professional development and administrative roles. She looks forward to connecting with current and new IABC members and would like to hear about their membership ideas.

Jan Graves

Vice President of Finance

IABC GH – Founding President (2005-2008)

IABC GH – Various Board positions including: professional development, finance and Gift of Communication (2008-present)

IABC Canada East Region – Director (2000), Finance Chair (1997-1998), Board of Directors (1996-2001)

IABC International Board – Board member (2000) and has worked on various committees since then

IABC London – President (1996) and various other Board positions (1990-2001)

Jan has a science background (Life Sciences and Petroleum Geology from Queens) but that hasn’t held her back from an exciting two decade career as a communications and fundraising specialist. With over 18 years of experience in the healthcare industry and eleven years in the environmental field, Jan is able to use her science background to communicate high-tech ideas to low-tech audiences and build understanding in the areas of medicine, research and the natural world. She is currently Director of Fundraising at the Bruce Trail Conservancy, helping to preserve a conservation corridor along the Niagara Escarpment (a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve).

Jan has won a number of IABC awards over the years, including the 2011 Lifetime Friend Awards from the IABC Foundation, the 2015 IABC Toronto Bobbie Resnick Philanthropy Award for the Gift of Communication and the IABC 2017 Chairman’s Award.

Jan looks forward to 2017-2018 being a good year both fiscally and for the Gift of Communication!

Sozanny Chea

Co-Vice President of Communications

Sozanny is a communications professional who specializes in social and digital media, providing strategic direction surrounding corporate digital assets.

Her experience consists of a variety of roles within the private and public sector including military, transportation, education and currently in government as a Digital Media Specialist with Halton Region.

She has a background in business communications and administration from Brock University and Mohawk College. A creative at heart, Sozanny utilizes her love for writing and creating through cultivating connections and engaging experiences.

Outside of the office, she loves to explore Hamilton-Halton gems with her dog, Lily; and volunteers as a mentor with Ladies Learning Code, a not-for-profit organization that supports digital literacy for youth and women.

Sozanny is extremely excited to join the 2017-18 Board of Directors and use her platform to enhance the IABC experience for all members of the chapter.

Natasha Voogd

Co-Vice-President of Communications

Natasha graduated from McMaster University with a Bachelors Degree in History. After working a couple of years being unsure of her career path, Natasha landed a job in a Public Affairs Department at a Hamilton hospital. That was where she discovered her passion to include writing and creativity. She went back to school in 2015, and graduated from the Mohawk College Public Relations Program, with Honours. She is now a Public Affairs Specialist in Hamilton.

While new to the IABC Golden Horseshoe Board, Natasha hopes that her creativity and knowledge of web design will be a great asset to the Board. Natasha is looking forward to growing with the Golden Horseshoe team this term, and connecting with professionals from the area. She is also a lover of all things food in Hamilton. If you have any food suggestions, be sure to let her know.

Rachel Shuttleworth

Vice-President of Administration

Rachel Shuttleworth has over 13 years of experience in communications, marketing and management. She has worked in a variety of sectors including entrepreneurship, health care, international development, automotive and more.

In her roles, Rachel managed communications strategies in English and French for small and mid-sized companies, non-profits and government organizations. Her expertise include corporate communications, marketing, strategic planning, project management and stakeholder relations.

An active volunteer, Rachel has participated on the Board of Directors for a community-based recreation association, a charity running volunteering trips to South America and a professional development group. She has also acted as a communications and marketing advisor for various start-up companies.

Rachel has a Bachelor of Arts, Communications from the University of Ottawa and spent a year studying at l’Université Aix-Marseille in France. She also has a Masters of Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University. In 2014/15, Rachel led a team that created a national program to foster youth entrepreneurship in Canada and was recognized with a Gold Quill Award of Excellence from the IABC.

Lindsay Whelan

Co-Vice-President of Professional Development & Events

Lindsay Whelan has over 10 years of experience in communications and marketing in the non-profit health care, sector. She currently serves as a Public Affairs Specialist at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton where her work includes corporate communications, crisis management, event planning and execution, project management and stakeholder relations.

While new to the IABC Golden Horseshoe Board, Lindsay knows that her proven ability and experience, positive attitude and a commitment to professionalism will add value. As Co-Vice President of Professional Development and Events, Lindsay looks forward to enhancing the Golden Horseshoe events to continue to benefit its members and business community, building upon its network and emphasis on skills development. Her goal is to ultimately increase overall engagement both online and in-person at our events.

John Gilbert

Vice-President of Sponsorship & Strategic Initiatives

John Gilbert is a newly graduated professional in the world of Public Relations and Communications. He started by attending Niagara College for an Advanced Diploma in Radio and Television Broadcasting and then this past year, he studied Public Relations at Mohawk College and graduated with honours in June.

John spent his year working with clients such as Wellwood and Hamilton Out of the Cold. His internship was at Joseph Brant Hospital in their Corporate Communications Department.

John classifies himself as a professional nice guy. He would definitely put that on his business card, but his education in communications may help him achieve success at a faster rate.

John is extremely excited to work with some experienced professionals on the board. He hopes to achieve excellent results in the coming year that will benefit both current members and potential future members.


Co-Vice President of Professional Development and Events