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How IABC improves your life

By: Jan Graves

You never know what being part of IABC will bring your way. In my case, since joining IABC in 1990, I have served on two IABC chapter boards, the International Board, several international committees, Canada Eastern Region,  and I have become an All-Star IABC World Conference speaker. But the most exciting thing IABC has given me was an invitation to meet space shuttle astronauts and watch them launch into space at Kennedy Space Centre!


It all began at an IABC World Conference in Los Angeles when I had lunch with a Canadian IABCer who happened to work in Ottawa for the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). We quickly figured out that the Robarts Research Institute (where I worked) was involved with NASA too and got chatting about Canadian space discoveries and research. We kept in touch a bit after that, and several months later she invited me to a CSA meet and greet in Toronto with the astronauts who were flying in the upcoming space shuttle mission. I went and had a wonderful time chatting with these amazingly talented people, one of whom was astronaut Dave Williams. Next thing I knew I got an invitation from Dave to the actual shuttle launch in Florida the next spring as a Canadian VIP representing my Institute.


This involved three days of touring the facilities at Kennedy and meeting dignitaries, technicians, astronauts and their families, and learning all about the shuttle. Aside from seeing Dave Williams again, I also met Marc Garneau (now Transport Minister of Canada) and Julie Payette (now Governor General of Canada) and had a chance to speak with them about their experiences. On the day of the launch, I sat with their families and my whole body vibrated as the shuttle launched them up into the blue. It was scary, energizing and joyous all at once and I will never forget it. What an amazing opportunity to meet these special people who are so talented and brave and are helping humanity reach for the stars. It would never have happened without IABC, and just goes to show you how wonderful making IABC friends can be!

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From Veteran to Newcomer to IABC LI – The Institute Delivers Once Again

By: Marie K. Fitzpatrick, ABC (pictured right) and John Gilbert (pictured left)

After four IABC Leadership Institutes, it’s hard not to be ready for the ‘here we go again’ attitude. Certainly, my enthusiasm for IABC after 12 years and as an ABC never wans. Meeting new friends, connecting with old, elevator and dinner conversations about our toughest communication challenges… it’s all there. But for me, what was different about the 2018 LI was in the rich content that seemed to be within two streams for the first time. Yes, the chapter management intel was ever present, but this time there was a second stream to strength leadership skills.

Communicators are Natural Disruptors

Communicators get things done. We know this. But how we do this is an ever-evolving skill set. This LI I learned, among other things, about the four styles of leadership, how to create great thought leadership and content marketing and developing a personal communication style. Wow! That was a whole lot of me-time and introspection but, if you think about it, that makes sense. We need to pause, think about our leadership strengths and play to them. And this takes time.

Bringing Your “A” Game to LI

While other leadership conferences that I attended had solid themes and tons of supportive learning, as a veteran, for me it was this secondary leadership conference stream that made all the difference. Given that my employer was supporting my leadership journey to attend, it was significant that I had real, tangible insights to deliver not only to my chapter team but to my work team as well. This year, there seemed to more of a business focus in this regard.

Written by Marie K. Fitzpatrick


New on Deck… IABC speaking that is

As an emerging leader within IABC and incoming President for IABC Golden Horseshoe, I entered LI with eyes wide open. There was a bit of anxiety not knowing just what to expect. Still being fairly green in my communications career, there are the challenges of both learning, understanding and implementing. Challenges will always exist. It’s adapting to them that is the key. Put your best foot forward, don’t dip that toe in the water to check the temperature… just jump right in. 

Alphabet Soup

The letters ‘L’ and ‘I’ were used repeatedly, for obvious reasons. Leadership Institute was such a broad title. Here’s what it meant to me:

Lasting Impression: This would be the most applicable. Considering I am a fairly new communicator, I arrived without expectations and felt the excitement of the unknown. From keynote speakers, to breakout sessions, to the people that I met and spoke with in San Diego, I am happy to report that I was blown away.

Loving Individuals: I briefly mentioned this above, but it is well worth repeating. Everyone that I met embodied a genuine love of communications, a passion for what they do and a drive to always be better. Can’t help but fall in love with an atmosphere like that.

Listening Intently: It didn’t matter whether it was a one on one conversation, a speaker, or a group chat. Listening to the stories, advice and knowledge people had to offer was simply invaluable.

Learning Involvement: Being involved and engaged in the learning process is critical. Having the speakers interact with the audience plays a huge role in being able to absorb that information and take it back to your local chapter.

My LI experience will allow me to lead with direction, purpose and a conscious mind for those that will be next.

“The art of communication is the language of leadership.” – James Humes

Written by John Gilbert
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Membership News


By: Helen Powers

IABC International is making substantial changes to their website so that members can easily connect with each other. A new online members-only network will enable messaging and posting at possibly as soon as February.

Wouldn’t it be great if more corporations covered the cost of our memberships? A task force set up by IABC International is exploring new ways to increase the number of companies who support professional association fees for their employees. Stay tuned in the new year for more information about this initiative.

And speaking of membership costs, did you know that the Golden Horseshoe chapter receives $20 from your IABC annual fee? The majority of the membership costs support International’s many programs so be sure to take advantage of these resources:

– Articles and videos
– IABC Academy online workshops and webinars
– Job Centre postings
– Monthly Communication World magazine
– and much more…