March 2017 – President’s Letter

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How cool is it to be recognized as the best in the world? Well, if you happen to be a Member of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) – Orange County, you now – officially – own that status.

Your chapter just landed six Awards of Excellence, the highest level attainable, at IABC International’s 2017 Leadership Institute!  And, that epic performance also includes our very own Claudia Miller, Chapter Advocate for the Pacific Plain Region, who captured Regional Leader of the Year! 

Here’s the IABC OC Awards of Excellence box score:

  • Financial Management
  • Membership Development
  • Professional Development
  • Sponsorship
  • Chapter of the Year (Medium-size)
  • Regional Leader Leader of the Year

What a night! What a Chapter!

If you are new to IABC, let me help put some context around these accomplishments. There are roughly 10,000 members throughout the world.  There are medium-sized Chapters on virtually every continent (except, interestingly enough, South America).  And our little 80-person band of communications warriors from the OC topped them all!

BIG props are also in order for the following Board Members without whom we could not have prevailed: the incomparable Kim Evans and her amazing team on Events; Perennial All-Star and Membership VP Judy Iannaccone for increasing our member ranks and value; Sarah Willis, whose Sponsor committee leadership helped secure critically important underwriting support for the Chapter’s 2016 season; and Roberta Coffin, our former finance guru who put in countless hours to organize the business side of the house.

Then, there’s Claudia. If you’ve spent, oh, maybe 10 minutes with our resident “Energizer Bunny,” you know why IABC continues to flourish.  Her receptivity to new ideas and love of this organization permeates everything she does.  And it’s not gone unnoticed at the Region level, where she serves as a Chapter Advocate for the Pacific Plains region. In fact, support for her nomination also included testimonials from IABC leaders throughout the West and Midwest. 

Finally, I’ll round out the list of “valentines” with one very special person who I wished could have been at the Institute to see what her leadership and hard work produced:  Elaine Beliakoff, 2016 IABC OC President.  Her collaboration with Board members to research, write and develop compelling, high-quality entries – over the holidays, no less – captured our excellence.  And we’ve got the Awards to prove it! 

Thank you, Elaine – and to each and every Member who give their time and talents to create greater good.   As 2017 Chapter President and new Board Member, I could not be more proud to have been at this year’s Leadership Institute to celebrate our collective accomplishments

Or, to say it a bit less formally, we rocked it!

Michael Shepherd

Michael Shepherd
President, IABC Orange County

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