As I write to you to introduce myself, I can’t help but reflect on all that happened in 2020 and what’s taken place thus far in 2021. I see how these events have put a spotlight on the importance of – and the power of – communication, and the critical work we do in our profession. That’s why I’m glad we are all part of IABC and have access to the tools, resources and connections it provides.
The start of this year marks the beginning of my term as your IABC Philadelphia president. I’m grateful and excited for the opportunity to lead the chapter through 2022, following in the footsteps of our Immediate Past President Michael Smith.
Thanks to Michael, and the rest of the board members, we have a great foundation to build on over the next two years. And we will start with developing our goals. One thing you can count on being at the top of the list: Making sure you get the most out of your membership. Last fall, we issued a chapter survey and received some great feedback on programming and other topics, which we’ll incorporate into our planning. But we are always interested in learning more about how we can best serve you. What could we do differently to help you get the most “bang for your buck”? What is missing? What do you enjoy or appreciate that we should do more of?
For me, one of the main reasons why I am part of IABC is to connect with and learn from fellow communicators. My area of expertise happens to be internal communication, and I’d love to start chatting with others who work in or are responsible for this function and want to share ideas, talk about tools and resources, help each other through challenges and so on. Email me if you have any interest in joining an informal discussion group.
In terms of other ways to get the professional development we know you are seeking, we have a great lineup of virtual programming for you. Hopefully some of you participated in yesterday’s webinar about making virtual town halls more engaging. Here’s a preview of what to expect in the coming months:
- Tuesday, February 9 at 12 p.m.: Recreating the “Water Cooler” in Today’s Virtual Working Environment
- Wednesday, March 10 at 12 p.m.: How to Lead During Uncertain Times
- Wednesday, April 7 at 12 p.m.: Unleash the Power of Storytelling
Before I close out my message today, I’d like to take a moment to recognize my fellow board members. This team of experienced and dedicated leaders works hard to run our chapter and I am grateful for all they do.
- Rick Alcantara, President-Elect & VP, Communications
- Donna Cusano, VP, Programs
- Steve Lubetkin, VP, Technology
- Bill Meinel, VP, Sponsorships & Partnerships
- Michael Smith
A special thank you to Rick and the Communications committee, which includes Board Member-at-Large Matthew Taddei, Board Member Emeritus Bill Seiberlich and former board member Jocelyn Canfield, and a shout out to Donna and the Programs committee – Members-at-Large Matthew Taddei and Carrie Fite and Board Member Emeritus Elena Perri – for all their efforts. In addition, a note of appreciation to Cathy Toner, Heritage Region Board Member and our Chapter Liaison, as well as Board Member Emeritus Christine Kuhinka and Member-at-Large Genna Rubnitz.
If you haven’t already, I encourage you to connect with each of us on LinkedIn, and to follow the IABC Philadelphia LinkedIn page for the latest chapter news. We also have a redesigned website, which you should visit regularly for program and other information. Finally, if you are interested in volunteering to serve on a committee – or if you want to learn more about open board positions – please reach out.
I look forward to getting to know you this year, and to working with the great IABC Philly board to grow our chapter. Don’t hesitate to contact me any time if you have questions or feedback.
President, IABC Philadelphia