What a night! Communicators from across Calgary gathered at this year’s volunteer recognition and year-end event at Centini on June 16. There we celebrated IABC/Calgary’s amazing volunteers and hears from dedicated communications representatives from the Red Cross discussing the importance of volunteers to the success of their organization.  It was a privilege to be joined by Courtney Wilson from Red Cross Calgary and Degsew Amanu from Red Cross Ethiopia.  It was both humbling and inspiring to learn about massive volunteer engagement efforts from Ethiopian Red Cross and the impact volunteers have had locally in Alberta, and abroad.

Following the presentations from the Red Cross, IABC/Calgary was honored to recognize our group of talented, dedicated volunteers by awarding the Long Standing Volunteer of the Year, New Volunteer of the Year, Student Volunteer of the Year and Volunteer of the Year.  It was particularly exciting this year to have nominees in each category, including multiple nominees in the Student category, one that just last year did not have a single nomination.

Recipients are nominated by our board directors before a judging committee assesses and recommends a recipient for each category. Nominees are assessed against specific criteria in each category which is as follows:

  1. The volunteer’s work made a significant contribution to the success of their portfolio.
  2. There is a long-term benefit of the volunteer’s contribution to our Chapter.
  3. The volunteer’s work contributed to the mission, vision and strategic direction of the Chapter.
  4. The volunteer made efforts to learn more about IABC, IABC/Calgary’s goals and strategies and how their efforts contribute to the Chapter’s success.

This year we had four outstanding recipients from a group of talented and deserving nominees. As our outgoing president, Sheila Carruthers, commented “Every nominee has been an exceptional volunteer. Each of them has made a significant and positive difference. On behalf of IABC/Calgary’s Board of Directors it is my pleasure to recognize them.”

This year’s award winners

Longstanding Volunteer of the Year: Diana Ward
Diana has been a volunteer since joining IABC/Calgary in 1992. She’s served on the board for a number of years and was chapter president in 2005/2006, setting us up for success in 2007 when our chapter won the highly coveted International Chapter of the Year Award.

During her term, the IABC/Calgary chapter grew its membership by 15 per cent and hosted the Canada Conference. That conference is a big reason why we continue to have the financial stability that we do today. Diana acts as a speaker and mentor for IABC/Calgary and is truly one of the most passionate IABC-ers you will meet. Diana has truly contributed to our chapter from day one and it was an honour to present her with this award.

New Volunteer of the Year: Ali Abel
Ali was a volunteer for the Member Communications portfolio as a regular web editor and content creator. Additionally, Ali rose to the challenge of creating a web writing style and user guide for the new website. Ali has earned a reputation for being quick to respond, and showed time and time again that she could be counted on.

She has also been such a voice of support for IABC/Calgary through her networking, social media and attendance at events. Ali continues to step-up, recently joining the board as incoming Director of Member Communications (Newsletter) for 2016/17.

Student Volunteer of the Year: Oriana Corradetti
Orianna is a third-year Mount Royal PR student and in her first year as an IABC/Calgary member, she stepped-up immediately to volunteer in a social media role in the Marketing portfolio.

As a busy student, Oriana’s level of commitment and perseverance is outstanding. The portfolio had some challenges this year and having her as a part of the team who has helped pull this area forward to where it is now is hard not to recognize. She always makes herself available to post on our social media and always brings her ideas, imagination and sense of humour to the role.

Volunteer of the Year: Carley Robertson
With many words of wisdom to give after previously volunteering under our Volunteer Services portfolio, Carley made a big impact when she re-joined us this year as Manager of Volunteer Services where she coordinates all of the recruitment, retention and recognition activities for our chapter with the assistance of a Volunteer Coordinator.

Her experience and insight into the central workings of this portfolio made the achievement of the portfolio’s objectives almost seem easy. Always engaged and taking initiative to improve processes and procedures, Carley’s efforts were critical in making sure the portfolio kept running smoothly. Her leadership, positive attitude and tremendous job matching the right volunteer to the right role has contributed greatly to our Chapter’s success.

Thank you IABC/Calgary volunteers!
The success of IABC/Calgary rests with our amazing volunteers. As incoming president, Will Tigley, commented, “Our volunteers are what make IABC/Calgary great. Everything that we offer that is of value to our members is due to the amazing contingent of engaged volunteers. Thank you to all of our dedicated, passionate volunteers who have made this past year memorable and successful. ”

We look forward to another amazing year when we start up again in September. We will be planning many exciting initiatives in celebration of IABC/Calgary’s 50th anniversary for the 2016/2017 board year and hope to welcome even more volunteers on board to help make this next year one to remember.

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