By Angela Anderson

Every year, dozens of volunteers help make IABC/Calgary’s programs and the chapter run smoothly, and ultimately serve our 400+ members. We strive to connect IABC members, develop strategic communicators, and advance the profession, working at the chapter level, but within a wider global community of professional communicators. This is no small task – and on behalf of the board of directors we thank each and every volunteer for helping to achieve our lofty goals.

As we have now wrapped up the year and are moving into a summer of planning, preparing and (a little) rest, it’s time to announce the Volunteers of the Year. This year we had some very strong nominations to choose from, and the appreciation really was evident, coming from each board member who nominated their top volunteers for the award categories. While it was certainly difficult to choose, the board voted on the recipients at our final board meeting in June, and we are very pleased to showcase these amazing individuals.

New Volunteer of the Year

For her role as Social Media Engagement Advisor, Natalie Bourgault is the recipient of this award, nominated by Rio Pisony, Director, Marketing.

This is just a portion of what Rio had to say about Natalie:

“Natalie is a branding and communications consultant in Calgary who joined IABC/Calgary in March 2019 after working with the Marketing team throughout the fall/winter. She’s done a spectacular job with bringing a consistent look and feel to IABC/Calgary’s Careerline and Bidline social media promotions and took on a big project this year with the rebranding of Transform. She took on the projects without hesitation and when things did get busy for her leading up to the conference, she asked for help with writing and posting social media content—a truly unique skill among any volunteer.

“Her fresh design input has really ignited the ‘feel’ of IABC/Calgary’s brand and helped us stand apart from other communication associations and IABC chapters.”

Longstanding Volunteer of the Year

For her role as Mentor and Mentorship Thought Leader on the IABC/Calgary Mentorship Team (Career Services), Diana Ward is the recipient of this award, nominated by Michelle MacPherson, Co-Director, Career Services.

This is what Michelle had to say about Diana:

“Diana is a long-standing IABC member and a dedicated volunteer for 20+ years, serving in multiple roles with IABC/Calgary – from chapter president to mentor. Currently, Diana brings a wealth of experience, energy and enthusiasm to the IABC/Calgary Mentorship team and has been instrumental in expanding our professional development offering and programming for the 2018-2019 mentorship cohort. A seasoned senior communicator, Diana is a certified leadership coach, change professional and passionate people leader. Diana is truly an asset to our IABC/Calgary chapter and communications community.

“Further, Diana has been instrumental in expanding our professional development offering for the mentorship cohort – recruiting two excellent guest speakers (pro-bono) for both the Mentorship Kickoff event in November 2018 and the Mentorship Wrap-up event in May 2019. This was a new PD component introduced to the IABC/Calgary Mentorship portfolio in 2018-2019, to complement the networking format of these events. Both sessions – 5 Ways We Hold Ourselves Back from The Career Success We Crave with leadership coach Stephanie Pollock, and The Latest Trends in Human Capital with Deloitte’s Susanne Dicocco – were both well-received by participants as a value-add to the Mentorship program experience.

“Notably, Diana has served as a mentor with the program over the past few years. The fact that several of her previous mentees are returning participants in the program is a testament to the exceptional guidance she brings to the table year after year.”

Volunteer of the Year

For her role as Mentorship Program Manager on the IABC/Calgary Mentorship Team (Career Services), Julia Perkins, CMP is the recipient of this award, nominated also by Michelle MacPherson.

Here’s what Michelle had to say about Julia:

“Julia Perkins has been a member of IABC/Calgary since 2009 and a Communication Management Professional (CMP) with more than a decade of communications experience. Over the past few years, Julia has demonstrated ongoing dedication and enthusiasm in her role as Mentorship Program Manager with the IABC/Calgary Mentorship Program – where the program was recognized in 2017-2018 with an Award of Merit from the IABC Leadership Institute. In 2018-2019, Julia played an instrumental part in helping to build this key offering for members and has gone above and beyond in collaborating with the team in creating an exceptional experience for the mentorship cohort.

“Julia has volunteered with the IABC/Calgary Mentorship program from 2016-2019. Her work has truly made a positive impact on our local chapter and member experience overall.”

Once again, on behalf the board, we congratulate all of our volunteers, but especially our volunteer of the year award recipients. We look forward to another great year with IABC/Calgary!

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