Congratulations to Judith Sparkes, ABC MC, recently named one of IABC Canada’s Master Communicators. Judith served as president of IABC/Calgary from 2009 to 2010 and is currently Chair of the IABC Academy Committee.
The general manager of communications at Suncor Energy, she has over 25 years’ experience working in a variety of sectors – government, non-profit and corporate – and disciplines within communications and human resources.
Judith has been guest speaker, lecturer and presenter at various conferences and instructs in Mount Royal University’s continuing education faculty in the public relations certificate program.
By Sandy Gough
What was your reaction when you heard you were named one of the 2018 IABC Canada Master Communicators?
I was thrilled and honoured. The whole process was deeply humbling and rewarding. It was an interesting exercise reviewing all the nomination materials – a kind of “retrospective” of my career (although it’s far from over!), which highlighted accomplishments and impacts I didn’t fully appreciate. However, most of all, the process reminded me of the many great people that I have been blessed to work with, grow with and learn from throughout my career.
Is there one aspect of your career that you think brought you to the attention of the committee?
I don’t think so. They’re looking for people who are well rounded and demonstrate contributions in a number of areas.
How does receiving the Master Communicator designation help your communications career?
No question it helps you stand out. I think it’s recognition that you bring depth and breadth of expertise to the table, and hopefully that you’re a positive ambassador for our profession.
Has your involvement with IABC, and IABC/Calgary, been beneficial to your career?
Yes, absolutely. I joined IABC as a student and since then, it’s been an anchor in my career. As my career has progressed, IABC has filled different needs along the way – from great professional development, to providing opportunities to grow and stretch, to fostering a wonderful network of talented people. I would say it’s been absolutely pivotal in any “success” I have enjoyed. So from that perspective, I think belonging and contributing to IABC gives us a leg up, and we shouldn’t take it for granted.
What are you most proud of about receiving this designation?
It’s really special to be recognized by my peers, especially since I’ve grown up with some of these people!
A huge thank you to Judith for taking the time to respond to our questions! Learn more about the Master Communicator designation from IABC Canada.