By Will Tigley, IABC/Calgary Past President
I truly hope you enjoyed IABC/Calgary’s 50th year as much as I have. It was a pleasure to lead this organization that helped me develop my career and my identity as a communicator. It was a thrilling ride with great people, memorable moments and some great lessons.
As my final note as President, I’ve documented my Top 10 Greatest Hits in my tenure as Calgary’s leader.
- When an International Executive called me IABC’s Mascot.
As President, I decided I would increase my presence on social media and that meant posting and interacting on channels like Twitter. At international conferences like Dare to Lead, Leadership Institute and World Conference I met a ton of other communicators online and connected with many leaders. I try to be as fun as I am professional on my Twitter channel and it was nice to get noticed for the passion and energy I put out for IABC. Even if I’m seen as a bit of a cartoon.
- Hosting international guests.
Having built connections at an international level and with Calgary being one of the most prominent IABC chapters we got a lot of attention from leaders around the world. Some of them had the opportunity to visit Calgary this year and it was a point of pride for the Calgary Board and I to host them and share what we love about our city and our communications industry.
- Getting tipsy with Calgary members.
This year I started an informal drinks with the President that I tried to host at least once a month. It was primarily a number of members I connected with on Twitter or through my monthly member welcome e-mails. I find that when we want to connect with people, the best way to do it is by breaking bread with good food and the casual consumption of alcohol. It was nice to know IABC isn’t just professional development, but just fundamentally getting to know people in a cozy atmosphere. Full disclosure, I also got tipsy with International members too.
- Reconnecting with mentors.
IABC/Calgary has a strong mentorship program and it was fun to watch it grow. I remember being a new communicator and the members who introduced me to IABC were ultimately my first mentors. This year, taking a prominent role as President, it was absolutely amazing to reconnect with these members as the Chapters leader and be embraced by their support and approval. It finally made me feel like I arrived as a communicator and reinforced why I love this organization and why I chose to continue to give back as a volunteer.
- Attending Professional Development events. No one can fault Calgary for not having enough communications events. In some cases, even I feel we have too many to the point where I can’t get out to them all. However, when I do get to an event, not only am I surrounded by like-minded passionate communicators, but our team of volunteers have put on a great event with an inspiring topic or a workshop where I’m able to come away with some valuable knowledge that I can apply to my work during my day job.
- Witnessing our great volunteers first-hand.
IABC couldn’t operate without an army of dedicated volunteers. As President I got to meet many of them as they worked tirelessly to deliver our many programs and services to our members. The passion I saw every month was inspiring and was a constant reminder of why our Chapter is one of the strongest in the world. People want to give back to the organization and build our Chapter into one of the best and I’m convinced that will never stop.
- When I was present to see Calgary win International Chapter of the Year.
Thanks to the wonders of live-streaming from the phone of the Canada Western Region President, Jennifer Wah, I watched as Calgary won five Chapter Management Awards, then won Large Chapter of the Year and finally the International Chapter of the Year. I still wish I was there to fully make a scene worthy of Calgary, but being able to watch it live as the sitting President when the Chapter won this distinction was priceless. I’m so proud of the various Board teams who contributed to this amazing win.
- That time I was roasted by Mayor Nenshi at IABC/Calgary’s 50th. If you were not able to make it to our 50th Anniversary Gala in January, I hate to tell you, but it was epic. Great performances, a room of over 100 well-dressed communicators, and a celebration of our Chapter’s milestone anniversary. Oh and then to start off the evening Mayor Nenshi accepted my invitation to attend and proceeded to roast me on stage before showing love to communications and our professionals in the city. It was a moment (the communications love, not the roasting) that truly inspired our members who give back to our city in many different ways and make it a great place to live.
- Working with an outstanding Board team.
I’ve worked on multiple Boards and volunteer organizations and I can honestly say that IABC/Calgary is one of the best run groups I’ve had the pleasure of joining. Every one of the members sitting around our Board table is passionate about the organization and goes above and beyond to ensure our Chapter’s success. I could trust each and every one of them to deliver and they all did. It made my job easier and I can’t praise them enough for everything they did throughout the course of this year. If anyone ever considers volunteering at the Board level, I would highly recommend it because the people you surround yourself with are exceptional.
- Leaving a sustainable, well-run organization.
I’m sad to leave the leadership role of IABC/Calgary, but I’m confident with where it stands. We’re at a high point in our history with a lot of profile on us for our achievements as an award-winning, long-running, large communications Chapter in the world. As I move on to Past President, all the work that the team achieved last year will be carried on by another strong Board filled with high caliber communications professionals. I’m excited for what next year’s President Angela Anderson is bringing with her leadership and Board to our organization and you should all be excited as well. We’ve got momentum and we’re not slowing down. You’re going to love the journey we’re going to take you on for our next 50 years.
Thank you for allowing me to take the leadership role of this amazing organization. It was incredibly enjoyable and I think it’s because I did my best to make it a fun experience and I hope it showed and was felt by you, our membership. It’s bittersweet to move on, but I’m leaving the role with a reignited passion for the organization, so you can continue to expect to hear from me as a Past President and as a member.
You and everyone involved with this organization make this a great association to belong to and it’s what keeps me coming back year after year. I can’t wait to connect with everyone when we start back up in September.
Peace out, my amazing communicators!