By Will Tigley, Past President, IABC/Calgary

Sometimes it takes a decade to win big. This was the case for IABC/Calgary when our chapter came home with the International Chapter of the Year award from the annual IABC Leadership Institute.

Driven by a set of Calgary chapter leaders who were actively pursuing the award over a course of four years, it was great to see our efforts come to fruition when IABC/Calgary was announced as the winner. For Kathleen Bell, Jennifer de Vries and Sheila Carruthers it was a glorious moment for the Past Presidents who set their sights on proving our chapter and the leaders who run it were worthy of this award.

While I was unable to attend in-person as the sitting President for the chapter, with even just the chance to win this award, I made sure I was at least tuning in via Facetime (thank you, Jennifer Wah).

The last time IABC/Calgary was recognized for this award was in 2007 and for me, as a leader of the chapter, winning International Chapter of the Year, symbolized a lot for our local association.

Validation – Having served on the Calgary Board of Directors for multiple years, you become passionate for the work it takes to manage the chapter. Winning this award is a testament of the effort and love multiple Communications leaders put into running a well-managed Chapter.

Celebration – Last year was IABC/Calgary’s 50th anniversary, so earning this award was strategically timed to ensure our chapter was eligible to receive it. Looking back on 50 years of communications in our city, knowing we have award-winning communicators and an award-winning chapter is something to be proud of.

Recognition – Calgary is one of the largest IABC chapters in the world and so as leaders we try to hold our association up to be the standard for the international organization. We have built a strong communications industry in Calgary and we are blown away that others around the world have taken note.

2016-17 Chapter of the Year
The 2016/17 IABC/Calgary Board with their Chapter Management Awards

It’s not easy applying for the IABC Chapter Management Awards. To assess your entire organization, summarize the notable work being accomplished and organize it into an application takes a dedicated team of volunteers and leaders.

We know what it takes to put together an award-winning application and this year, as last year’s winner, we get to take part in the judging process. Applications for this year’s awards are scheduled to end next week and once submission is closed, Calgary gets to review the entries for the best managed chapters around the world.

It will be an exciting opportunity and in the coming weeks we may be reaching out to our members to help us in the effort of reviewing an expected 70 applications in multiple categories like Strategic Planning, Leadership Development and Communication Management.

If you’re free in December and want to help us judge these entries from all over the world and discover how the best chapters are managed, drop our Professional Standards portfolio and email at

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