If you’re looking for a way to explore the “I” in “IABC” and expand your knowledge about the organization, consider applying for a volunteer position with an international committee. The IABC Nominating Committee is seeking candidates to serve on its international committees. Deadline to submit a completed online application is Monday, March 6 by 5:00 p.m. EST.

From ethics to awards to education, the contribution by our CWR peers serving on this year’s committees is diverse. Some of the effort you will have noticed this year, including:

Other activities are behind the scenes, including dealing with ethical issues, the nominating of IABC Fellows and the steering of the Global Communication Certification Council (GCCC).

“In general, I have researched and advised on issues raised by members,” says Romany Rzechowicz, CMP (IABC/Calgary), who sits on the association’s Ethics Committee. “I’ve helped to develop recommendations to the International Executive Board and provided input to ongoing Code of Ethics discussions to ensure it stays relevant to members.”

A past Gold Quill recipient, Nadine Pettman, ABC (Member at Large, CWR) now sits on the Awards Committee and participates in the planning of the program. “I have been working primarily on the Gold Quill communications plan, which we’ve updated and broadened.”

A member for more than 25 years, IABC/Calgary member Allison MacKenzie, ABC, MC, Professor, Faculty of Business and Communication Studies, Mount Royal University took her existing skills set as an educator to work with the Academy Committee. “During my two years with the committee, we’ve developed 10 courses aimed at the communications manager level, launched a new learning management system, and supported the development and launch of new online courses.”

The work is diverse and the committees are small. So if you’re applying, ensure you can give the time. These committees expect their members to roll-up their sleeves to get things done.

“There are great learning and networking opportunities to be gained,” says Kellie Garrett, ABC, MC, IABC Fellow, ICD.D, ACC (IABC/Regina), who sits on the IABC Fellows Committee and has helped determine criteria for selecting Fellows, review Fellow applications and determine new Fellows.

Sue Heuman, ABC, Principal, Focus Communications (IABC/Edmonton), who sits on the GCCC, agrees. “Getting involved at the international level gives you the opportunity to really understand the global nature of communication. You can “meet” people from around the world (meetings are conducted by teleconference) and better understand the challenges we face as communicators.”

Says Romany, “Some previous volunteering experience really does help in knowing how to balance your priorities and stay motivated, and experience volunteering at a local board level with IABC is also useful to really understand IABC’s membership; the people you are serving through the committee.”

For Anna Marie Willey, ABC, MC, IABC Fellow (IABC/Regina), volunteering with the Fellows Committee is the culmination of a long-history of serving and volunteering with the organization. “In the past, I have served in other capacities at the international level including the IABC Academy, World Conference Program Advisory Committee, Blue Ribbon Panels, Chair, Accreditation Council, Co-chair Career Roadmap Committee, and have assisted with the Global Communication Certification Process. This year, I assist with the scheduling and content alignment of the monthly Circle of Fellows podcasts, with editorial content aligned with the international Editorial Committee. I am also interested in the area of mentorship development at our chapter level and look to engage Fellows and others in this process.”

If you’re convinced, I’m pleased and encourage you to apply. Here’s what the Council of Regions committee will be asked to assess, when they examine your application:

  • Does the applicant have an international perspective? Whether you have lived, travelled or worked in an international environment, this information holds a lot of weight, so make sure you mention your international experience.
  • Does the applicant know and understand IABC? Having experience volunteering with your local chapter or regional board gives you a great introduction to IABC and a leg-up on other applicants.
  • Does the applicant have relevant experience for the committee to draw on? Having editorial experience will help you apply to the Editorial Committee, while being a Gold Quill winner like Nadine will help you if you’re interested in the Awards Committee. Align your experience to the committee you can best serve.
  • Does the applicant have the time to make a contribution? As Anna says, “When making a volunteer commitment, it is important to be realistic about the time available given family and work obligations. This varies for everyone and changes over the course of an individual’s career.”

The deadline to apply to work on an international committee is Monday, March 6, 2017.  Submit a completed online application by 5:00pm EST. Find out more here.

If you’d like to volunteer with your home chapter, or with the CWR region, this is the time of year when each Board begins recruiting for their board of director positions.

Thank you to everyone from the Canada West Region who volunteers for IABC’s committees and especially the people who participated in the article:

Ethics Committee – Romany Rzechowicz, CMP (IABC/Calgary)

Awards Committee – Nadine Pettman, ABC (Member at Large, Canada West Region)

Fellows Committee – Kellie Garrett, ABC, MC, IABC Fellow, ICD.D, ACC (IABC/Regina)

Fellows Committee – Anna Marie Willey, ABC, MC, IABC Fellow (IABC/Regina)

IABC Academy – Allison MacKenzie, ABC, MC (IABC/Calgary)

GCCC – Sue Heuman, ABC (IABC/Edmonton)

Jennifer Wah, ABC, MC, IABC/Fellow (IABC/BC)


Investment Committee — Brooke Klassen; Awards Committee – Kirk Grayson (IABC/BC); PAC – Celine Richter (IABC/Calgary); Ethics Committee – Tyler Hopson (IABC, Regina)

By Kathleen Bell, ABC, Past Chair, IABC Canada West Region (CWR)

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