Each year, at our Annual General Meeting, IABC Manitoba elects the board of directors that will lead the year ahead. This year we welcomed in a fantastic team.

Some are returning board members with a wealth of experience leading our chapter, while others are new to IABC and full of energy and fresh ideas. All are talented leaders with a passion for community building.

Our returning board members, Jackie De Pape Hornick, SCMP, Antonietta Versace Oliveira, Brent Wennekes, Jill Harris, Stacey Ashley, Shruti Gupta, and Riley Malinowski have played a significant role in shaping our chapter over the past year and I am thankful for their continued expertise as we welcome new board members Ashlee Espenell, CMP, Sam Swanson, Marcus Benatti, Krystyl Harland, Evan Matthews, and Georgia Dalke.

You can learn more about them on our Board of Directors page (which will be updated throughout the summer), or follow us on Instagram to meet a new board member every Monday.

An exceptional leadership team

I have big shoes to fill as IABC Manitoba president. Working with Past Presidents Jackie De Pape Hornick, SCMP and Marjorie Huculak over the past few years has been a privilege and I continue to be thankful for their exceptional leadership. They have guided our chapter into a time of growing membership and increased professional development that I plan to build on.

We are excited to welcome Ashlee Espenell, CMP to our executive team. Even before she officially took on a leadership role with IABC, Ashlee had already begun to rally communications professionals toward certification and corporate membership. We are lucky to have her join us as vice-president.

We are also looking forward to welcoming Rob Wozney, SCMP to our team. He is joining the executive board in a newly developed Senior Advisor role, providing strategic leadership advice and helping us promote IABC Manitoba to senior communicators.

Connecting online and in-person

When I joined IABC Manitoba, I was looking for a community where I could grow and learn, a network of communications professionals who would inspire me to push myself toward new goals, and who would hopefully be able to answer my questions and provide advice when I came up against challenges in my day-to-day work.

IABC Manitoba has exceeded those expectations, helping me grow my leadership skills and inspiring me to advance my career.

You don’t have to look further than the six communicators who achieved their CMP/SCMP’s in June to know that this is a very talented, goal-oriented community. Next year, I’d like to grow that number from 6 to 12, and I’ve already started studying to include myself in that mix!

Right now, I’m feeling a lot of Zoom fatigue but at the same time I’ve seen huge value in connecting online for professional development. So while I look forward to meeting up with you for drinks and in-person conversation I expect we will still be hosting a few PD events online.

Our online events have allowed us to invite high-calibre international speakers to Manitoba. They have also allowed us to reach out to our wider Manitoba community, which is important to me because our organization represents communications professionals across the province, not just in Winnipeg.

I am personally doing a lot of work to understand my role in standing up for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. How can we use our role as communications professionals, as the voices of our organizations, to support others and make a stand? What are the nuances of language we need to be aware of? Where do we turn for resources and advice?

I know you are asking many of the same questions and I looking forward to asking them together, whether it’s by bringing in an expert speaker to share insights and resources, or meeting up for Table Talks, where a small group of communications professionals will gather around a single, important topic.

Focus Forward

We also have an exciting event to look forward to in October. Canada West Region Conference, October 25-27 promises to be an inspirational event for communications professionals looking for ways to make meaningful change.  The event is mostly online but we hope it will also include a special in-person activity for Manitoba communicators.

With restrictions lifting and Manitoba beginning to open up again I have high hopes that by the end of September we will be sitting around a table together, laughing, learning, and sharing stories.

Plans are being developed for a fantastic year, so watch your inboxes and follow us on social media. I am really looking forward to growing this dynamic community together