Thank you everyone for your awesome response to our inaugural post of “The Prez Sez!” We loved your feedback on the question of gender and leadership, and can’t wait to stir up more conversation. BTW, Roland has fully recovered, ready for another round.

We sat down with Roland (and a cold beverage, cuz’ it’s a steamy Manitoba summer) to answer your burning questions. Want to put your IABC MB Prez on the hot seat? Tell us how in an email to!

Our top question is about the full-day IABC Manitoba strategic planning session. Did the Board survive a grueling Saturday? Anyone nod off?
The chapter board accomplished more than survival. We crafted a living document called #IABCMB1720, IABC/Manitoba’s three-year strategic plan! We are grateful to our chapter leaders for their input and to Canada West Region (CWR) Chair Catherine Ducharme for facilitating the session.

The exercise produced the strategic framework for chapter leaders to design their programs and service offerings for our members for the 17/18 Chapter year. It’s an exciting time to be an IABCMB member!

We heard a rumour that you pulled a snap-count Board meeting as part of the session. What was that all about?
Emergency board meetings are required in rare situations, but not an uncommon practice. The meeting was struck to fill a vacant board position, Director of Professional Development. Many thanks to the talented and dedicated Chris Allinotte! He is now Director of Professional Development and Sponsorship for the 17/18 Chapter year.

What was your ‘fave moment from the day?
Listening to members address their concerns and provide meaningful input to ways we can increase membership satisfaction were some of my favourite moments.

I can’t nail down just one moment because there were so many. Being my first official function as chapter President, I felt that it was an out of this world experience – I know I’m quite parmesan (cheesy).

I took in the day as best I could, because it will never happen again.

So IABC Manitoba now has a three-year strategic plan. Do you think that will help with Board retention, that members will want to see things through?
IABC’s organizational philosophy is to work in three year plans and the chapter has had three-year plans in the past. Because of time constraints and availability, the chapter, unfortunately didn’t have a chance to refresh the plan last year.

Moving forward, #IABCMB1720 will be part of our chapter narrative and identity. Having a common identity is important because it not only allows us to remember our past, but also provides direction on where we want to be.

I believe that having a three-year plan is a significant factor in retention and satisfaction. It creates a common connection. Not having shared values and understanding can result in high leadership turnover, especially in a volunteer association.

We’ve created something special, a story to assist in decision-making for the next three years.

All of our efforts will be to support the objectives in the plan. The narrative will be remembered throughout the year and revisited and refreshed every year until 2020.

You have a Master’s degree in PoliSci right? So let’s get political. Premier Brian Pallister ordered the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, rural RHAs, and all crown corporations to take a giant axe to their expenses. There’s been losses to jobs and services, and mass confusion. What’s the takeaway for communicators?
It’s a Master’s degree in History, specifically in Canadian Political History. I’m no specialist in Political Science, but I do have a professional understanding of public opinion.

Brian Pallister won a majority government of historic size a little over a year ago. Many commentators have stated that the last election was about change. A majority of Manitobans desired a change in direction in the province.

As communicators, the takeaway is the need to clearly articulate why changes are being made, what they look like, and what the goal of the changes are. Change can be unnerving for people, so communicators need to clearly articulate what the changes are and why in an effort to assuage any anxieties.

Ok, finishing off on the lighter side now. Name one new experience you had this summer.
This summer was a milestone in terms of my effort to improve my overall cardiovascular health. In August 2017, I ran my first 7.5km non-stop outdoors. Starting seriously in April of this year and turning things up over the summer months, I first conquered several 5km sessions on a weekly basis to get to where I am today. But it gets better. In the first week of September, I will up the stakes by running my first 10km. Never in my life had I ever thought that I would have desire to run, but I do now! I know, one looks at me and say, you don’t look like a runner and fair enough, I don’t – but gains can’t happen overnight.

We think you are looking great Roland. Congratulations on your achievements.