Sandra King Webster, ABC, is celebrating 30 years as an IABC member this year, and her passion for the organization is as strong as ever. “I’ve worked in healthcare, in education, at an agency, I’ve run my own business, and I’m in financial services right now, and while I like moving around and trying new things, IABC has been a constant in my professional development,” she says. For the past 15 years, Sandra has been with London Life in various marketing and communications roles, and she is currently an associate manager in corporate communications.
Leadership and communications experience
Not only does Sandra believe she has benefited from attending IABC events and conferences, but she has also gained valuable leadership and communications experience by giving back to the organization serving on the board of IABC London, including a term as president, and also on the board for the Canada East Region.
IABC is more than PD events
Benefits of membership aren’t solely the professional development opportunities either. Sandra enjoys being connected to a vast network of contacts. “I’m loyal to IABC because it’s always been there for me. Whether I need to bounce ideas off of someone, or if I’m looking at creating a sponsorship program, IABC is a community of people and resources that have really supported me in my communications career.”
Despite a well-established career, Sandra continues to be involved and seizes opportunities as they present themselves. Recently, Sandra participated as a judge for the international IABC Gold Quill Awards. “You’re seeing what other people are doing in other countries, and you’re learning from that and whether there’s anything you can take away and apply to your own organization.”
Resources for job opportunities and guest speakers
Being involved with IABC has also led to some job opportunities for Sandra. Years ago, through her contacts, she heard of an opportunity to teach in Public Relations – Corporate Communications graduate certificate program at Fanshawe College. While teaching in the program, Sandra encouraged students to become members of IABC, and used the PD events as opportunities to meet possible guest speakers or find new case studies for the classroom.
“One challenge we’re all facing is trying to balance work and life,” says Sandra. “We’re trying to live more of a balanced lifestyle with family, work, friends, and fitness. It’s always been a challenge, and being active with IABC might seem too much. But I would encourage anyone who is pursuing a career in communications to really look at getting involved in IABC. There’s so much that comes from a membership in IABC, and I would recommend people get started by going to meetings and to conferences, but even more, to volunteer, to give back.”