Meet March’s featured Member, Angela Abdallah.
Q. Where do you work? What is your role, including responsibilities and projects?
A. I have been with Amway Canada Corporation for 38 years, having started in the mailroom on a 30-day temporary assignment. I had the privilege of working in a number of departments over the years and was given so many wonderful opportunities to grow and develop. In the mid-80s, I took on a communications role in the marketing department. Over the years, we grew communications to the point that it became a stand-alone department and, in 2001 I was promoted to a management role, responsible for communications, public relations, and government affairs.
In 2011, the marketing and communications departments were brought back together under one umbrella. As National Marketing Manager I am responsible for the development and implementation of strategies that support the Amway business opportunity and its key product brands, NUTRILITE® vitamins and dietary supplements, and ARTISTRY® skincare and cosmetics.
In addition to the product portfolio, I oversee management of our Canadian website, the development of all support materials, communication to our independent business owners, social media, digital marketing, advertising, sponsorships, and corporate social responsibility (CSR).
Q. How long have you been an IABC member?
A. I’m happy to be celebrating 25 years as an IABC member! (And trust me,those 25 years flew by!)
Q. In your opinion, what are the benefits of being an IABC member? What resources offered by IABC have you taken advantage of?
A. I credit IABC for much of my success as a communicator. When I became an IABC member, I immediately got involved as a volunteer and shortly thereafter joined the Board of Directors. Through the monthly professional development programs and the leadership opportunities provided by IABC, I was able to build the skills and confidence I needed to grow in my career.Over-and-above launching the Virtuoso Awards in 1994, I have to say that serving as Chair of the IABC/London Board in the mid-90s was definitely a highlight for me. Those friendships have stood the test of time and have provided me with a wonderful team of experts on whom I can call at any time to brainstorm ideas or seek advice. The other highlight of my IABC experience was going through the process to become an accredited business communicator (ABC). To test your knowledge against an international standard can be nerve-wracking but the end result is very reaffirming and a testament to our profession.
Q. What area(s) of communications are you passionate about?
A. I’m a firm believer in the importance of solid strategy to support the communication function. No matter your budget or the elaborate design of your materials, if you don’t have a strategic plan that address what you are trying to achieve and how you will measure success, you may be spinning your wheels. I’m also a firm believer – as I think are all IABC members – in the importance of ethical communication. As we watch what’s happening on the world stage today, with “fake news” seeming to challenge the integrity of journalism and people not knowing what to believe, it is up to each and every professional communicator to push back, ask questions, seek clarity, and call out those who aren’t telling the truth.
Q. Tell us about an important project or achievement from your career.
A. I have to say that, of all of the areas for which I am responsible, sponsorships have provided the most interesting and exciting opportunities for me. I have rubbed elbows with many celebrities and sports heroes over the years. Through our former partnership with Skate Canada, I had the pleasure of watching Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir work their way up the ranks to become Canada’s first Olympic Gold Medalists in Ice Dance in 2010.
I have also had the privilege through Amway’s 30-year association with Easter Seals Canada of being inspired by many wonderful young people who haven’t let their physical disabilities stop them from enjoying life to the fullest. As a national sponsor of the Easter Seals Drop Zone, I used that inspiration to give me the courage over the years to rappel down skyscrapers to raise money for the cause!
Q. Are you involved in volunteer work or other roles in the community?
A. I support a number of organizations, including Junior Achievement of London & District (London Business Hall of Fame committee), the United Way (2016/17 Cabinet), Easter Seals (Drop Zone participant for the London event all five years), and Jesse’s Journey. I firmly believe that we can all make a difference in our communities. It’s all about finding a cause for which you are passionate and then figuring out how best to support that cause. What you get out of that experience will be worth far more than you put into it.
Q. Do you have any advice for students, future communicators or those starting out in this field?
A. If you’re not already an IABC member, I strongly encourage you to become one and to take on a volunteer role. You will learn so much through your association with IABC. I also encourage you to get involved in the community. There are so many different charities that would love to take advantage of your communication skills to help drive their agendas. And embrace life-long learning because, despite what you think you know, there is always more to learn!
Q. What do you like the best about your profession?
A. I have always had a great love for the English language so finding a career that put that love to good use was the icing on the cake for me. As communicators, we are able to take an idea and bring it to life. We can use words and images to impact decisions. And when done strategically, we are able to measure the success of our efforts to show value to our stakeholders.
Q. How can people connect with you on social media?
A. Twitter handle: @MillPondWoman