Where do you work? What is your role, including responsibilities and projects?
I am currently the Director of Communications at Chatham-Kent Health Alliance. I have been in this role for 5 years and with the organization for 11 years. My role includes managing the communications team and focusing on corporate and strategic communications, media relations, internal and external events, community engagement and most recently managing all pandemic communications. This included being part of the Vaccination team for the community vaccination roll out.
How long have you been an IABC member?
I have been a member for almost a year. When I was at Fanshawe I was a student member and loved the experience and am glad I am part of IABC at this point in my career.
In your opinion, what are the benefits of being an IABC member? What resources or programs offered by IABC have you engaged in?
There are many benefits, and I am still learning about all of them. I have participated in many of the webinars offered and have learned new tools and ideas through this opportunity. I have had the opportunity to be an evaluator for the Virtuoso Awards and loved this experience! I was able to read about so many wonderful communications initiatives that are taking place around our region.
What area(s) of communications are you passionate about?
For me, I’m most passionate about internal communications and media relations. I have learned working in healthcare that transparency is the most important aspect of communications, and we strive to be transparent in everything we communicate.
Tell us about an important project or achievement from your career.
It’s hard to think about anything pre-pandemic! During the pandemic, we have worked so hard to provide timely and transparent communications to our organization and community. We know this is important and people are looking to us for their information. We had done so much (and continue to) during the first year of the pandemic that we created an infographic to capture it all. When I look at that piece, I am shocked and proud at how much we accomplished during a very short and stressful time in our lives.
Are you involved in volunteer work or other roles in the community?
I love my community and try to volunteer when I can. Currently, I am a Director with the Chatham-Kent Public Library and the Chatham-Kent Chamber of Commerce. I am also a member of ComeTogetherCK. I am a reviewer for the Trillium Grant Foundation and the CK Together Grant Committee. I was heavily involved with our local Rotary Club and am Past President. If I had more time, I would volunteer more – Chatham-Kent is such a great place to live and work.
Do you have any advice for those starting out in this field?
My advice is to volunteer and get involved in your community. Some of my best opportunities came to me because of my volunteer roles. It helps you connect and network with people from all different walks of life and disciplines. Also – ask questions and reach out to people you think would be a good mentor for your career. I love hearing from new grads and people looking to get into the field. I love sharing my ideas and also learning from them as well.
If you had to describe the communications profession in one word, what word would you choose?
How can members connect with you?
I am happy to hear from members and would love to connect more.
Feel free to reach me at my personal email firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 519-359-3172
I am active and love using Twitter! You can follow me @fanav