Where do you work? What is your role, including responsibilities and projects?
I am currently the Communications and Marketing Manager for Western International at Western University. I lead a small team responsible for communication strategy, digital and print marketing, web development and signature events. We support busy teams in international student services, international learning (exchange and study abroad etc.), as well as international relations and global engagement.
How long have you been an IABC member?
I have been an IABC member for 27 years. I am truly grateful for the years of learning, networking and support!
In your opinion, what are the benefits of being an IABC member? What resources or programs offered by IABC have you engaged in?
I have engaged in many programs and resources, including the former accreditation program, and subsequently the certification program, as well as courses, conferences and awards programs. What I have appreciated the most is the kind, knowledgeable colleagues in London who have been mentors and supporters throughout my career.
In addition, I’ve enjoyed volunteer roles on the IABC London Board, frequently as a judge for the Virtuoso Awards and occasionally for the Silver Leaf and Gold Quill awards. Like anything in life, I find that the more you put in, the more you receive in return. I encourage you to volunteer in some capacity and you’ll be happy you did.
What area(s) of communications are you passionate about?
I am passionate about a number of areas of communications, including brand strategy, digital and social media, and events. Regardless of the project, I’m passionate about having a solid communications strategy and key messages that ensure the project’s success.
Tell us about an important project or achievement from your career.
I’ve been fortunate to have many opportunities over the course of my career to make significant contributions. Most recently, I was seconded for seven months to work as project manager for Western’s strategic planning engagement process. Working with a core planning team and a committee of 36 faculty, staff, student, and alumni representatives, we engaged more than 3,000 people in consultations to develop the new strategic plan. Our team then developed the communication strategy to launch Towards Western at 150 in June 2021.
Are you involved in volunteer work or other roles in the community?
In the past, I have volunteered with my kids’ elementary school and with the Heart & Stroke Foundation. Currently, I am helping to support a grassroots group started by my neighbours to bring Ukrainian families to Canada.
Do you have any advice for those starting out in this field?
Get involved with IABC and be sure to take part in professional development (through IABC and elsewhere) that enables you to grow, connect with smart people and be inspired. Challenge yourself to try something new and stretch your boundaries – you never know where it might lead!
If you had to describe the communications profession in one word, what word would you choose?