Timeline of IABC’s History

Apollo 13 makes safe landing after explosion in the capsule

World population: 3,692,492,000

1970 The American Association of Industrial Editors and the International Council of Industrial Editors merge to form IABC.

Executive Director: Geraldine T. Keating; Chairman: William G. Irby

Cigarette smoking in public buildings banned. 1971 IABC publishes the Journal of Organizational Communications and IABC News.

Chairman: John J. McGovern

Equal Pay Act increases salaries for women in the U.S. and U.K. 1972 Chairman: Donald B. McCullough
Arab oil-producing states impose an embargo, resulting in an energy crisis 1973 Executive Director: John N. Bailey, ABC; Chairman: Jerome R. Blackstone
U.S. Watergate scandal erodes trust in elected leaders. U.S. ERISA law requires company disclosure of employee information 1974 IABC launches its accreditation program; 41 members receive their “ABC.”

Corporate Communicators Canada becomes the first IABC district outside the U.S.

Claude Taylor receives the first Excellence in Communication Leadership (EXCEL) Award.

Chairman: William F. Herr, ABC

IABC Montréal established

The last U.S. troops leave Vietnam.

Microsoft Corp. is founded.

1975 An IABC Profile survey finds a 40% increase in organizational spending on communication over three years.

Chairman: Richard G. Charlton, ABC

Apple Computer is founded. 1976 Chairman: Patricia Walker O’Neil, ABC

IABC Ottawa established (originally IABC Capitale)

Egyptian President Anwar Sadat is the first Arab leader to visit Israel. His visit leads to a treaty between Egypt and Israel in 1979. 1977 IABC adopts the Code of Ethics. Chairman: Jacob W. Wittmer, ABC
1978 IABC membership surpasses 5,000. Without Bias: A Guidebook for Nondiscriminatory Communication sells 43,000 copies.

Chairman: Rae Leaper, ABC

IABC Orange County fully established IABC Saskatchewan established

Japan introduces the first cell phone network. 1979 IABC/UK becomes the 100th chapter, and the first outside North America. IABC accredited membership reaches 250.

Chairman: Louis C. Williams, ABC

IABC London, Ontario, established.

CNN launches the first 24-hour news channel. Voters in Quebec reject a move to separate from Canada.

World population: 4,434,682,000

1980 IABC membership reaches 8,000. Chairman: Lynda J. Stewart, ABCh

Chicago Association of Business Communicators becomes IABC Chicago

AIDS is identified.

IBM introduces the personal computer.

AT&T is dissolved for violating U.S. antitrust laws

1981 IABC Research Foundation is formed to build a research-based body of knowledge; Lynda J. Stewart, ABC, is chairman.

Gold Quill entries reach a record of 4,000.

Chairman: Roy G. Foltz, ABC

A quick PR response to the series of fatal Tylenol poisonings helps Johnson & Johnson avoid a public relations disaster. 1982 IABC membership reaches 10,000, having doubled in four years, in 110 chapters.

Communication World magazine is launched.

Chairman: Thomas A. Ruddell, ABC, RF Chairman: Richard Charlton, ABC

1983 Chairman: Albert B. Wann, ABC

IABC Philippines becomes first chapter in Asia

IABC Saskatchewan splits into IABC Regina and IABC Saskatoon.

Apple releases the Macintosh computer. The Union Carbide plant explosion in Bhopal, India, kills thousands and underscores the importance of crisis planning. 1984 IABC establishes the Asia/Pacific, Europe/Africa and Americas regions in order to grow internationally. IABC switches its accounting system from cash to an accrual basis, resulting in the creation of a US$800,000 deficit.

Chairman: Myra L. Kruger, ABC; RF Chairman: Louis Williams, ABC; President: Norman G. Leaper, ABC

1985 An IABC Profile study reveals a major shift among membership since 1970 from editors to managers/directors.

Chairman: Christopher H. Bunting, ABC

IABC Orange County named Chapter of the Year

1986 IABC Research Foundation publishes “The Velvet Ghetto,” a study on the impact of women in the communication profession, and launches the Excellence study to identify the characteristics of excellent communication as related to organizational success.

Chairman: Robert M. Berzok, ABC

“Black Monday” stock market crash surpasses the 1929 crash as the biggest in U.S. history 1987 IABC’s first international conference outside North America draws members from 26 countries to London.

Chairman: Jean G. Cormier RF Chairman: Wilma Mathews, ABC

1988 Communication World wins the first of many Maggie Awards from the Western Publishing Association.

Chairman: Sharon A. Paul, ABC

The Berlin Wall falls, signaling the end of communism in Eastern Europe.

The Exxon Valdez oil spill becomes a case study in ineffective crisis management.

1989 The IABC deficit is eliminated.

Chairman: Brad Whitworth, ABC

IABC Orange County is Chapter of the Year.

Iraq invades Kuwait, precipitating the Persian Gulf War in 1991.

World population: 5,263,593,000

1990 Chairman: Ron E. Martin, ABC

RF Chairman: Frederic I. Halperin, ABC

Apartheid is abolished in South Africa.

The Soviet Union officially dissolves.

The U.S. experiences a recession.

1991 IABC/Southern Africa is chartered as part of the Europe/Africa region. Chairman: Lester Potter, ABC

First executive board meeting held in Latin America in Mexico City in February 1991

The Maastricht Treaty leads to the formation of the European Union. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is signed. 1992 Excellence in Public Relations Management is published. Chairman: George B. McGrath; RF Chairman: Carolyn A. Douglas

IABC Regina named International Chapter of the Year

Bill Clinton inaugurated as U.S. President 1993 Chairman: Marcia P. Vaughan, ABC

IABC South Carolina chapter established

“I attended my first World Conference in Chicago. That conference changed my perspective on what I thought my career could be. The following year I became president of the Fort Worth (TX) chapter. I have continued to be involved because of the lifelong friends I’ve made and how IABC boosted my confidence in what I could achieve.” —Robin McCasland, SCMP

The U.S. government privatizes the Internet. 1994 CW focuses on internationalism and poses the question, “Print: Road Kill on the Information Superhighway?”

Chairman: Ruta G. Skelton, ABC; RF Chairman: Maire Simington; President: David Paulus

The growing internet fuels globalization and commerce, and makes communication instantaneous. 1995 IABC launches its website; membership surpasses 12,000. Chairman: Michael F. Heron; President: Elizabeth Allan, ABC
Mad cow disease hits the U.K. 1996 Chairman: Donald R. Bruun, ABC RF Chairman: Vicci L. Rodgers
Control of Hong Kong returns to China. Asia experiences economic crises when Japan raises its national consumption tax. 1997 IABC web site surpasses 1 million hits.

Chairman: John D. Finney

RF Chairman: Barbara Puffer, ABC 

“I joined IABC in 1997 at the Los Angeles conference, right after getting my first communications job. Never looked back.” —Michael Deas, ABC, SCMP, IABC Nashville

Google internet search engine is launched. 1998 Chairman: Brenda C. Siler; RF Chairman: Charles Pizzo

First Person of Color elected to chair IABC

Marc Kasky sues Nike in a case that examines free speech vs. deceptive PR. 1999 IABC membership reaches nearly 14,000. Chairman: David P. Seifert, ABC; RF Chairman: David C. Kistle, ABC

IABC passes first dues increase in 10 years.

IABC Victoria (AU) established (by Jo Curkpatrick). IABC NSW in Sydney established (by Meryl David)

U.S. dot-com collapse causes a record one-year drop in stock market value. AOL (America Online) and Time Warner form the largest corporate merger.

World population: 6,070,581,000

2000 IABC incurs a net loss of more than US$1 million, the largest in four consecutive years, which results in a US$564,000 deficit.

Chairman: Charles Pizzo; RF Chairman: John Gerstner, ABC

September 11th attacks in the U.S. kill more than 3,000 and cause worldwide fear of terrorism. U.S. invades Afghanistan in retaliation.

The euro becomes legal tender in many European countries.

2001 IABC deficit grows to nearly US$1.3 million.

 The 500 Club is established.

Julie Freeman, ABC, becomes president, replacing interim president Louis Williams, ABC.

Chair: John G. Clemons, ABC; RF Chair: Tamara L. Gillis, ABC

“My first World Conference in NYC”  —Connie Mayse, IABC Chicago

Enron, WorldCom and other corporate scandals dominate the news; U.S. Sarbanes-Oxley Act forces strict corporate reporting requirements. 2002 Research Foundation completes more than 16 studies and reports in five years; the IABC Job Centre is created.

Chair: Annette M. Martell, ABC; RF Chair: Warren E. Bickford, ABC

U.S. invades Iraq.

SARS outbreak spreads from Asia to North America and Europe.

2003 IABC posts its first profit since 1996. Cisco’s MyComm web-based planning tool is launched.

Chair: Stephanie M. Griffiths, ABC

RF Chair: Katherine “Kit” Jenkins, ABC

Terrorists bomb trains in Madrid, Spain.

A devastating tsunami kills 270,000 people in Indonesia and Southeast Asia.

2004 CW develops Asia/Pacific special report.
Chair: David C. Kistle, ABC

RF Chair: Gloria Walker, ABC

“I became the 1st ABC in South Carolina in 2004” —Michael Deas, ABC, SCMP, IABC Nashville

Hurricane Katrina batters America’s Gulf Coast, killing thousands and destroying communities.
London hit by four suicide bombers, killing 53.
2005 Chair Warren Bickford, ABC
12 die in Sago Mine disaster in West Virginia.

Former Enron executives found guilty.

Saddam Hussein receives death sentence. Iraq insurgent al-Zarqawi killed. War in Lebanon.

Nuclear saber-rattling in Iran, North Korea.

2006 Chair Glenda Holmes, ABC

IABC Districts reorganization into regions

Subprime mortgage crisis begins, leading to the global financial crisis of 2008. 2007 Chair Todd Hattori, ABC, IABC Fellow

IABC Netherlands chapter established

“My first IABC speaking gig at IABC Heritage Region conference. “Using Appreciative Inquiry as an Employee Communication tool” in Cincinnati.” — Connie Mayse, IABC Chicago

Stock market crash leads to global recession 2008 Chair Barbara Gibson, ABC
2009 Extensive research into member needs and preferences, revealing the hunger for content, that later informed the moves to strengthen the online access to content that started, during this term, with the initial digitization of Communication World archives.

Chair Mark Schumann, ABC, IABC Fellow

Deepwater Horizon oil rig explodes in the Gulf of Mexico.

World population: 6,900,000

2010 Chair Shelley Bird, ABC

IABC Montreal mid-size chapter of the year.

First Heritage Regional Conference.

Massive, devastating tsunami hits Japan.
Osama Bin Laden killed.
2011 Career Road Map committee forms, and develops the Global Standard, which becomes the foundation for future IABC programs.

IABC Montreal mid-size chapter of the year.

Chair: Adrian Cropley, ABC, SCMP

Hurricane Sandy hits the east coast of the U.S. 2012 Chair Kerby Meyers

Carlos Fulcher, CAE, is hired as new executive director.

IABC accreditation program sunsets and work begins on developing content for the new Communication Management Professional (CMP) and Strategic Communication Management Professional (SCMP) exams, under the new Global Communication Certification Council.

IABC begins overhaul of technology infrastructure.

Chapter task force and survey IABC brand task force launched.

Chair: Robin McCasland, SCMP

“Dare to Lead Conference in Edmonton. My first IABC event. I heard Robin McCasland speak and left a funny note in her journal!”—Jonathan Tremblay

2014 Global Communication Certification Council officially launches.

Chair: Russell Grossman, ABC

IABC Ottawa wins International Chapter of the Year

China emerges as the world’s largest economy.

The Greek debt crisis

2015 The IABC Global Communication Certification Council launches Communication Management Professional (CMP) certification program and new IABC brand at 2015 World Conference. IABC focuses on the Strategic Adviser segment within IABC’s Career Road Map. Permanent Open Call structure for international committees established. Comprehensive member survey launched and a re-introduction of member-only content on www.iabc.com. IABC operations shift to 100% virtual.

The IABC brand task force, aligned with board and staff, launches the new (current) IABC brand.

 IABC Great Plains holds first Communicate Stronger Conference

IABC Victoria president receives Chair Award

APAC Region re-launches

IABC Victoria surpasses 200 members to become a large chapter

Chair: Michael Ambjorn, SCMP, Executive Director: Carlos Fulcher, CAE, MBA

2016 IABC receives Platinum rating from GuideStar.

Global spotlight on IABC Code of Ethics Re-established the IABC Foundation Chair: Dianne Chase

Executive Director: Stephanie Doute, CAE

IABC Wellington president receives Chair’s Award

IABC APAC chair receives Regional Leader of the Year.

Time magazine names the #MeToo movement’s “silence breakers” its “Person of the Year” 2017 First senior-level certification exam at World Conference results in 13 professionals globally earning the SCMP designation.

For the first time since 2011, IABC ends 2016 fiscal year in the black.

Listening tour across all IABC regions establishes new vision, purpose, values and value proposition. Lead by Sharon Hunter, SCMP, and Ginger Homan, ABC, SCMP

IABC APAC re-launches its regional conference, “Fusion” in Singapore

IABC India chapter established. IABC Toronto turns 75.

IABC Orange County receives Mid-Size Chapter of the Year.

GCCC launches the Strategic Communication Management Professional (SCMP) certification.

Chair: Sharon Hunter, SCMP

Executive Director: Stephanie Doute, CAE

Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi is murdered in the Saudi embassy in Istanbul, prompting discussion on the safety of journalists and the state of free speech. 2018 World Conference in Montreal, showing growth again in attendance, with new elements such as Open Space.

Gulf chapter is first chapter in the Middle East.

Chair: Ginger D. Homan ABC, SCMP Executive Director: Stephanie Doute, CAE

IABC adopts Diversity & Inclusion policy as well as Code of Conduct, with a goal to achieve more diversity at all levels of association.

“I became the 1st SCMP in Nashville!” —Michael Deas, ABC, SCMP, IABC Nashville

IABC Western Australia established.

APAC Region’s Fusion conference breaks previous attendance records.

IABC Wellington Outstanding year (Multiple CMAs and Chapter Leader of the year)

IABC Victoria surpasses 300 members for first time.

Business Acumen Certificate added to IABC Academy.

IABC ends 2018 in the black for the third year in a row.

U.K. expected to leave the European Union, according to Brexit vote. 2019 IABC Foundation presents the first scholarships for certification.

IABC Foundation sponsors research on strategic alignment and artificial intelligence.

New IABC website launched, along with online chapter management tool.

World Conference in Vancouver sells out.

Chair Victoria Dew, SCMP

IABC 2019 Greater Cincinnati 40th anniversary

IABC London, Ontario, Ruby Jubilee
IABC Victoria turns 20.
IABC NSW turns 20.

IABC Gulf Chapter established.

2020 IABC turns 50.

 IABC British Columbia turns 40.

IABC Toronto ‘s 35-year anniversary of Ovation Awards Program