The Leadership Institute (LI) is an opportunity for IABC chapter, regional and international leaders to come together to share best practices and learn how to create programs and services that keep members active and involved. It’s a fantastic opportunity to network with fellow leaders, build strong relationships and learn new skills useful in your IABC position and beyond. LI is held in February of each year.

Register now for the 2019 Leadership Institute taking place from 7-9 February at the Hotel Maya in Long Beach, California.

There is still time to join us at the Hotel Maya in sunny Long Beach, California for the 2019 #IABCLI. Registration is open at the rate of US$199. LI will begin at 5pm PST on 7 February with the Welcome Reception and CMA Ceremony. Friday, 8 February will include a full day of leadership development sessions and networking with IABC leaders from around the world. LI will conclude on Saturday, 9 February at 1pm PST.

Register now

View the schedule at a glance

Design Experiences Your Members Love to Attend

  • Do you wish you had members eagerly showing up for your chapter meetings?
  • Are you tired of seeing the same faces at every meeting?

Join keynote speaker, Cynthia D’Amour, MBA, author of The Lazy Leader’s Guide to Outrageous Events, to learn how to design magnetic experiences that keep your members coming back.

You will learn how to:

  • Use the key elements today’s members are looking for in meetings
  • Deliver program promotions that make members want to attend
  • Create dynamic experiences members that keep members coming back again and again!

Together you’ll create a collection of meeting starters to use when you get back to your chapter.


Breakout sessions

Breakout sessions are designed for chapters to share their best practices and success stories, while creating thoughtful discussion among attendees and providing practical takeaways that leaders can easily implement in their own chapter. Four-five breakout sessions are held at a time, so that leaders can choose which session would be most valuable to them. We'll be adding session descriptions and the time of each session to Leader Centre soon, but below is a list of breakout sessions taking place at all.

Speaker bio's are available below the complete list of sessions.

Attendees can choose one of the following breakout sessions on Friday, 8 February: 

Session: IABC MasterMinds- Engaging the experienced chapter members
Speaker(s): Joanne Henry, SCMP and Susan Otten, MBA, ABC, SCMP
Chapter(s): IABC Minnesota (Medium chapter)
What you'll learn:Experienced IABC members need reasons to stay engaged beyond chapter meetings and webinars on basic skills. The Master Minds series was started to engage those with 10 years or more experience and has proven its value in member retention, a value of peer-to-peer development opportunities and valuable networking at a time that works for senior professionals.

Session: From bust to bang: Turning around IABC Waterloo
Speaker(s): Katie McQuaid and Mackenzie Clement
Chapter(s): IABC Waterloo (Medium chapter)
What you'll learn: Sometimes things don’t go as planned for a chapter. Board members quit mid-year, Directors drop the ball on their portfolio and sometimes, Presidents are voted out with no one in the wings to replace them. How do you come back from a year like that? How do you prevent a year like that? IABC Waterloo will share how we got there, how we rebounded and how we had one of our most successful years ever just two years after.

Session: A fireside chat about certification
Speaker(s): Michael Nord, SCMP, IEB Director, Dina Baker, SCMP, Shannon Listorti, CMP
Chapter(s): IABC EMENA MAL, IABC Boston (Medium chapter), IABC Dallas (Medium chapter)
What you'll learn: Michael Nord, SCMP, IEB Director, will facilitate a fireside chat on the impact and relevance of certification. IABC has moved from ABC to CMP and SCMP. What does this mean for chapters and regions? Join us in an informal conversation, hear stories on how your communication peers have excelled and passed their CMP and SCMP exams, and how chapter and regional leaders are supporting the IABC certification program.

Session: Delivering member value within your chapter
Speaker(s): Jazial Crossley, MBA
Chapter(s): IABC Wellington (Medium chapter)
What you'll learn: In a competitive environment, IABC Wellington delivers a consistently strong programme of events that often sell out. In Membership Month this October, it came second place worldwide for member retention in the medium chapter category. At the 2018 Chapter Management Awards, IABC Wellington won Medium Chapter of the Year. How does this stand-out New Zealand chapter continue to draw a crowd and keep diehard loyal members? Under the leadership of 12 dedicated volunteers, IABC Wellington works hard to keep in mind that delivering value for members is crucial. It aims to make membership and its events an essential professional development investment for the local comms community. In this session, IABC Wellington President Jazial Crossley will share the strategy behind the chapter’s success and provide tips you can take home to strengthen your own chapter.

Attendees can choose one of the following breakout sessions on Friday, 8 February: 

Session: Three steps to chapter awesomeness in the face of adversity
Speaker(s): Paul Omodt, ABC, SCMP, APR, MBC and Tammy Nienaber, SCMP
Chapter(s): IABC Minnesota (Medium chapter)
What you'll learn: Declining membership, lack of funds, empty seats at meetings, gaps in leadership -- what's a chapter to do? In this session, learn the lessons of IABC Minnesota and how they listened past Leadership Institutes, learned to drive member value, used strategic planning, and ditched scarcity thinking in favor of an abundance mentality to build an engaged leadership team, grow its chapter conference, and enjoy the problem of a strategic spend down of chapter funds. Wanna be awesome? We'll show you how we do it.

Session: Increase chapter funding by raising visibility and awareness
Speaker(s): Genma Stringer Holmes
Chapter(s): IABC Nashville (Small chapter)
What you'll learn: My workshop shares three examples of social media branding and how it attracted big funders who not only partnered initially but returned three years in a row. Each workshop attendee can leave empowered with action items to launch sustainable campaigns that will not only trend but also provide economic impact to change lives for the greater good.

Session: Simple networking events that members love
Speaker(s): Corey Connors, Connie Mayse, IMBA, Hayley Collins
Chapter(s): IABC San Francisco (Medium chapter), IABC Chicago (Large chapter), IABC Boston (Medium chapter)
What you'll learn: Demonstrate membership value, accelerate leader recruitment, and contribute to professional networks with simple, even no-cost events. Join Corey Connors with Networking9 (San Francisco), Hayley Collins with Boston FLY (Boston), and Connie Mayse with Suburban Sips (Chicago) as they demystify these proven events, that members often call their favorite programs.

Session: Partnering with universities to grow corporate membership
Speaker(s): Victor Zalakos, SCMP
Chapter(s): IABC Canberra (Medium chapter)
What you'll learn: In 2018 IABC Canberra set a goal of forming a partnership with a local university. Our goal was to explore how a relationship with a university and its communication students could grow our chapter. Hear about our partnership with the University of Canberra and how we are helping students develop real world case studies for their portfolio, helping corporate members develop Gold Quill award entries and building our chapter.

Session: The Secret Sauce: How to Recruit & Manage Volunteers and Leave Them Wanting More
Speaker(s): Kamna Narain
Chapter(s): IABC San Francisco (Medium chapter)
What you'll learn: Everybody’s a busy body. In between demanding careers, family obligations, workout routines, 24/7 technology and binge-watching Netflix, who has time to volunteer for IABC? With everything riding on having the volunteers to run a chapter or region, finding volunteers and keeping them productive, consistent and engaged is one of the biggest challenges for today’s IABC leader. But what we often forget is the good old-fashioned head and heart connection. In this session the speaker will share her not-so-complicated “secret” to recruiting and retaining volunteers, and why this is the easiest but hardest thing for chapter leaders to do.

Attendees can choose one of the following breakout sessions on Saturday, 9 February: 

Session: From tired to revitalized: Board recruitment strategies for small chapters
Speaker(s): Kristy Christie
Chapter(s): IABC Malaysia (Small chapter)
What you'll learn: How can leaders of small chapters, ensure succession and stability through effective recruitment and ‘head-hunting’ practices? IABC Malaysia President and APAC Board Director Kristy Christie shares her learnings – having recently replenished her Chapter’s leader roster.

Session: Beyond the written word. Simple time saving tools to make compelling video and audio content for your chapter or region.
Speaker(s): Dan Gold
Chapter(s): IABC Saskatoon (Medium chapter)
What you'll learn: For some communicators, video and audio creation comes naturally, for others it is a bridge too far. In this lighthearted, non-techno-babble session we will look at free and cost-effective, simple to use tools to enable you to make impactful video and audio.
We look at how planning the production of content will take the pain out of editing and producing a final product. This session includes a handout which will guide you on your content creating journey.

Session: Work, Life, Leadership: You Pick 2?
Speaker(s): Michael Deas, ABC, SCMP
Chapter(s): IABC Nashville (Small chapter)
What you'll learn: Those of who divide our time between a day job, family life, and volunteering as an IABC leader feel as if we’re standing at the Panera counter, wishing we could have soup, salad, AND a sandwich—but our plate is already too full, and we get to pick only two of the three. We feel forced to choose which two get most of our energy: Work and IABC? Life and work? IABC and life? Furthermore, our would-be next-gen IABC leaders are hesitant to commit when they already struggle to achieve just work/life balance. The truth is, says Mike Deas, it’s not just two, or three, or four choices… it never was. Speaking not as a professional coach but as a volunteer leader with a full life AND a demanding job, Mike shares with fellow leaders tips on how he makes IABC volunteering, as well as several other volunteering opportunities,  manageable and even fun:

  1. Let priorities rotate
  2. Delegate—but always with WIIFM
  3. Pluck the leeches and get your time back
  4. Rediscover the joy-trifecta

Session: Engaging young professionals in your chapter
Speaker(s): Samantha Rae Ayoub, MA and Kaleigh Maclaren
Chapter(s): IABC Ottawa (Large chapter)
What you'll learn: All chapters can benefit from young professionals becoming members, volunteering, and being ambassadors for the IABC brand. How do you engage young pros effectively and integrate them into your chapter, while also still providing value to members who are mid and senior-level communicators? Using the success of IABC Ottawa as a case study, this session will share strategies and tips about how to recruit and retain young professionals as members and volunteers, while also working to shape them into future chapter leaders. This session will be interactive in nature encouraging attendees to share current challenges and brainstorm ideas for solutions. It is for chapters of all sizes, chapters that might be struggling with recruitment, as well as chapters that are excited to share their own successes.

About the speakers

Learn more about each of the breakout session presenters below.

Presenting on Friday, 8 February at 1 p.m. PST:

Joanne Henry, SCMP

An award winning communicator, Joanne has more than 30 years of experience in public relations and marketing communications. She is a specialist in media relations, advocacy and crisis communications. Joanne began her career at Wells Fargo and has worked with organizations of all sizes in a wide range of industries. She is now Executive Vice President at Neuger Communications Group, a marketing communications PR firm with serving regional and national clients. Joanne is a frequent speaker and author on reputation management, corporate trust and crisis management. She is certified as a Strategic Communications Management Professional (SCMP) and a member of the IABC Pacific Plains board and holds a B.A. degree from the University of St. Thomas.

Susan Otten, MBA, ABC, SCMP

Susan Otten, MBA, ABC, SCMP, founded Otten Associates with the purpose of helping businesses improve their social impact. While offering companies who “do good” shared services (strategy, communications, marketing, operations, manufacturing, logistics), her team also evaluates companies for investment. Susan has also been a successful consultant and held numerous leadership roles in a variety of industries, including Apple for 15+ years. Susan has her BS in Human Ecology from the UofM and MBA with concentration in Marketing and OD from Benedictine Chicago. She is Past President of IABC Minnesota, leads their Masterminds group for Veteran Communicators and several chapter’s events.

Katie McQuaid

Katie McQuaid is a communications and marketing specialist with over 10 years of experience in various industries including health care, insurance and not-for-profit. She has a BA in Media Studies from Western University and a post-graduate certificate in Corporate Communications and PR from Centennial College. Katie currently leads the communications and marketing initiatives at WalterFedy, an architecture, engineering and construction firm in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. In her current role, she manages everything from internal communications and events to the firm's PR and community involvement. Katie has volunteered with IABC Waterloo for five years (currently Past President) and led the chapter’s turnaround years from 2016-18 as VP and President.

Mackenzie Clement

Mackenzie Clement is a Marketing Communications Professional who partners with CEOs, executives and solopreneurs to grow their personal and professional brands. Mackenzie has experience in both the corporate and non-profit sectors, including: trades, environmental services, health & wellness, and residential services. As a lifelong learner, Mackenzie continues to challenge herself and those around her to seek out knowledge, learn to identify process improvements and continuously adapt. Mackenzie holds a BA in psychology from the University of Guelph and a Diploma in public relations from Conestoga College.

Michael Nord, MBA, SCMP, IEB Director

Principal Consultant with The Fifth Business, lives in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, where he steers and facilitates large strategic communications projects in blue-chip companies across the globe. He has  previously worked for Philips, Belkin, IAVI, agencies and the Danish Government. Michael was co founder of the Dutch IABC chapter in 2007 (the year he joined IABC), and is a former Regional Chair for the EMENA region. He chaired EuroComm 2015 and supported EuroComm 2016, 2017 and 2018. He has served on PACs, the Finance Committee, the Academy committee and sits on the taskforce for global sponsorships, and supports IABC leadership on technology issues.

Dina Wolfman Baker, SCMP

Dina Wolfman Baker oversees the 27-person Cambridge Systematics team for marketing and brand strategy, marketing communication, business development, and internal communication. She is a member of the Senior Leadership team.Ms. Baker has more than 35 years of experience with expertise in strategy development, new product development and launches, creativity, and bridge-building. She brings perspective from background in the for-profit and non-profit sectors and in business-to-business, business-to government and consumer pull-through. In 2017 she earned the Strategic Communication Management Professional (SCMP) certification. Ms. Baker holds a BA from Cornell University, and she has published and presented on marketing and communication strategy.

Shannon Listorti, CMP

Shannon Listorti, CMP, is the Communications and Marketing Manager at Tolleson Wealth Management, a Dallas family office serving clients with all things financial. In her role, she works with executives to develop and execute the firm's communication and marketing strategies. Shannon also oversees the team responsible for executing the firm's collateral, digital, employee communication, client event and community activities. Shannon received both a B.S. and M.S. in Strategic Communications from TCU. She currently serves on the Board of Directors as VP, Volunteer Recruitment/Recognition for IABC Dallas and is a graduate of Business Council for the Arts' Leadership Arts Institute.

Jazial Crossley

Jazial Crossley is a senior strategic communications professional based in New Zealand. She is President of IABC Wellington, 2018 Medium Chapter of the Year. Jazial holds an MBA from Victoria University of Wellington, a BA from The University of Auckland and a journalism diploma. She is senior advisor in engagement and communications at New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment. Previously she provided comms advice to New Zealand’s Ministry of Health, was Communications Manager at Fulbright New Zealand, Communications Advisor at Local Government New Zealand and comms consultant for TEDxWellingtonWomen. Before working in comms, Jazial was an award-winning business journalist.

Presenting on Friday, 8 February at 2:30 p.m. PST:

Paul Omodt, ABC, SCMP, APR, MBC Three steps to chapter awesomeness in the face of adversity

Paul Omodt is the owner & principal of Omodt & Associates Critical Communications, a full-service communications firm specializing in crisis communications. With nearly 30 years of communication experience, Paul's work has influenced some of the biggest crisis situations in the Midwest. Paul is also an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas where he teaches both in the undergrad and MBA schools. Paul is a long-time IABC member and volunteer and currently serves at treasurer of IABC Minnesota and on the International Chapter Management Awards review committee.

Tammy Nienaber, SCMP

Before starting TLN Communicate in 2018, Tammy spent a decade leading internal and external communications for Great Clips, Inc. A seasoned communicator, she has held roles at Best Buy Co., in three different chambers of commerce, and with Minnesota State University Moorhead. A recent transplant from the midwest to the west coast, Tammy knows first-hand the power of IABC to help its members advance the communications profession, create connections, and develop their skills as strategic advisors. Tammy received her SCMP certification in February 2018. She has a bachelor's degree in mass communications/public relations and a master's degree in management.

Genma Stringer Holmes

Genma Stringer Holmes is a Serial Entrepreneur, Media Influencer and Editor-in-Chief. She is the owner of Holmes Pest Control, Executive Producer of Living Your Best Life Radio, and the Editor-in-Chief of GSH Media. She has created, managed and branded numerous award-winning Social Media Campaigns for not-profits and for-profit organizations. She has won several “Excellence in Communications” Awards and Merit Awards from IABC, International Association of Business Communicators, for her editorial work with several print publications and digital communication branding. She has managed and created social media campaigns for The Ohio State University, MD Anderson Cancer Center, University of Houston, Intercultural Cancer Council, University of Tennessee at Memphis, Meharry Medical College, The Links, Incorporated and the National Day of the American Cowboy, to name a few.

Corey Connors

Corey Connors is the Director of Communications for Rincon Consultants, a leading environmental consulting firm, and has more than 15 years in developing strategic communications and engaged employee communities for the AEC industry. He has been a co-facilitator of the San Francisco chapter's Networking 9 program for the last 5 years, after appreciating this program's value as an attendee.

Hayley Collins

Hayley Collins is a creative, efficient, data-driven communicator with five years of experience in internal and external communications, social media strategy and management, and public relations. She works for Cambridge Systematics, a consulting firm dedicated to making transportation better for future generations, where she focuses on promoting the firm’s thought leadership and driving brand awareness.

Connie Mayse, IMBA

Connie specializes in strategic internal communication planning and execution. In 20+ years of global and local experience in communications and human resources, Connie has developed her writing, editing, executive coaching, presentation, video production — and coping skills. She has served IABC at the chapter, regional and international levels since first joining in 2001 and is now president of the Chicago chapter for the second time. She holds a BA in communication and a master’s degree in international business administration from Baldwin Wallace University. Connie has led IABC-sponsored sessions on strategic communication planning and using the theory of Appreciative Inquiry as an employee communication tool (the other AI), and she considers herself a “hobbyist pastry chef.”

Victor Zalakos, SCMP

Victor Zalakos, SCMP is the change and comms guy™, a passionate agent for change – bringing simplicity and certainty to a changing world. Victor has managed successful change programs in a diverse range of clients in consumer electronics, government, utilities and manufacturing.
He's a master practitioner of neuro-linguistic programming, holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s in organisational change and communication. He is also one of the first communicators in the world to receive the Strategic Communication Management Professional certification.
Victor is a pragmatist, optimist, creative thinker and devil’s advocate. His background in engineering, marketing, psychology and business, coupled with boundless enthusiasm, makes him a potent agent for change.

Kamna Narain

As an internal communications advisor and consultant, Kamna is a thought partner for companies seeking a different perspective in order to manage change, engage employees and approach “communications as usual” with a fresh, innovative vision and strategy. As a coach, Kamna works with communications and creative professionals to navigate the storms, changing currents and exciting, unchartered waters of demanding careers in the communications industry. She also works with people managers on using communication, engagement and recognition to effectively lead teams. Currently Past President of SF IABC, Kamna has been a member of IABC since 1993 with an active role on the board for almost two decades. Along with formal board positions, she has held the honorary position of “volunteer whisperer” for over a decade, recruiting and placing virtually all board members and volunteers for the San Francisco chapter. In her board year as President, Kamna managed a “multi-generational” team of over 20 volunteers and retained more than 75% of the board for the following year. In 2017, her second year as past president, Kamna led a succession planning effort which yielded close to 40 volunteers.

Presenting on Saturday, 9 February at 10:15 a.m. PST:

Kristy Christie

Kristy is President of IABC Malaysia and co-runs, a digital agency. In the corporate world, she advises clients on their website and digital media communication as a Project Manager. For IABC, she has served on the World Conference Programme Advisory Committee, the IABC APAC FUSION Conference committee and has helped set up the IABC EMENA Conference Website. She continues to serve on the regional board of IABC APAC, as its Director of Digital Communication. As a public speaker, she regularly speaks at conferences and workshops, and was most recently invited to conduct a session at the Women in Leadership Conference in Kuala Lumpur.

Dan Gold

From broadcasting in the 1990s, to working for the marcoms wing of The Economist Group through the 2010s, Dan focuses on meaningful engagement.While in London he collaborated with leading storytellers, delivering campaigns globally that hit millions of people weekly on TV, radio, and online. After more than 4,440 productions and content on every major international news and entertainment network, Dan made the move to North America to continue his storytelling journey. Having contributed to projects that won multiple SABRE awards and PR Week recognition, Dan is proud to bring those skills as Chair of the IABC Panel of Producers.

Michael Deas, ABC, SCMP

Mr. Deas is a seasoned marketing and communications professional; an award-winning writer; a fluent German speaker and certified translator; a skilled project manager and team leader; an engaging speaker and effective trainer. He has been an Accredited Business Communicator for 14 years and a certified translator for 18 years. Over his 33-year career, Mr. Deas has held senior communication management roles for companies large and small, public and private, profit and non-profit, on both sides of the Atlantic and in two languages, including two well-known engineering firms and a construction firm. Mr. Deas currently leads all internal and external communication initiatives at Volkert, Inc., an infrastructure engineering firm based in Franklin, Tennessee. Prior to this position, he was an independent communications consultant with his own firms, I.deas Abound, LLC, and TransGermanica, LLC. In the latter role he helped THS Constructors in Greenville, South Carolina, secure several contracts with German clients building manufacturing facilities in the Southeast.

Kaleigh Maclaren

Kaleigh is a passionate communication professional who asks a lot of questions and enjoys building communication strategies that solve problems. Currently, she is the Sr. Manager Communications at the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP), the gold standard in exercise science and personal training. At CSEP, Kaleigh leads the communications team working on projects across the organization from certifications and member services to the the release of knowledge products such as the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines. A graduate of the University of Ottawa in Communications, Kaleigh is an active member and volunteer in her professional association, the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). She is currently Past President & Treasurer for the Ottawa Chapter and has sat on International task-forces. Kaleigh thrives on learning and taking on new challenges whether at work, in the community or trying a new activity (like snowboarding, mountain biking & improv).

Samantha Rae Ayoub, MA

Samantha Rae Ayoub is a seasoned communications professional with notable experience in science communication and scholarly publishing. Most recently, Samantha served as the Communications and Publishing Director at the Council of Canadian Academies where she worked with research teams and expert panels to publish and promote evidence-based research and inform science policy. She has also held positions within the Government of Canada. Having completed her undergraduate work in mass communications, Samantha holds an MA in Professional Communications from Royal Roads University and a certificate in Communications and Public Relations from Western University. Samantha currently serves as President of IABC Ottawa.