Thanks! And cheers for a new decade of IABC

Don’t look now, but here come the ‘20s. It’s shaping up to be a roaring decade for IABC Orange County.

Cara Raffele, this year’s IABC/OC president elect and ManifestSeven‘s VP of marketing, is in the wings, ready to take over as president in January. Laura Perdew, senior director of communications at the Greater Irvine Chamber, is on the ballot to be IABC/OC’s 2020 VP of communications and president-elect. And Elaine Marshall, president of Empowered Public Relations, is stepping up to lead our IndyComm program. Elaine succeeds IABC/OC legend and IndyComm founding mother Claudia Miller, who is retiring after 30 years on our board (wow!).

Cara, Laura and Elaine have been superstars in 2019, so I know they will propel us to the next level in the new year and beyond.

Before we leave the 20-teens, though, I want to say thank you to you. As I wrote back in May, you are the IABC/OC brand.

Thanks for being with us for a year of innovative events — as we broke a few eggs. We experimented with new topics, new venues, new formats, and a range of price tags to meet the changing needs, desires, and schedules of 21st-century Orange County communicators.

Highlights for me included cycling on a July afternoon with you and Don DiCostanzo, CEO and co-founder of Pedego Electric Bikes, after picking his brain in an enlightening panel discussion about marketing, branding, and publications. A month earlier, a large crowd of you turned out for IABC/OC’s first ever breakfast event, as we explored what communications professional can learn from O.C.’s emerging cannabis industry. And last month, at our annual Communications Forecast, you showed that classic lunch events are still convenient and engaging for many working professionals.

When we started 2019, I asked the board, “Why do we do this?” What makes IABC so important to us?

A big part of the answer was this: We belong to IABC for the opportunities to learn. But even more important, we’re here for the opportunities to support one another in our careers and lives.

So I’m most proud of the events that tackled that mission head-on:

  • In May, we held our Midyear Career Reboot networking event at the Center Club, and collaborated with local career-transition organizations to make sure the event was accessible to communicators in search of new jobs.
  • Then we ended the year by turning our annual holiday celebration into a party with a purpose. Thanks to all of you who attended, we raised more than $700 for the Laura’s House Spirit of Empowerment program.

So thank you to my brilliant friends on the IABC/OC board and committees! Special thanks to Claudia, for her relentless passion, creativity and dedication to our organization.

And thank you for being the heart to IABC/OC. It has been a pleasure serving as your president, and I look forward to serving next year as your senior delegate to IABC International.

Happy New Year! We’ll see you in the ‘20s.

It will be the bee’s knees, and the cat’s pajamas. And how!

John Fabris
President, IABC Orange County

Want a boost in 2020? Join the inner circle

I’m staring at a stack of business cards that I picked up from interesting people this year. Scrawled on the back are the dates and topics of the IABC/OC events where I met each person.

You’ve probably collected a stack of your own. And one of those IABC connections might pay off big someday, right? Because in addition to learning from speakers at events, we learn from one another and share referrals and job leads.

So, yes, register for our November panel luncheon and IndyComm and our holiday party. But do one more thing this week: Click on our Volunteer page and consider how you can really link in.

Fact is, among all of the people I have met at IABC, a few stand out from the pack: the ones listed here on the IABC/OC Board of Directors, and the handful of others who serve on our committees.

Since I first joined the board in 2015, my board colleagues and I have toasted our successes, risen to challenges in the organization and in our personal lives, and helped each other out when one of us got in a pinch.

We have gotten to know one another.

On the board, I have met people with the imagination to think big, the brainpower to lead strategically, and the organizational skills to get things done. I have met people who combine authority with kindness to lead effectively — in ways that make volunteers choose to follow.

So when some of my board friends have been in the job hunt, it has been a joy to recommend them to prospective employers without reservation and to watch their efforts pay off.

As 2019 draws to a close, I want to say thank you to the amazing people I have met on the board. (Thank you!) Looking ahead, we soon will be putting together the ballot for the 2020 board. So I want to invite you to volunteer. If you’re interested — or curious — send me an email at JohnDFabris@gmail.com. We have big roles and small roles. Let’s talk.

People join professional organizations like IABC because they want to learn. Or because they want to meet people who can help them in their career. Or because they want to help others.

Wherever you fall on that scale, there’s no better way to reach that goal than by joining the inner circle as part of the IABC/OC board.

John Fabris
IABC/OC president, 2019

What is a leader?

At the newspaper where I landed my first job, the best writers were plucked from the newsroom and promoted to editors.

And while some of them were inspiring and talented, there was little understanding that a good writer doesn’t always make the best leader.

What does being a leader mean? How can you gain leadership skills to prepare for future success?

Leadership – like every valuable skill – is something you develop over time. In a recent Inc. magazine column, best-selling author Jacob Morgan notes that the best leaders are not always at the top of the organization chart. “It relies on your ability to influence and engage other people,” he says.

One of the many good reasons to join IABC Orange County and become engaged with the organization is the opportunity to hone your leadership skills. We offer committee jobs, board positions, and other opportunities to develop strategy and programs.

Through IABC/OC you will learn to plan, staff, and execute special events; develop your writing and editing skills; provide strategic leadership to an impressive and far-reaching international organization; and learn leadership skills working side-by-side with experienced colleagues in a variety of communications fields.

When I joined the organization several years ago, I was immediately welcomed into the Communications Committee and began writing stories for the newsletter. In a short time, I was given more responsibilities and helped with the organization and planning of events for our subgroup, IndyComm, which serves independent consultants like me.

It was flattering to be asked to lead an organization like IABC Orange County, but I realized right away that the position requires a lot of good leaders – not just one – to be successful. I am fortunate to work with a board full of dedicated people who want success for our association and the communicators it serves.

New board members Cara Raffele of The Brand Journalist, our Vice President for Professional Development, Eva Finn of Eva Finn Copywriting & Concepts, who heads our Job Board, and Jennifer Mower of Alzheimer’s Orange County, who is our new Events Director, bring a wealth of experience and perspective.

Combined with senior strategists like graphic artist Claudia Miller, who presented at our May mixer and heads ADirections, these new members will help guide IABC Orange County to success in the remaining months of 2018.

Recently recognized as IABC International’s Regional Leader of the Year, Claudia has served as Chapter Advocate for the Pacific Plains Region. A two-time former Orange County Chapter president, she helped lead the 2011 board to become the Mid-Size Chapter of the Year.

A big thank-you to Claudia for her stimulating discussion of the latest graphics trends and the dos and don’ts of working with graphic artists. A small-but-mighty group welcomed the knowledge and inspiration Claudia shared.

If you are interested in becoming more involved with IABC Orange County, please contact me or any of the board members. We’d love to have you.

Cathi Douglas
IABC/OC president, 2018

If your professional goals include honing your leadership skills, growing your network, gaining a wider view of the communications profession, enhancing your skill set by volunteering to do something you don’t do in your current job, look to IABC/OC to unlock new opportunities.
We have opportunities for both short-term assignments and board positions. Note that board assignments are reserved for chapter members, but short-term assignments are open to all.
Current volunteer opportunities are listed below. For additional information, contact VP of Membership Judy Iannaccone at iannaccone_judy@rsccd.edu or at (714) 480-7503 (office) or (714) 222-4777 (mobile).
Director of Sponsorship: This board position serves as an liaison with existing sponsors and prospects; handles sponsorship inquiries, communicates regularly with IABC/OC president; follows through on supplying new sponsor’s logo to VP communication; and be sponsors’ contact before, during and after events. The position reports to the Chapter President. Must be a member of IABC.
IndyComm Coordinator: IndyComm is designed for independent communication consultants who want to discover creative ways of marketing their businesses, attract new clients, acquire a higher level of business acumen and network and brainstorm with like-minded professionals. Ideally, you are an independent practitioner who would like to offer support by helping to secure relevant presenters for this cutting-edge IABC/OC program.
Director of Student Education/Outreach: This board position serves as an liaison with IABC student chapter at Chapman University; handles requests for professional chapter’s participation in student chapter events, communicates regularly with Chapman University student chapter advisor and leadership; reports on student chapter activities to board, promotes IABC benefits to college/university students in and around Orange County. The position reports to the Vice President of Membership. Must be a member of IABC.