Longtime PRSA Member Adds IABC OC to Her Arsenal

As a past president of the Orange County chapter of PRSA and a PRSA member since 1990, Cathi Douglas was unfamiliar with IABC Orange County when she came to her first meeting.

Still, it didn’t take long for fellow PRSA member Judy Iannaccone and Membership Chair Denise Keddy to convince Douglas that joining IABC was a good investment. She joined that day at October 2014 chapter luncheon and began volunteering for the Communications Committee soon afterward

Douglas, who’d been laid off from her longtime position at Cal State Fullerton as founding editor of Titan Magazine, knew the value of IABC’s monthly programs and was impressed immediately by the friendliness of OC members. She also knew that expanding her network and adding new skills would be paramount in building her new business as a solo PR consultant

“Coming as a complete stranger to an IABC OC lunch felt as comfortable and welcoming as dining with lifelong friends,” Douglas recalls. “The programs are top-notch and the resources of the international organization are stellar, but it’s the warmth of the chapter members that impresses me most about IABC.

Douglas, who founded Santa Ana-based Cathi Douglas Communications in June 2014 – considers IndyComm, the bimonthly program for independent consultants, the single-best expense in dollars and time that she has made since hanging out her shingle.

“Hearing from a business attorney about the ins and outs of incorporation, and from a CPA about business taxes, and from a web expert about internet presence is invaluable to me,” Douglas notes. “I could spend hours researching the answers to the questions that keep me up at night – or I can share dinner with friends and learn firsthand from a knowledgeable speaker.

Since becoming an active IABC OC member, Douglas has volunteered as a writer for the newsletter and sometimes assists Claudia Miller in developing IndyComm programs, time she believes is well-spent.

“With each IndyComm meeting and every story I work on, I learn something valuable,” she says. “I’m so glad I decided to head to the chapter luncheon that day. My membership continues to benefit me in ways I never expected.”