Looking ahead to a new year, and celebrating the successes of the year past

The blank page staring me in the face when I sat down to write this letter serves as a fitting metaphor for my new role as President of IABC Orange County.

Questions swirl: What do we want our Chapter to accomplish in the coming year? How will we prioritize our objectives? Where are the biggest challenges and most compelling opportunities? How will we measure our success?

Fortunately, I don’t have to tackle these issues alone. With the great minds and experience inherent in our newly installed IABC/OC Board, I’m confident we will address each one at our upcoming strategic planning retreat with much deliberation and insight, ultimately setting the course for an amazing 2017.

Boards lead and manage organizations. Members make them grow. And that’s why your involvement this year means so much.

Attending IABC monthly professional development forums, engaging through our social media communities or the Chapter website – and, especially taking a sponsorship role – is truly a win-win proposition. You gain access to people, resources and content that makes you a better professional. The Chapter, meanwhile, benefits from the wealth of talent, experience and perspective that you – and only you – can share.

All of this is part of the IABC/OC Member experience. Then there’s the fabulous array of educational tools, informational resources and content-rich events – highlighted by this year’s World Conference in Washington, D.C. – that comes with belonging to a worldwide Association of top-flight communicators.

Add it all up and it’s easy to see why more and more professionals are discovering the value proposition of IABC. Maybe you know one or two. I encourage you to bring them to our next event. We would love to meet and welcome them!

While planning is critical to any successful endeavor, it’s equally valuable to look back and see all that was accomplished over the past year. IABC/OC enjoyed a great year thanks in large measure to the excellent leadership of Past President Elaine Beliakoff, whose tireless work – evidenced over the past several weeks in pulling together our submissions for the upcoming IABC Chapter Management Awards – ensures we will be well-represented this February in Dallas. Thank you, Elaine!

It’s just one more reason why 2017 promises to be a very special year at IABC/OC. I’m looking forward to sharing it with YOU!

Michael Shepherd
IABC/OC president, 2017