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About IABC Waterloo

The local chapter of IABC Waterloo aims to connect and empower local communicators. We put on numerous PD and networking events that cover a range of topical professional development areas, like communications strategy and ROI, social media and digital ads, visual communications design and more.

Our members work across a variety of industries, from software to healthcare, and sit in junior and senior roles across communications, marketing, PR and more.


About IABC International

The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) is a global network of communication professionals committed to improving organizational effectiveness through strategic communication.

Established in 1970, IABC serves members in more than 70 countries for networking, career development and personal growth. Find out more about the benefits of being part of IABC on our Membership page.



About the 2018-2019 Board of Directors

IABC Waterloo is run by a volunteer Board of Directors. Meet our current Board members:

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Lisa Gu, President

Lisa is a communicator with a passion for employer branding and internal communication. In 2013, she joined IABC Waterloo as a member and people in the IABC community welcomed her with open arms. Today, Lisa continues to serve on IABC Waterloo’s board. Working alongside a group of committed board members, she hopes to reciprocate the generosity she received and bring value to communicators and marketers in this niche community.


Emily Caister, vice president

Emily is a communications professional passionate about helping organizations create meaningful impact and engagement opportunities with their audiences. When she's not working on her next creative idea, she can be found relaxing with a nice glass of wine and the latest super hero film with her husband and their cat, Lola.  


Mackenzie Clement, Past President

Mackenzie is a communications professional with experience in both the corporate and non-profit sectors. As a lifelong learner, Mackenzie has continued to challenge herself and those around her to seek out knowledge, learn to identify process improvements and continuously adapt.

Mackenzie joined the Board in 2016 to network, learn and grow as a communications professional - and she is proud to say the experience has given her so much more. She credits IABC Waterloo for expanding her skillset in communications and leadership, as well as developing many close friendships.

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Victor Santiago, Professional Development director

Victor has been an active IABC member for four years and is currently in the role of Co-Events Director for 2019-2020. He works in family recruitment for Family and Children's Services of the Waterloo Region, however he has had many communications roles in other sectors such as education, agriculture and biotech. His happy place is being in the mountains in both winter and summer and spending time with his family. 


Shannon McCarthy, Professional Development director

Shannon is a Public Relations specialist with experience in both agency and corporate environments. After completing her postgraduate degree in Public Relations, telling stories through compelling content became Shannon’s passion. She has worked with clients from various backgrounds, including Procter & Gamble, HUAWEI Canada, Randstad, Osmington (Union Station) and more! Although not born and raised in KW, since Shannon’s permanent move here, she has made it her goal to get to know the community and connect with like-minded professionals. When Shannon is not collaborating with clients, you can find her watching Survivor, writing travel tips on her personal blog, The Shanny Diaries, and enjoying time outdoors.


Bethany Rowland, Digital Communications director

Bethany has more than 15 years’ experience in municipal communications, including strategic communications, branding and leading award-winning campaigns. After earning her Master’s degree in journalism, Bethany worked as a newspaper reporter before moving on to the world of public sector communications. In her free time, Bethany enjoys travelling with her husband and their highly entertaining 9-year-old twins.


Alicia Baertsoen, social media director

Alicia is a branding enthusiast and seasoned communicator. Experienced in higher education and agency sectors, she enjoys fast-paced work and new challenges, and is passionate about telling the impactful stories behind a brand. In her second year with IABC, she is looking forward to collaborating with other communicators, and continuing to pursue new heights through professional development. Her ideal day off would include a new place to explore, preferably outdoors, joined by family and friends, with an IPA thrown in. 


Loretta Kooymans, Community Relations director

Loretta is a freelance communications and public relations consultant focused on content and brand experiences for social enterprise. With experience in the financial and non-profit sectors, Loretta's past roles include event management, corporate communications, and PR with SunLife Financial, Cowan Insurance Group and Junior Achievement. 

Over the last decade, Loretta’s planned and delivered communication strategy for corporate and non-profit brands and directly managed charitable fundraisers and community events for audiences of more than 5,000. She holds a BA from the University of Waterloo, certification in Event Management and is currently pursuing her diploma in Public Relations, both from Conestoga College. 


Alyssa Gosse, Partnerships director

Alyssa is a Social Media and PR Manager for Ultumum Inc., makers of the UltuCup where she coordinates numerous marketing and communications campaigns. Alyssa specializes in implementing communication strategies, marketing initiatives, social media campaigns and content strategies. Alyssa holds a bachelor’s in Public Relations from Conestoga College. Outside of work and volunteering she enjoys trying new fitness adventures and riding her motorcycle.

Thuy Hilderly, Membership director

As the Membership Director, Thuy is looking forward to connecting with fellow communication professionals. With many years of experience in corporate and non-profit sectors, Thuy continues to seek opportunities to collaborate and learn from those around her.

Joining the IABC Waterloo Board for the first time, Thuy is excited to enhance her skills in leadership, communication and partnerships. Her interests and joys include reading, yoga, painting, gardening, and being outside.


Katie McQuaid, Break Through Conference director

Katie McQuaid is a communications professional with experience in various industries including insurance, the arts, and education. 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 efforts at WalterFedy, managing everything from internal communications and events to the firm's PR and community involvement. Katie is excited to take on the role of Break Through Conference Director and hopes to see you there in Spring 2020! #BT2020

Laura Briston, executive administrator

Laura is a third-year student in the Bachelor of Public Relations program at Conestoga College. As a passionate and enthusiastic young professional, she strives to continuously contribute to affecting positive change and growth throughout her personal, professional and community life. She is also the Student Representative on the Conestoga College Board of Governors. Outside of school and work, she loves books, writing short fiction and spending time with her friends and family.