A Presidential Year in Review

It’s hard to believe the 2017-18 Board year has already come to an end. It was a whirlwind year with a lot of excitement and challenges. At the beginning of the year, I encouraged our Directors to take risks, try new things and think outside the box in their portfolios. We wanted to have a fun year and bring members the best content we could.

Our most public facing portfolio is professional development (PD) and we wanted to offer PD events that were different from previous years. We were all okay with taking a risk on untested event ideas and lucky for us, it paid off. We had some of our largest event attendance rates this year. We invited speakers from outside of KW, had our very first Communicator of the Year Award event and hosted the Break Through Communications Conference for the second year. The conference itself is a beast and because we decided to expand it to offer two streams, the amount of work done by our Board to make it happen was even more than 2017. The day of the conference was fantastic and the feedback from attendees was great. I’m already looking forward to Break Through 2019 (especially because I won’t be leading the planning this time around).

Along with our regular slate of Directors, we introduced a new Community Relations/Sponsorships Director role this year because we wanted to connect our members to local businesses that wanted to offer discounted services directly to them. If you have or know of a business that might want to offer IABC Waterloo members a discount or special service, please email sponsorship@iabcwaterloo.com because we would love to talk to you!

The highlight of my year as President was IABC Waterloo winning two Chapter Management Awards of Excellence at the IABC Leadership Institute (LI) in February. Both were for the first Break Through Conference in 2017. The application process for these awards is long – anyone who has done a Gold or Silver Quill Award application will understand as these are the same – but in the end it was so worth it to get up on stage and leave LI with these two awards.

Probably the best part about being President (aside from Taco Farm dinners and chocolate macaroon cookies) was working with my amazing Board members. I am so happy to have had the privilege of working with a group of such talented people this year. I could not have asked for a better team! I’m really looking forward to continuing all those relationships on and off of the Board in the years to come.

And lastly, the end of my year as President is perfectly timed because I am looking forward to the arrival of my second kiddo in the next few weeks. It seems fitting to end my tenure as President just as my life turns in another direction. I know that my VP, and now President, Mackenzie Clement is going to do a fantastic job next year and I will be there in the wings in the Past-President role cheering her on.

It’s been a long year (mostly because I’ve been pregnant almost the whole time), but a great one! Thank you for having me as your IABC Waterloo President for 2017-18 and I look forward to seeing you out at events next year!

Katie McQuaid

Kaitlyn Holbein