By: Andy Gardner, president IABC-MN

While this IABC-MN board transition is like years past, it’s also just a little bit different. Yes, another exasperating reminder of the odd times we live in today.

Just like the time you were hesitant to make a communication decision due to the lack of experience of handling a worldwide pandemic crisis or racial inequality issues. Even when you had to flip that well-thought-out communication plan upside down due to the uncertainty of where employees will be working from. Or learning how to show a leader the importance of communicating empathy during tough times.

Those are exactly the types of communications challenges that I’ve engaged with communications peers I’ve met through IABC. For that, I’m incredibly grateful. That is the value of IABC.

A year unlike any other

Throughout the 50-year history of the IABC-MN chapter, we’ve never had to rethink the role the association plays for our fellow communicators like we had to in the last year. Over the past 12 months, Michael Walsh, our immediate past president, focused on re-imaging the value of IABC-MN. Michael, along with the rest of the board, accomplished a lot:

Let’s ALL re-engage

We’ve all undoubtedly been impacted by these unprecedented times, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. If you’re like me, it’s time to start to think about how to re-engage – both personally and professionally.

Earlier this year, I attended IABC’s virtual Gift of Communication event to help local nonprofits with their most pressing communication needs. It’s one of our premiere events organized by board member Anne Sonnee (you should check it out next winter). One thing that caught my attention was that most volunteers were NOT IABC members, and that’s OK. Our mission is to support our community of business communication professionals – all of them, members or not. With that in mind, we are setting the stage for the future by giving all local communicators an opportunity to engage with IABC-MN by:

Our chapter doesn’t exist because of the 11 people who volunteer to be on the board. It exists because we have the best people associated with our chapter; members, nonmembers, sponsors, partnering associations and companies looking for advice.

I look forward to getting together and meeting people in-person, virtually, or anywhere in between.

I am ready to be re-engaged. The IABC-MN board is ready. Are you?

Special acknowledgement:

Six individuals leaving board positions deserve a special shout out for giving time to make IABC-MN what it is today: Camie Melton Hanily, Tammy Nienaber, Ellen Vander Linden, Amy Spencer, Ann Krzmarzick, Amelia Reigstad. Thank you for all of your contributions!