amy lilja

written by Chris Maddox

Amy Lilja, a member of the IABC Minnesota chapter, was recently recognized with a Gold Quill Award by the association for an innovative 2022 communications campaign to launch her company’s annual employee engagement survey.

The Gold Quill Award was presented as part of the IABC World Conference held in Toronto, Canada, on June 6, 2023, as an Award of Merit under the Employee Engagement category. Recognizing excellence in the field of business communication globally, the Gold Quill is one of the most prestigious awards in the industry.

Amy was the only honoree from Minnesota and was one of just 27 U.S. winners in a field of 134 worldwide. Winners were selected from nearly 400 entries submitted by non-profits, agencies, educational institutions, governments and companies from 16 countries. This is actually her second Gold Quill; the first was awarded in 2019.

She currently works as the senior employee communications manager at CPC (Colder Products Company), a global manufacturing company that is part of Dover Corporation. Amy has been in her current role for 18 months, working from CPC’s global headquarters in Arden Hills, Minn. Previous to this, she worked at Hennepin Healthcare for just over a decade, starting as a specialist and advancing to lead the internal communications function. 

The internal engagement campaign, initiated and directed by Amy in collaboration with CPC’s in-house HR and Creative teams, increased employee participation in the annual engagement survey from 71% to nearly 94%, and provided senior leaders with important insights about the employee experience during a time of major change at her company.

“The purpose of business communication is to drive business results, and the Gold Quill Awards challenge you to prove your value,” said Amy about her Gold Quill win. “It’s important to not only have a good idea but to execute it well and to prove results.”

Commenting on the overall process, she added, “What was unique about this project is that it was done in the first six months of me joining the company and establishing their dedicated employee communications function. It was a way to demonstrate the power and potential of strategic communication to an organization that had previously been more tactically focused.”

An IABC member since 2015, Amy stresses the importance to her to take advantage of the different learning opportunities offered, and in-particular networking. She commented, “As someone who has always worked in-house at companies with smaller communications teams, I value the connections with other communicators. It’s nice to pass along insights and best practices, support each other through common challenges, and enjoy the company of people with the same passion and purpose.”