Topeka Chapter Has Strong Membership

On the heels  of the Bronze Quill Awards, I would like to congratulate all of the winners again, as well as our 2015 Communicator of the Year, Sarah Towle, communications strategist with Washburn University Foundation, and Jim Leiker, CEO & president with Easter Seals Capper Foundation.  I don’t recall having a lovelier evening at an IABC event. It was really fun to see people around the room networking and having a good time.  I would also like to thank the members of the Bronze Quill Committee, Tamara Taylor, Jane Hazard, Tami Motley, Joy Bailes, And Elizabeth Burgett, for their dedication to making it such a memorable event.

You may recall that March was Membership Month with International.  I was surprised and delighted to learn that IABC/Topeka was named 5th in the Top 10 of growth in membership during that month—Internationally!  Here is the list: 

1.       Canberra
2.       Trinidad & Tobago
3.       Belgium
4.       Lynchburg
5.       Topeka
6.       Ubuntu
7.       Nashville
8.       France
9.       South Island/New Zealand
10.     Russia

Membership retention has been a focus of this chapter for a long time, and it is no different this year.  I commend Robin Lampe and Karen Wagaman for their efforts in contacting lapsed as well as renewing members, and thinking of unique ways that we can recruit and educate other communicators about the value of an IABC membership. I want to personally thank all of you for being members of IABC/Topeka.  It is nice to be a part of an international organization that provides resources, but we all realize that it’s the connections and efforts of the local chapters that make or break a chapter. 

Tying into membership retention, we are posting our 2015 IABC/Topeka scholarship for members. Each year, we take applications to award two, half scholarships to IABC/Topeka members.  The scholarships are open to anyone, and if you are chosen, please know that you will be asked to contribute back to the chapter in some way—serving on a committee or as a board member. We hope to announce the winners by the June chapter meeting.  On a personal note, I won this scholarship the first few years that I was a member, and it has benefitted me greatly.  I am hoping that my involvement on the board over the years and committees has been helpful to the chapter.  I think back to when I was first invited to join IABC back in 2006, and then being awarded the scholarships, which led to more involvement in the chapter and where I am today.  You too, could become more involved in IABC—I promise it is worth it!

Best wishes to you all as the April showers bring May flowers and more activities, as May is a busy month.  Hope to see you at our May 6th luncheon!

IABC/Topeka President