When I was in grad school, etymology was one of my favorite things to research. I remember being amazed at the long and storied past of the phrase:




If I remember correctly, it actually started in Ancient Greece with the phrase "bar bar bar", met up with the word blab somewhere in the 1800s and post WWI supposedly someone wrote blah blah in their notes and the rest is this incredibly non-academic history. No matter where you encounter it though, it always means the same thing: Meaningless Noise.


As professional communicators, we are struggling against the meaningless, the usual, the common, the expected, the “blah blah blah.” I face that same challenge as I step into this president’s role for the 2017-2018 chapter year.


I stand on the shoulders of the great leaders before me, especially Tracey Stratton, who has taught and inspired me with her professionalism, grace, and friendship. I am also beholden to the amazing volunteers who have stepped up to serve on this year’s Board of Directors. We want this year to be special – to be a year of growth – both in our membership size and in our scope and skills. We will be looking to the strategic plan, improving our chapter website,  adding more networking events to our schedule roster, and expanding our definition of what a communicator IS. Combined, it is my hope and my goal that our efforts to promote  IABC/Topeka Chapter will anything but meaningless.


***Admittedly, that’s where my message was going to end. And by all means, I meant it. I don’t want this year of service to our communications community to just be “blah blah blah” into the void. But in the wake of the horrors of this past weekend, and in light of how frustrating it can be to talk about hate, and fear, I want to offer my condolences to those who are hurting, my encouragement and empathy to those who are afraid, and my support to those who are outraged and want to take action. Topeka has long been the floodgates to hate; we will not let them open now. My door, or email, is open to anyone who wants to talk, brainstorm, or exchange resources that can help us help others.


Jesyca Hope


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