September 2020 Print

President's Message

When was the last time you learned something new? Mine was yesterday as I was bingeing “Get Organized with The Home Edit” on Netflix (highly recommended!). I now know how to fold a scarf like a donut…and that my organizational skills will never be up to par with the pros.

I try to learn something new every day. Sometimes it happens organically while watching TV, but most often I make a conscious effort. That’s why I love being involved with IABC. It challenges me to continue to grow and not become complacent or safe in my own little box.

For example, I attended IABC Kansas City’s virtual monthly meeting in August. I knew I would learn something — but I wasn’t expecting it to be the structure of the meeting itself. Seriously, it was an exceptionally run meeting. After six months of Zooming, I thought I’d seen it all.

I used those newfound leadership skills to run IABC/Topeka’s Sept. 3 meeting with the ever-impressive Martha Bartlett Piland. My two pages of notes from her include: how to measure ongoing success of a business’ culture, how to intentionally integrate a brand’s purpose in every aspect of the company (including the lunchroom), and why you should consider using subtitles on videos. My team was still buzzing about Martha’s presentation that afternoon.

Up next, I’m especially thrilled to welcome Washburn University’s Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Danielle Dempsey-Swopes, to speak with IABC/Topeka on Oct. 1. The country is engulfed in a necessary national conversation about race, and as communicators, we have the power to lead that discussion in our own inner circles. Sign-up details below.

My point is this: If you’re searching for personal or professional growth, IABC/Topeka is here to help. Please let us know how we can best serve you by completing our survey by Friday, Sept. 25.


Stay safe, healthy and curious,

Kristin Ross
IABC/Topeka President

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There is a human aspect of connecting that’s needed now, more than ever. As we all scramble to adjust to our new way of working and doing business, combined with the stress of virtual school for our kids and general concern over health and wellness, the true value of a networking group is immeasurable.

Even during the pandemic, when networking groups are transitioning to virtual programming and connection, there are significant benefits that come from joining an organization like IABC/Topeka. This group of talented professionals continues to forge ahead with relevant professional development, personal connections, and support for personal and professional growth. Here are just a few reasons you should consider joining a group like IABC/Topeka:

  1. Connections to help you advance – IABC offers a global network of peers for answers to pressing questions through a private, online community. This is for IABC members only.
  2. Tools to leverage for results – Access an online library that includes award-winning case studies, webinars, podcasts and more.
  3. Content to keep informed – Stay informed with Catalyst magazine articles and other content on critical industry topics each week.
  4. Credentials to raise your profile – Receive discounts on professional certification through the Global Communication Certification Council (GCCC).
  5. Learning to stay sharp – Continue growing with discounts on professional development through IABC Academy online courses, the IABC World Conference, the IABC Gold Quill Awards, and with chapter and regional events in your local area.
  6. Build a local support network – with approximately 40 fellow communicators in your local community, IABC/Topeka offers opportunities to connect with others in your industry who can help you navigate challenges, connect you to future opportunities, and offer support as you grow within your career.

I invite you to join us for our upcoming professional development meeting on Oct. 1 to see for yourself the value this group can offer. If you have interest in joining the networking group, please reach out to me, any time, with questions! 


Val Williams,
Membership Chair

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Meeting Teaser

Join us at 11:45 a.m., Thursday, October 1, as we dive into creating inclusive content and being a voice for the voiceless with Danielle Dempsey-Swopes, director of university diversity & inclusion at Washburn University. This meeting will take place via Zoom. Log-in information will be sent out the morning of October 1 to those who register. 

Danielle will visit with us about Washburn's culture of diversity and inclusion, as well as her role in supporting communications and education about these initiatives at Washburn and within our community. She will share with us best practices for how we can make our own content more diverse and inclusive, and be a voice for the voiceless. 

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