President’s Blog: Back to SF IABC


You don’t have to be a student to enjoy new beginnings in September 

All those photos on Facebook of smiling kids, ready for a new school year filled with new classes, new friends and often, a new outfit. I get a little wistful this time of year; not because I don’t have a kid, but because I’m not one.

And then I realize, SF IABC is the answer to my back to school nostalgia. With a new board that assembled in July, we’re basically dominating September with a full schedule of offerings complete with extra—and sometimes exclusive—benefits for members.

Lectures. While we didn’t have a choice in school, SF IABC lets you pick your own professional development curricula throughout the year, thanks to the leadership of co-VPs Dubravka Jusic and Merry Selk. On September 26 we gather in SF to get philosophical with ethics experts, including IABC Global Ethics Committee appointee Nigel Glennie (Director, Business Critical Communications, Cisco). Sign up early to get a seat at Ethics: The Heart of Leadership, a free, joint event with PRSA. Watch for an equally insightful panel discussion on Change Management later this fall.

Lunches (and dinners). Who doesn’t want to eat lunch with old friends and make some new ones too? In our back to school alternative universe the cool kids are the smart kids, who happen to hold fascinating conversations over lunch and sometimes even dinner.

Join the Independent Communicators’ Roundtable (ICR) in Oakland on September 21 for a lunchtime discussion (free for IABC members) about what to do when good clients go bad. You’ll also meet our ICR co-directors, Leslie Hobbs and Erin Hosilyk, as they facilitate the first of many activities with this special interest group.

And ICYMI, one of the most popular SF IABC programs is the Networking Nine dinner series. If you haven’t attended one yet, get on the list ASAP! Held every other month, this is a member-only event where co-directors Corey Connors and Jeff Leslie host dinner discussions in Walnut Creek and San Francisco, respectively. We’re almost full for September, but taking names for future dinners (see dates and topics).

Libations. Seriously. You just cannot miss the first big party of the year. And we’re making sure you have an invite. Be there on September 14 at Uptown Agave in Oakland as we join professionals from PRSA and other Bay Area associations for our Fall Mixer. According to Suki Baz, VP, Membership, who is on the organizing committee, no need to spike your own punch. We’re grown-ups now, and wine will be within reach.

Learning Lab. You know the best classes were those in which you could actually use your hands and create something. We’re all about trying new things and giving you a chance to learn from your peers when you join the SF IABC volunteer team. For example, you could learn from our Director, Website Management, Maureen Thompson, and get hands on experience with WordPress as you help us shape the content strategy and user experience of our digital real estate.

Linking Up with a Mentor. Groups are great, but nothing like a little one on one attention. Every SF IABC member can participate in our free Mentoring Program, as a mentee or mentor. Applications are due September 16 and Mentoring Program Director, Glenna Parks, is waiting to match you up with the Best. Mentor. Ever.

September is most definitely the right time to get Back to SF IABC. Come to one or all of these events—you’ll be sure to walk away with some new knowledge and new friends. And you can even wear a new outfit.

Kamna Narain is an independent consultant, serving as a thought partner for employee and leader communications, as well as a life coach. She is President of SF IABC.

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