During Member Month and throughout the year, we celebrate and support the members who make us a thriving and diverse organization and resource for Bay Area communicators. 

This month, we’re catching up with our chapter’s Social Media Manager and aspiring home chef, Michelle McGill.

Where did you grow up and study, and where do you now call home?

I was born and raised in San Diego County. I moved to the Bay Area in the late 90s to attend St. Mary’s College. I loved it so much that I decided to stay and have lived in Oakland for the last 16 years.

What’s your professional focus or role?

I recently joined Kaiser Permanente as a communications consultant. I provide internal communications to employees within Kaiser’s digital segment, focusing on organizational change management. After working as a freelance writer and editor, I love working in a collaborative, cross-functional role. 

How have you grown as a communicator since joining IABC?

It’s inspiring to learn from and work with so many successful communication professionals. Everyone is generous with their time and happy to make networking connections that count. I accepted my current position after two chapter members introduced me to a seasoned, well-respected independent consultant, who later referred me to my current role. 

What are your favorite IABC member benefits? 

The networking and professional development opportunities that IABC offers are amazing. I volunteered for the SF IABC Board before I joined as a member and was allowed the chance to gain experience in social media management. I’ve found a supportive communications community full of people who encourage me to share my best work.  

What’s your biggest professional or personal goal right now?

I’m excited about my new role at Kaiser Permanente! I’m looking forward to soaking up as much information as possible from my colleagues. 

What’s one of your favorite communications-focused publications, and why do you like it?  

I’m a big believer in the practice of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) and love Marshall Rosenberg’s book, Nonviolent Communication — A Language of Life, and Oren Sofer’s book, Say What You Mean. Clearly expressing your feelings and needs while listening to others can transform your relationships, including those at work.

How do you unwind with friends and family?

I LOVE to cook, and much of my social time revolves around food. Before the pandemic, I used to host a lot of dinner parties. I haven’t started doing that again yet, but I’m looking forward to it!

Iolanthe Denman is a writer and content strategist based in San Francisco. She currently serves as Membership Director on SF IABC’s Board and has an enduring passion for crisp, tight copy, live music and hot sauce on everything.