By Julie Knight

After a childhood spent in the suburbs of Chicago and her entire adult life and professional career in the city, Maureen Thompson decided to embark on a new chapter by moving halfway across the country to the Bay Area in October of 2015.

To accelerate her transition into the local market, she decided to join SF IABC in early 2016, building a professional network and putting her communications skills and interests to work.

 IABC Makes a Difference
“I’ve met so many incredible minds here at SF IABC. There is a lot of rich, diverse experience on the board.” Last year she volunteered as website director and now she’s serving on the SF IABC Board of Directors as VP of communications.

Her SF IABC volunteer work gave her both a local network and recent Bay Area communication experience to add to her resume.

She accepted the role of director, Employee & Culture Communications at GE Digital in August 2016. “The leadership experience and domain expertise gained on the board can really differentiate you in a job search. It certainly was a conversation starter during my interview process.”

Maureen is responsible for communications strategy to engage, educate, retain and recruit more than 26,000 global employees, while also leading integration communications for mergers and acquisitions at the software company.

Her Past Life
Previous roles included director of Corporate Communications for Prologis, a premier industrial real estate company. Before that, she spent a decade in corporate communications at W.W. Grainger, Inc., a global, industrial distributor. She’s also served as development manager and consultant for several non-profits.

Career Tips
Her career advice? “Don’t underestimate your worth. Have confidence in your abilities and ask for what you need. You, and you alone, are responsible for your own happiness, career trajectory and future.”

Taking action is key, she says. “Don’t just join IABC, volunteer for something. You’ll get to know people who will experience and respect your work. That’s how you build a strong network of allies who can help you succeed.”

What’s Changing?
What would she like to see change at IABC this year? “We are really focused on taking the conversation to the next level for our members this year. That means engaging with them in a two-way dialogue and creating community in multiple forums. We’ll be addressing current events, including world politics and other areas of controversy, in social media. We’ll be offering more opportunities for members to be seen as thought leaders by contributing original content across all of our channels.”

Her Favorite IABC Event?
While she enjoys all IABC events, Networking 9 meetings are her personal favorite, she says. “I love the intimate interaction between a handful of communication professionals focused on a topic like crisis communication or new technologies. I always take away one or two really great ideas I can test or implement right away.”

To learn more about our Networking 9 meetings, contact Jeff Leslie or Corey Connors. Check out SF IABC’s upcoming mixer on Sept. 20, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at Mockingbird, 416 13th Street, Oakland.

Something quick you can do right now to raise your visibility at IABC and help us grow: The more members we have in IABC, the stronger our network. Help us grow our membership by promoting IABC in your social media networks. It only takes a minute! Attending an IABC Event? Gathering with fellow IABC members for networking, lunch, or just catching up over coffee?  Check in on your social media networks. Whether you’re at an event or not, raise your visibility at IABC by posting a quick message and / or photo of yourself to your social network or to any SF IABC group on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Share what you love about IABC, using the hashtag #WhyILoveIABC.

Want to contribute content or be featured in the SF IABC profile space? Contact Julie Knight.

Julie Knight is an award-winning, accredited business communicator and writer. Her clients have included The Walt Disney Company, Starbucks, Cisco Systems, McKesson Corporation and Hewlett-Packard, to name a few. Connect with Julie on LinkedIn or