After moving from Chicago to the Bay Area in October 2015, I decided to join SF IABC to accelerate my transition into the local market and expand my professional and personal network. 

I didn’t know a soul and sent an email through the SF IABC website. It was the best cold call of my career!  Three volunteer positions later, (Website Director in 2016, VP of Communications in 2017, and now Executive VP), I’ve met so many incredible minds at SF IABC. There is a lot of rich, diverse experience on the board and I’ve gained several new friends, as well as additional leadership experience to add to my resume.

The leadership experience and domain expertise gained on the board can also really differentiate you in a job search. It certainly was a conversation starter during my interview process with companies here in the Bay Area.  The organization has also served as a springboard for new ideas, a safe space where I can try new approaches and technologies, or just brainstorm fun ideas with other communications professionals. I consider the board and the extended membership my very own personal “Communications Cabinet.” 

SF IABC is also helping to elevate our function and profession. Whether it’s taking advantage of certifications and trainings through international, or engaging locally in dialogue with members around “fake news” and the truth in storytelling, we play a key role in creating community, addressing current events and giving members opportunities to be seen as thought leaders.

In honor of Member Month, if you’re on the fence about joining, or have been an inactive member, I say this: Taking action is key. Don’t just add your name to the IABC roster — volunteer for something. You’ll get to know people who will experience and respect your work. It could lead to a new job, a new experience or a new friend!