2016-17 Chapter Board


Sarah Parker

Title & Company: Senior Communications Advisor, Capilano University
IABC member: 8 years
Twitter: @SarahParkerPR
LinkedIn: sarahparkerpr

Why I joined the board: To give back to an association that has supported me through every step of my career.

My commitment to IABC/BC: To support the board in providing meaningful experiences for our members and volunteers.

Fun fact: I am a dual national: I hold both a Canadian and British passport. I also lived in Australia for a year, as well as travelled throughout Europe. If you’re looking for travel recommendations, I’m your girl!

Vice President

Jeannette LeBlanc

Title & Company: Digital Communications Digital Communications Consultant, Self-Employed
IABC member: 7 years
Twitter: @jileblanc @beyondthedough
LinkedIn: jileblanc

Why I joined the board: I am part of IABC because I want to own my career path and be prepared when opportunities knock. Being a part of the board has been a tremendous leadership experience and learning opportunity in management and business. It’s about more than communications; we are responsible for keeping the wheels turning in our chapter for future communicators so they continue to have a community to learn from as peers. Learning together is better, and why not do so in a vibrant community like we have here in BC?

My commitment to IABC/BC: To connect communicators to the learning opportunities they seek; and if we don’t have something you’re looking for then let’s talk about how we can make it happen. Anything is possible!

Fun fact: I can’t decide on one, so here’s my top three:

  1. I’m a sucker for bad puns, seriously, don’t get me started
  2. I recently discovered I’m a multipotentialite (watch the TED Talk), and
  3. I’m a professionally trained baker and was voted valedictorian of my pastry class. I had to share more than one because of (2) above!

Past President

Catherine Pitman

Catherine PitmanTitle & Company: Workplace Engagement Strategist, UBC
IABC member: 13 years
Twitter: @CatherinePitman
LinkedIn: catherine-pitman-47b9b4n

Why I joined the board: To support communicators in their professional journeys and give back to the local communications community, while gaining valuable experience running a not-for-profit organization.

My commitment to IABC/BC: To share my knowledge and skills, and support our chapter’s volunteers and members.

Fun fact: I am a hot yoga enthusiast – it’s the best way to start the day!

Executive Directors, Board Operations & Administration

Sheryl Gray

Sheryl GrayTitle & Company: Communications Specialist, Vancouver Coastal Health
IABC member: 5 years
Twitter: @shrlgray
LinkedIn: sheryl-gray-06289a49

Why I joined the board: To become more involved in IABC/BC, and to get the most out of my membership. Active participation in IABC is incredibly rewarding through experience, knowledge, team work and professional relations, and absolutely a lot of fun!

My commitment to IABC/BC: To promote open communication and be a voice for all members, including those who live and/or work outside of Vancouver.

Fun fact: I’m a healthcare communicator by day, and a suburban soccer/baseball/dance mom of three by night!

Gillian Hobbs

Gillian HobbsTitle & Company: Communications Coordinator, PHSA
IABC member: 4 years
Twitter: @GillianHobbs
LinkedIn: Gillian Hobbs

Why I joined the board: IABC is a great organization and I’d wanted to get more involved for quite some time. When the opportunity came up to join the board, I thought it’d be an excellent way to give back, and I signed up.

My commitment to IABC/BC: To support the board in creating meaningful experiences for members.

Fun fact: In a former life, I was a professional singer/songwriter and played at the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2010.

Director, Finance

John Almond

Title & Company: Vice President and Web Strategist, Graphically Speaking
IABC Member: 25 years
LinkedIn: johnalmond3

Why I joined the board (again): To bring my past experiences on the IABC/BC Chapter and Canada West Region Boards and help the local chapter achieve its goals. I have always enjoyed volunteering with IABC.

My commitment to IABC/BC: To be supportive of my colleagues.

Fun fact: My IABC life began by sitting beside Gail Pickard at my first IABC event and being asked to help out with the Chapter Awards organizing committee – saying ‘yes’ to Gail was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Looking back over so many years I can say it was life-changing.

Director, Member Services

Rachel Wong

Title & Company: Internal Communications & Media Advisor, Vancouver Fraser Port Authority
IABC member: 6 years
LinkedIn: rachelnwong

Why I joined the board: Connections are a key part of the membership experience at IABC and I believe we can do more to make our members feel like they truly belong in our community.

My commitment to IABC/BC: To provide exceptional service to members seeking information or assistance with their membership questions and to look for ways to establish a valuable membership experience.

Fun fact: I love scotch! I am also a big fan of food trucks and hidden back alley restaurants and have been known to take off down random streets to find the source of delicious smells.

Director, Sponsorship & Advertising

Bradley Tollefsen

Title & Company: Graphically Speaking, Account Director
IABC member: 4 years
Twitter: @bradtollefsen

Why I joined the board: After volunteering in multiple roles on various portfolios, I wanted to get involved on a higher level.

My commitment to IABC/BC: My commitment to the IABC/BC chapter is to build valuable relationships with our sponsors and strategic partnerships.

Fun fact: I love cooking extravagant meals for friends and family. Recipes in the past year include crab boils, turduckens, and pretty much anything on the BBQ.

Director, Volunteer Services

Lydia Tay

Title & Company: Change Management Coordinator, UBC
IABC member: 5 years

Twitter: @_Lydia_T
LinkedIn: lydiatayvancouver

Why I joined the board: To contribute to the overall strategic direction of IABC/BC, so that we add unparalleled value to our members and support them in their professional journeys.

My commitment to IABC/BC: To support our incredible volunteers throughout their experience with IABC, from initial interest to connecting them with the right roles and ensuring that their contribution is celebrated.

Fun fact: Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobic

Directors, Digital Marketing & Member Communications

Jeff Pelletier

Title & Company: CEO & Chief Strategic, BaseTwo Media
IABC member: 2 years
Twitter: @jpelletierb2
LinkedIn: jpelletier

Why I joined the board: To collaborate with other professionals on new challenges outside of my own business.

My commitment to IABC/BC: To help use storytelling to further the organization’s communications objectives.

Fun fact: I live a double-life as an ultra-distance mountain runner, racing distances up to 120 miles. Also, I once ate 3 pounds of Pad Thai in 29 minutes.

Gemma Lawrence

Gemma LawrenceTitle & Company: Product Communications Manager, Central 1
IABC member: 1 month after volunteering for 5 months
Twitter: @gemstars81
LinkedIn: gemmalawrence

Why I joined the board: To develop my leadership and marketing skills whilst making meaningful connections with other communications professionals in BC.

My commitment to IABC/BC: Work collaboratively with other board members and volunteers to produce informative, engaging content and communications about IABC and the array of fantastic opportunities it offers.

Fun fact: I moved to Vancouver from England last May with a permanent residency visa and my cat Lily in tow after falling in love with this city whilst travelling 11+ years ago. And I love country music!

Director, Digital Operations

Kirk Grayson, ABC

Title & Company: Principal, Pedamento Consulting
IABC member: 23 years
Twitter: @Pedamento
LinkedIn: kirkgraysonabc

Why I joined the board: I loved being on the board over the past year and feel this new role is a great fit with my skills and interests.

My commitment to IABC/BC: To collaborate with board members and other volunteers to bring a fantastic array of valuable programming to our members.

Fun fact: I have a big garden and in the summer months I like to start my days with an early morning skirmish with weeds and bugs. Flowers and veggies go to the victor!

Director, Special Events & Awards

Dana Helgason

Title & Company: Senior Business Analyst/Communications Manager for TELUS
IABC member: 4 years
Twitter: @danahelgason

Why I joined the board: Build my leadership skills and connect with the communications community.

My commitment to IABC/BC: To produce amazing events.

Fun fact: I want to go heli skiing on my next winter vacation.

Director, Career Services

Marie Bartlett

Marie BartlettTitle & Company: Freelance Communications
IABC member: 3 years
Twitter: @mariebartlet
LinkedIn: marie-bartlett-9269a448

My commitment to IABC/BC: To provide a valuable opportunity for people who are looking to advance their career and/or contribute to the IABC professional development community.

Fun fact: I’ve tried just about every type of dance class, be it swing, tap, Chinese ballroom, belly dancing, salsa, ballet, break dance, modern, jazz and… well, you get the idea. If there’s a new dance style, I’ll try just about anything once.