2020-2021 Chapter Board

Executive Board

President

Dana Higgins, PMP

Associate Director, Community Engagement & Partnerships, SFU Beedie School of Business

Dana Higgins is currently Associate Director, Community Engagement and Partnerships at the Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University. Over the years, Dana has worked in various roles in post-secondary with a focus on communications, community engagement, event management, alumni relations, student development, and project management. An accredited Project Manager, Dana likes to approach projects with a systems mindset to build in structures to ensure that all stakeholders are informed and objectives are met.

A big believer in life-long learning, Dana earned a B.A. in Political Science with a focus on International Relations from the University of Victoria. As well as diplomas in public relations and adult education. In her spare time, Dana is currently working part-time towards earning an MBA from SFU Beedie School of Business.

Based in Vancouver, Dana enjoys getting out into nature for hikes in the woods, water sports, camping and just an all-around peace of mind. Dana is an avid traveler and is always on the look-out for new destinations and great flight deals to get her there (travel recommendations are always appreciated!)

Volunteering has been a focus for Dana for many years, both as a way of giving back, but also as a way of building skills and expanding her network. She’s thrilled to be stepping into the chapter President role and looks forward to working with the talented team of IABC/BC volunteers and the exceptional members of the Board to deliver programming and events that will benefit our vibrant community of professional communicators in British Columbia.

Feel free to reach out if you have ideas and recommendations or would like to find out more about volunteering with the chapter!

Email: president at iabc.bc.ca
Twitter: @danahiggi
LinkedIn: Dana Higgins


Vice-President

José Vargas

Manager, Communications and Stakeholder Engagement, Provincial Health Services Authority

José is a communications professional with more than 12 years of experience in the public and private sectors. He is currently a manager of communications and stakeholder engagement for the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA), which is known for its specialized hospitals and centres across B.C. such as BC Children’s Hospital, BC Cancer and the BC Centre for Disease Control.

Proudly crediting the official start of his career as a communicator to the co-op program at Simon Fraser University, José first found an internship with CTV News, followed by a coordinator role at Ritchie Bros. (NYSE and TSX: RBA), the world’s largest industrial auctioneer. After completing his undergraduate communications program, José took on the role of specialist and then corporate communications lead at Ritchie Bros., where he would hone his investor relations and strategic communications skills.

His calling to the public service came in 2015. Starting as a Human Resources advisor at PHSA, José had the opportunity to support PHSA’s unique and skilled workforce, consisting of an extensive range of health-care workers, including physicians, researchers, paramedics and nurses. In 2018, José found an opportunity to join the PHSA Communications team, driven by a passion for storytelling, specifically stories about the everyday heroism of B.C.’s health-care workers.

José has been a member of IABC/BC for almost ten years, and part of the chapter’s board as director of student development in 2019/20, where he continues to be inspired by the connections and knowledge sharing that form the fabric of the IABC community.

Email: vicepresident at iabc.bc.ca
Twitter: @josevargastogo
LinkedIn: José Vargas


Past President

Adam Brayford, SCMP

Communications Manager, Bananatag

Adam Brayford is a certified Strategic Communication Management Professional, winner of the CRPS National Award, a 3-time IABC Gold Quill Award winner, a Blue Ribbon Panellist, and an all-around carb enthusiast. As Bananatag’s communications lead, he connects Internal Comms professionals around the world to the support and tools they need to engage their employees with timely, on-brand, measurable communication. With a background in Higher Education, Technology, Non-profit, in-house communications, consulting, hosting and speaking, Adam is passionately working to nurture the next generation of vibrant IABC communicators.

Email: pastpresident at iabc.bc.ca
Twitter: @adambrayford
LinkedIn: Adam Brayford


Executive Administrator

Sheryl Gray

Proposal Writer, McElhanney

Sheryl has been an IABC/BC member since 2012, and has previously served on the Board as Volunteer Director and Finance Director. She is currently a proposal writer with the engineering firm, McElhanney Ltd., with previous experience in corporate communications and freelance writing. As a mom of three, she is also an active volunteer in her North Delta community, supporting physical activity programs for children with developmental disabilities.

Email: executive at iabc.bc.ca
LinkedIn: Sheryl Gray


Director, Finance

Carmen Wright

Carmen is a versatile, strategic and practical creative who isn’t afraid to tackle something new. Over the last 24 years, she’s moved through several communication design roles, ultimately becoming Manager, Communications with the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board where she loved leading a wide variety of challenging projects as well as mentoring an awesome team. Recently, she’s entered the world of communications consulting with a project to promote work-integrated learning to employers and community partners across BC.
Always seeking to balance the business side of her personality with the creative side, Carmen holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Calgary, with a major in marketing and a minor in dance. She’s looking forward to releasing her inner stats geek by diving into the financials as the Director, Finance and rejuvenating her personal creative projects by developing a new chapter book series.

Twitter: @CarmenWright
LinkedIn: Carmen Wright

 

Directors

Director, Award Programs

Elaine O’Connor, CMP

Acting Communications Director, BC’s Office of the Human Rights Commissioner

Elaine is a national award-winning journalist and international award-winning senior communications professional who harnesses the power of sophisticated brand journalism to deliver innovative campaigns that build corporate reputations, influence core stakeholders, and shape audience behaviour.

As a communications and media advisor, Elaine specializes in working with forward-thinking organizations managing end-to-end public health, education, employee and digital communications strategy. She has a passion for social justice journalism, closing the health equity gap, protecting women’s and LGBTQ rights and is an veteran adventure travel writer and photographer.

Email: awards at iabc.bc.ca
Twitter: @elaine_oconnor
LinkedIn: Elaine O’Connor


Director, Career Development

We are currently recruiting for this position, if you are interested in applying please visit the volunteer opportunities page.

 


Co-Director, Events

Nicole Adams, ABC

Director of Communications, Industry Training Authority

Nicole has more than 15 years’ experience in strategic corporate communications and marketing, including strategic communication planning, organizational communications, media relations, risk and crisis communications, brand management, stakeholder engagement and event planning. She started her career in journalism and moved into corporate communications at WorkSafe BC. Over the years, she has led the communications function in a range of organizations, including public sector, nonprofit, co-operative and private sector, such as BC Cancer Agency, Streetohome Foundation, Westport Innovations, and most recently, Central 1 Credit Union. Nicole has a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University, continued her education through the Public Relations program at University of Victoria, and achieved the designation of Accredited Business Communicator through IABC in 2007. She’s an active volunteer with IABC and Streetohome Foundation, and provides mentorship to junior communicators looking to grow their skills and experience.

Email: networkingevents at iabc.bc.ca
LinkedIn
: Nicole Adams


Co-Director, Events

Jinny Wu

Communications Manager, Vancouver Convention Centre

Jinny is an accomplished communications professional with over 17 years of experience in corporate communications and public relations for organizations in tourism, health and government.

In her current role, she leads the development and delivery of an overall communications strategy for the award-winning Vancouver Convention Centre. This includes overseeing media relations, issues and crisis management, internal communications, public relations, community engagement and stakeholder relations.

A member of IABC since 2009, Jinny currently serves as Co-Director, Events where she works alongside Nicole Adams and a team of dedicated volunteers to create professional development and networking opportunities for members in the BC chapter. She has previously volunteered as a mentor for IABC/BC and has served as a past Board of Director for the Downtown Vancouver Association.

Email: networkingevents at iabc.bc.ca
Twitter: @jinnywu
LinkedIn: Jinny Wu


Co-Director, Marketing + Communications

Courtney Chu

Regional Communications Leader, Vancouver Coastal Health

Courtney Chu is a writer and content strategist who is always on the lookout for the next story.

Her professional background includes marketing, health communications strategy and corporate communications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Simon Fraser University and a Master of Arts in Communication with a focus on children’s health and gamification.

A passionate believer in storytelling as the key to behaviour change, Courtney’s writing focuses on health communications and culture.

When she’s not plugging away at her keyboard you can find her boxing, practicing calligraphy or trying to make her life as pretty as a Pinterest board.

Email: marketing at iabc.bc.ca
Twitter
: @CourtsFelix
LinkedIn: Courtney Chu


Co-Director, Marketing + Communications

Dana Helgason

Communications Manager, TELUS

As a child Dana Helgason always asked a lot of questions. Now she gets to do it for her job! Dana is a Communications Manager at TELUS. She is curious, creative and direct. With over a decade of experience, she is known for her ability to quickly adapt, transform complex information  and manage projects. Dana holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Marketing. She loves fitness, mountains, salads and costumes.

Email: marketing at iabc.bc.ca
Twitter
: @danahelgason
LinkedIn: Dana Helgason


Director, Membership

Jasmine Bradley

Director of Corporate Communications, E-Comm 911

Jasmine is an experienced communications professional with a demonstrated history of working in the public safety industry. As the Director of Corporate Communications for E-Comm, British Columbia’s 9-1-1 emergency communications centre, she is responsible for leading the organization’s internal and external communication, issues management, media relations and public education campaigns. As the current Director of Membership for IABC British Columbia, she is responsible for leading the chapter’s efforts around increasing member growth and engagement.

Email: members at iabc.bc.ca
LinkedIn: Jasmine Bradley


Director, Special Interest Groups (SIGs)

Jessica Purver

Communications Officer, St. Paul’s Foundation

Jessica Purver is an enthusiastic storyteller with a background in journalism, digital marketing and community health care communications. In her current position as Communications Officer for St. Paul’s Foundation, she leads communications for the events portfolio, where she collaborates with directors across the organization to project manage and strategize for high-profile donor events such as Lights of Hope and Feast of Fortune.

Jessica has a passion for volunteering, and has volunteered in various positions for non-profit organizations including BCSPCA, Friends of the VPL, and JDRF Canada – the latter for which she has acted as a volunteer coordination leader for over a decade.

In her role as Director of Special Interest Groups (SIGs), she hopes to continue to increase engagement of existing and potential IABC BC members by developing and implementing innovative strategies that encourage knowledge sharing and creative problem-solving. Jessica is the former IABC BC SIG Manager.

Twitter: @jesspurver
LinkedIn: Jessica Purver


Director, Sponsorship & Partnerships

Ram Chungh

Municipal and Stakeholder Relations Advisor, Vancouver Fraser Port Authority

Ram Chungh plays a key role in the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s Municipal and Stakeholder Relations portfolio. She is responsible for building and maintaining relationships and finding opportunities for collaboration with senior staff and elected officials across the Lower Mainland, as well as chambers and boards of trade throughout the region.

Ram has more than 12 years of communications experience, including community investment and engagement, marketing, issues management and government and stakeholder relations. She is a key member of the port authority’s community investment committee, reviewing applications and selecting organizations to receive funding and sponsorships through its community investment program. She brings with her many years of experience training and leading teams to engage with the public at hundreds of community events throughout the Lower Mainland.

Ram holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Simon Fraser University, a certificate in Communication and Negotiation from the Sauder School of Business Executive Education Program, and a certificate in Planning for Public Participation from the International Association of Public Participation.

Events: sponsors at iabc.bc.ca
LinkedIn
: Ram Chungh


Director, Students and New Communicators

Nancy Chan

Marketing and Digital Communications Advisor, Vancouver Fraser Port Authority

Nancy Chan has ten years of communications experience and specializes in content marketing, integrated communications campaign planning and digital communications. She currently works at the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority as a marketing and digital communications advisor and prior to that, worked at Fraser Health as a digital communications consultant. Other past roles have included focuses on community relations, project communications, and internal communications. Currently, she is also working towards completing master’s degree in urban studies as a part-time student. With past board experience in the sponsorship portfolio, Nancy looks forward to returning to the board contributing in a new capacity as director, students and new communications.

She recalls her first touchpoint with IABC/BC as a student within the SFU Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology when a volunteer introduced a series of upcoming events and opportunities at the beginning of a lecture. Nancy also found her beginnings in professional communications as part of SFU’s Co-operative Education program and understands the thought process and struggles as a student trying to navigate what happens next. At her workplace, she enjoys opportunities to work with, mentor, and connect with co-op students and those new to communications. Having switched majors three different times (she also considered a fourth switch!) to considering careers in teaching, counselling, social work, business development, and finally landing on communications, she looks forward to the opportunity to give back to her professional community by helping mentor both students and new communicators as they navigate through trials and decisions.

Events: students at iabc.bc.ca
LinkedIn
: Nancy Chan


Director, Volunteer Services

Rachel Wong

Communications Consultant, Be the Change Group

Rachel is an experienced communications professional and relationship-builder with a passion for internal communications and employee engagement, and an interest in working for companies and clients who are making a difference. Rachel is experienced in delivering both public-facing and employee-focused communications strategies for public and private sector organizations, and has worked closely with senior leadership, mid-level management, and human resources personnel in preparing varied communications materials, conducting media relations, articulating key messaging, and carrying out issues management and crisis communications. She currently provides communications and marketing strategy and advice for clients of Be the Change Group, a population and public health consulting firm that brings together three interdisciplinary teams to solve complex issues and create change in our communities.

As Director, Volunteer Services for IABC/BC, she leads a small team that manages the volunteer experience and supports over 60 IABC/BC volunteers working to engage and provide valuable networking and professional development opportunities for communications professionals across British Columbia.

She’s tech-savvy, loves to plan, write and create, organizes people and projects, and is only semi-functional until her morning coffee kicks in – an early morning task that is regularly completed in full before her small human wakes for the day.

Events: volunteers at iabc.bc.ca
LinkedIn
: Rachel Wong


Previous chapter board

View last year’s chapter board