2021-2022 Chapter Board

President

Continuing board member

José Vargas

he/him

Senior Market Manager, TELUS Health

José is a communications professional with more than 12 years of experience in the public and private sectors. He is currently a senior market manager (strategic communications and brand advancement) for TELUS Health, where they are leveraging the power of technology to provide Canadians with better health outcomes.

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, and vice president in 2020/21, where he continues to be inspired by the connections and professional development that form the fabric of the IABC community.

Email: president [at] iabc.bc.ca
Twitter: @josevargastogo
LinkedIn: José Vargas

 


Vice-President

Continuing board member

Carmen Wright

she/her

Communications Consultant, Carmen Wright Communication + Design

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 serving as vice-president and rejuvenating her personal creative projects by developing a new chapter book series.

Email: vicepresident [at] iabc.bc.ca 
Twitter
: @CarmenWright
LinkedIn: Carmen Wright

 


Past President

Continuing board member

Dana Higgins, PMP

she/her

Associate Director, Community Engagement & Strategic Partnerships, SFU

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.

Volunteering has been a focus for Dana for many years, both as a way of giving back and building skills and expanding her network. She’s served on a variety of volunteer and board roles within the IABC/BC community, including her most recent term as Chapter President during the unprecedented 2020-21 chapter year. On a regional IABC level, Dana also served on the Canada West Region board in 2019-20 as well as the 2019 Canada West conference co-chair.

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 traveller and is always on the lookout for new destinations and great flight deals to get her there (travel recommendations are always appreciated!)

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

Email: pastpresident [at] iabc.bc.ca
Twitter: @danahiggi
LinkedIn: Dana Higgins

 


Director, Finance

Incoming board member

Juli Holloway, MA SCMP

she/her

Director of Communications and Engagement, BC First Nations Justice Council

Juli a Senior Communication Management Professional® with 14 years of experience working in private and public sectors. She is currently the director of communications and engagement at the BC First Nations Justice Council and an associate faculty member in Royal Roads University’s School of Communications and Culture.

Juli Haida and Kwakwaka’wakw and have been a guest on the traditional lands of the Secwépemc people for 15 years. She holds a Master of Arts in Professional Communication and wrote her thesis on the role of communication in First Nation community decision making and its power as a tool to support Indigenous self-determination.

Twitter: @juliholloway
LinkedIn: Juli Holloway

 


Director, Membership

Incoming board member

Naseam Ahmadi, M.Sc

she/her

Senior Consultant, Earnscliffe Strategy Group

Naseam is a senior consultant with Earnscliffe Strategy Group and has over ten years of experience in communications, advocacy and community engagement in the health and non-profit sectors.

In prior roles, Naseam led communications plans, digital campaigns and engagement with elected officials and public servants at all levels of government to advance public policies that promote population health.

Naseam earned a Master of Science from the University of British Columbia and a Public Relations Certificate from Simon Fraser University. Previously, Naseam served on the board of directors for Potluck Café Society and volunteered with several Vancouver non-profits.

Email: members [at] iabc.bc.ca
Twitter: @naseam1
LinkedIn: Naseam Ahmadi

 


Co-Director, Events

Incoming board member

Sonia Bhatia

she/her

Advisor, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Langara College

Sonia believes that events are the most powerful tool for creating a strong brand and engaged community. Sonia is a racialized woman who works from an intersectional framework.
Currently, Sonia holds the position of Advisor, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at Langara College. Before Langara College, she worked in the non-profit sector for several years where event management and communications was always a strategic focus.
She is thrilled to be joining the dynamic and talented team at IABC/BC and is looking forward to the opportunity to give back, growing her network and learning.

Email: networkingevents [at] iabc.bc.ca
LinkedIn: Sonia Bhatia

 


Co-Director, Events

Incoming board member

Nicole Keay

she/her

Communications Manager, TELUS

Nicole Keay is an experienced communications professional who has a passion for finding creative solutions to challenging and complex problems.

Her background includes over 10 years of experience working in the private and public sectors, and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Simon Fraser University. She currently works as a Communications Manager at TELUS, advising senior leaders and project teams on communications strategy, tactics and best practice.

Nicole is an outdoor lover and avid cyclist who has recently taken her riding off-road, enjoying the mountain trails around her community. Nicole enjoys are a variety of volunteer experiences and giving back.

Email: networkingevents [at] iabc.bc.ca
Twitter: @nicolemariekeay

 


Co-Director, Marketing & Communications

Incoming board member

Rosabel Bong

she/her

Communications and Marketing Specialist, New Beta Innovation Canada Ltd.

Rosabel is a multifaceted professional who is passionate about communication, writing, media and wellness. She’s a trained scientist but applies her technical background in non-traditional ways.

As part of the New Beta Innovation Canada team, Rosabel works with professionals at all levels to create and deliver appropriate, meaningful and timely messages that drive organizational discourse, engagement and the internal brand voice.

Within the IABC/BC community, Rosabel has been part of the Marketing & Communications team since 2020. As social media manager, she supported all chapter portfolios with multi-channel marketing and communications strategies while continuously providing insights and best practices that informed our chapter’s voice.

Rosabel also has more than six years of group fitness instruction, three years of yoga instruction and more than two years of spin, surfset and boxing instruction.

Email: marketing [at] iabc.bc.ca
Twitter: @rosabelbong
LinkedIn: Rosabel Bong

 


Co-Director, Marketing & Communications

Continuing board member

Dana Helgason

she/her

Senior Communications Manager, TELUS Health Care Centres

As a child, Dana Helgason always asked a lot of questions. Now she gets to do it for her job! Dana is a senior communications manager for TELUS Health Care Centres. 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, Sponsorship & Partnerships

Continuing board member

Ram Chungh

she/her

Acting Manager, Municipal and Stakeholder Relations, 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 and 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: sponsor [at] iabc.bc.ca
LinkedIn: Ram Chungh

 


Director, Volunteer Services

Incoming board member

Aditi Ghosh

she/her

Manager, Internal Communications, UBC

Aditi Ghosh is a communications professional with over 10 years of combined experience in strategic communications in the realms of research, consulting and higher education across India and Canada. She currently works as Manager, Internal Communications at the University of British Columbia, where she supports the development of bespoke internal communication strategies and content through a variety of channels.

Aditi holds a Master of Arts degree in Cultural and Creative Industries from King’s College London. She has been an IABC member on and off over the past five years. Aditi moved to Canada from New Delhi, India, in October 2019, and enjoys hiking and exploring the outdoors in her new home, Vancouver.

Events: volunteers [at] iabc.bc.ca
LinkedIn: Aditi Ghosh

 


Director, Career Development

Continuing board member

Karen Johnston

she/her

Director Of Communications, IC Thrive

Karen’s relationship with the communication profession has been part planned, part wished for and part luck. As a journalist with a loved but untapped talent for the creative, she fell into corporate communications working on employee storytelling. She then shifted to non-profit stakeholder communications before joining the team that convinced (and showed!) the world that South Africa could hold an epic FIFA World Cup in 2010. A year travelling around Africa and two kids later, a love for podcasting helped her shift an international bank’s approach to delivering content and ramped up internal communication efforts using live radio. Relatively new to British Columbian soil, she now develops services and software as the Communications Director at IC Thrive, making the lives of internal communicators infinitely easier.

Karen identifies with the journey of professional communicators and brings empathy and encouragement to her role as Director of Career Development. She looks forward to connecting with – and helping to connect – BC communicators no matter where they are on their communications journey.

She is also the SIG Manager and SIG Internal Communications Chair at IABC/BC, and while very new at skiing, a volunteer Ski instructor with VASS (Vancouver Adaptive Snow Sports).

Email: careerdevelopment [at] iabc.bc.ca
Twitter: @IC_KJohnston
LinkedIn: Karen Johnston

 


Director, Students and New Communicators

Incoming board member

Maycko Macapugas

he/they

Engagement, Events and Special Projects Lead, SFU’s Coast Capital Savings Venture Connection

Maycko is an enthusiastic community-centred plant parent. Trained classically on piano and a disciplined project manager, Maycko brings a unique balance of action-oriented work while keeping it creative and fun. Most of his time is taken up by plants and research. When relaxing, Maycko is likely donning a face mask, sipping tea, and reading a book. Soon, Maycko would love to get back to happy hour drinks with friends and loved ones. Please feel free to connect with him; he’s always excited to hear about what people are working on and what’s going on in the community!

Events: students [at] iabc.bc.ca
Twitter: @foliagefilipino
LinkedIn: Maycko Macapugas

 


Director, Award Programs

Continuing board member

Scott Parker

he/him

Communications Specialist, Best Buy Canada

Scott Parker is a communications professional with more than 10 years of experience in both the private and public sectors.

In his current role at Best Buy Canada, Scott manages the company’s corporate internal communication channels and provides his communications expertise to departments, senior leaders and executives across the organization.

A member of IABC since 2010, Scott has volunteered in various roles for both IABC BC and IABC Edmonton. As Director of Awards, Scott hopes to continue promoting the suite of awards programs IABC has to offer and raising the profile of the great work British Columbian communicators do every day.

Email: awards [at] iabc.bc.ca
Twitter: @ScottParkerPR
LinkedIn: Scott Parker

 


Director, Special Interest Groups (SIGs)

Continuing board member

Jessica Purver

she/her

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 the 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

 


 

Previous chapter board

View last year’s chapter board