March is Member Month at IABC, so let’s meet some of our members and find out why they chose IABC.
Name: Wendy Thatcher
Years in the communications profession: 24
How long have you been an IABC member? 23 years (continuous) + a year prior when I was a student member
What kind of IABC membership do you have? IABC Plus Membership
Are you certified (CMP, SCMP) or accredited (ABC)? What do you hold? Why is that important to you?
Getting my SCMP was a bucket list item for me professionally and renewing is also an annual professional challenge that keeps me learning. I wanted to go through the ABC process but when I *finally* felt mentally prepared, the program changed. Or so I like to tell myself.
The SCMP process is clearly laid out with expectations and then the exam was very manageable. The people that I know who are SCMP certified are people I aspire to be like in my career and truly are the thought leaders that are propelling the profession forward. Being part of that group, gives me a level of confidence that I know my stuff and can stand proudly among this group.
What’s your best IABC memory?
For anyone who knows me, I am a Dare to Lead champion (CWRs leadership conference for chapter and region leaders). I’ve been to several. I think I’m up to nine conferences attended over a 15 year period. Dare to Lead is where I get my professional tank refueled as I’m continuously inspired by the talent and energy of the leaders in the room. I know when I’m in the room that these are my people.
At the last D2L in Winnipeg (2022), I remember sitting in the room, looking around and thinking to myself that I remember being here as a newbie 15 years ago and wondering who would be here 15 years from now. It truly was a moment of pride of where I’ve come from professionally and a reflection of my IABC journey. Gave me chills in that moment.
What do you find most valuable about your IABC membership?
The connections from volunteering. I’m an extroverted introvert and sometimes I need to be nudged to come out of my comfort zone. Volunteering does that; it forces me out of my shell. It’s not only rewarding to give back to the profession but I’m continuously energized by like-minded keeners and their constant dedication and outstanding professional contributions.
As well, some of the most valuable parts of membership are certification and evaluating award entries. I challenge anyone to volunteer to judge at your local chapter or region level. That’s where I really see creativity and insight into how others approach similar work challenges and it often compels me to take risks and different approaches in my own work.
I may also be one of the few but I also read the Hub daily. The ideas and insights are amazing. Lots of tangible ideas and practical resources to incorporate in my own practice.
As I’ve said before, “My IABC membership is the octane that I add to my professional development tank.”