IABC draws from the best in the global communication field to educate, inform and inspire innovation in professional communication. As the governing body of IABC, the international executive board leads the organization in its mission to set the global standard of excellence for business communication. The 2017–2018 board slate represents the broad cultural and professional diversity of IABC.

“I am truly thrilled with the caliber of outstanding leaders selected for the 2017–2018 IEB slate,” said IABC Chair Dianne Chase. “It has been gratifying to see the growth in the number of outstanding professionals from around the world interested in serving to move IABC forward as we launch into our new three-year strategic plan. The IABC board exemplifies communication leaders who want to make a positive impact for our members and our profession. IABC is well positioned to make even greater strides as the global association for professional communicators with this team of accomplished individuals at the helm.”

The executive board selection process follows a rigorous, competency-based approach emphasizing leadership, problem-solving, a global perspective, strategic thinking and business acumen.

The 2017–2018 executive board slate will be presented to IABC members for ratification at the 2017 Annual General Meeting on Saturday, 10 June 2017, during the IABC World Conference in Washington, D.C.

The incoming chair of the 2017–2018 executive board is Sharon Hunter of Montréal. Returning directors are Shannon Frederick, ABC, Zora Artis, GAICD, Michael Nord and Daniel Munslow, CPRP. We are also pleased to announce that current executive board members Sherry Kennedy and Jill Vitiello have been nominated to a consecutive term for ratification.

The 2017–2018 slate for ratification is:

Vice Chair (automatic succession to 2018–2019 chair)
Ginger D. Homan, ABC, Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S.

Secretary/Treasurer (one-year term)
Alain Legault, Montréal, Quebec, Canada

Director (one-year term)
Sherry Kennedy, Nairobi, Kenya

Director (three-year term)
Jill Vitiello, North Brunswick, New Jersey, U.S.
Sheila Carruthers, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Leanne Nyirfa, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Further information on these prospective office holders:


Ginger D. Homan, ABC, is founder of Zia Communications, a firm specializing in campaigns to change behaviors, build communities and transform thinking. Her award-winning communication model has been used by foundations and corporations to grow brands and align cultures. Ginger served as a director on the international executive board from 2014 to 2017 and as IABC Secretary/Treasurer from 2015 to 2017.  She was the director of North America for the IABC Accreditation Committee and served in several roles on her local chapter board. Ginger is a recipient of the 2016 IABC Chairman’s Award, the IABC Tulsa chapter’s John Hartman Professional Communicator of the Year and Leadership Tulsa’s Paragon Award for board service with the American Heart Association. Her work has been recognized by the IABC Gold Quill Awards program, the Society of Marketers of Professional Services and the Public Relations Society of America.


Alain Legault, based in Montréal, is the director for communication, public affairs and government relations of the largest college in the province of Quebec, Canada. From 2005 to 2011, he acted has the chief of staff of the director of the Montréal Police Service. He also taught media relations at Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). A high-level, bilingual communication professional with expertise in crisis management and corporate issues, he demonstrates passion, enthusiasm, and above all, a desire to be involved and to excel. He joined IABC more than 10 years ago and, has been a member of the board of the IABC Montréal chapter, the largest bilingual chapter of IABC, since 2010, as well as its president from 2013 to 2015.


Sheila R. Carruthers MBA-PR, CMC, is the founder of CSR Strategies, a management consulting firm specializing in corporate social responsibility and organizational excellence. Located in Calgary, Alberta, she’s been helping clients leverage their social value for more than a decade. She’s served on more than a dozen boards and committees throughout her career, and she is the current past president of the IABC Calgary chapter. Under her leadership, the Calgary chapter won International Chapter of the Year and Large Chapter of the Year awards in 2017. Sheila is a Certified Management Consultant and holds an MBA in public relations and communication management.

Leanne Nyirfa, ABC, is a communication consultant with more than 20 years’ experience serving clients in the government, corporate and nonprofit sectors. Leanne’s expertise includes strategic communication planning, issues management and media relations training. She is also a contracted spokesperson for Canada’s electoral agency, Elections Canada. Leanne is past president of the IABC Saskatoon chapter, and currently serves as senior delegate on her chapter board. Active in her community, Leanne mentors young women through the Edwards School of Business at the University of Saskatchewan, and serves on the board of directors of Saskatchewan’s largest conservation agency, an appointment by the Province of Saskatchewan.

Other senior officers moving into new roles:


Sharon Hunter is an independent consultant with over 20 years of marketing and communication experience across the private, public and nonprofit sectors. Her services focus on integrated strategic planning, digital content strategy and facilitation to foster collaboration for change. Most recently with Concordia University, Montréal, she oversaw engagement strategies focused on the student experience journey and change communication for a two-year, enterprise-wide Student Information System implementation, in which she served on the steering committee. An active volunteer, Sharon supports professional skills training and mentoring initiatives for students and young professionals. She served for six years  in the award-winning IABC Montréal chapter, was named Chapter Leader of the Year in 2013 for her community partnerships work and has served for four years on IABC’s international executive board.


Dianne Lynn Chase is senior partner at C4CS, LLC, Leaders in Strategic Communication and Crisis Management, serving client partners from around the world. She oversees development and instruction in crisis communication, planning and management; message development; issues management; and presentation and interviewing skills training for corporate and government clients. She is past chair of the IABC Southern Region, where she served five years on the board. She served as vice chair of the 2015 IABC World Conference Program Advisory Committee and as a member of the IABC Brand Task Force. Chase is co-founder of the IABC Charlotte annual nonprofit event now in its 17th year, a past three-time chapter president and Volunteer of the Year. Dianne is also long-standing board member and past two-term president (and first woman to serve in the role) of the Radio-Television Digital News Association of the Carolinas (formerly the Radio Television News Directors Association of the Carolinas). She is the winner of numerous local, state, regional and national broadcast journalism awards, as well as civic and philanthropic recognitions.

*ABC = Accredited Business Communicator

About the international executive board

The international executive board is accountable to IABC members and supervises, controls and directs the affairs of the association. It actively pursues the association’s mission and determines its policy within the limits of the law, bylaws, and articles of incorporation. It upholds the IABC Code of Ethics for Professional Communicators and supervises disbursement of the association’s funds. The international executive board develops the strategic plan and direction for the association under the guidance of the association bylaws approved by the IABC membership. 


Posted by Talia Witherspoon on the IABC International website