IABC Nashville Presents President’s Award to Lysa Rigo and Sarah Loeffler

NASHVILLE – (Feb. 27, 2018)  – The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Nashville Chapter presented the President’s Award to board members Lysa Rigo and Sarah Loeffler during its Feb. 20 professional development luncheon. 2017 IABC president Tom Kenley presented the award, which recognizes exceptional contributions by chapter members, to Lysa and Sarah for showing extraordinary commitment to the chapter’s growth and wellbeing in 2017.


On the heels of winning an IABC Gold Quill Award for her work at Ingram Barge, Lysa Rigo, vice president of finance for IABC Nashville, successfully reorganized the chapter’s financial affairs and has shared her expertise with chapter members and university students alike. “Lysa is always one of the first to volunteer to help with special chapter projects,” said Tom Kenley. “We couldn’t have done it without her last year.”

Sarah Loeffler, vice president of membership for IABC Nashville, continually reaches out to potential members through mixers and one-on-one networking. “Sarah consistently offers assistance with special projects,” said Kenley. “Fortunately, her commitment has continued as her chapter responsibilities have grown, and we are excited to learn that she has agreed to continue her contribution to the chapter by becoming the chapter’s president-elect this year.”

IABC Nashville is one of more than 100 chapters in 70 countries providing learning opportunities for its members and professional development sessions that offer new insights into the latest communication trends, technology and issues facing the industry. The chapter is diverse, with members representing area agencies, broadcast stations, corporations, universities and nonprofit organizations. IABC Nashville also offers ties to job bank services and the annual Music City Gold Pen Awards program.

IABC is the only place to connect with communicators globally.

Connect here. Go anywhere!

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Thinking about renewing your IABC membership, or joining for the first time? Do it in March and save!
If you’ve been thinking about joining IABC, or your membership has lapsed and you’ve been debating reinstating – now is the time to act! March is the best month of the year to join or renew your membership because we’re celebrating Membership Month! IABC Nashville was named Small Chapter of the Year! Join or renew by March 31 to receive:
  • 10% off your membership dues
  • Chance to win a VIP grand prize package to World Conference 2018
Already a member, but still want to participate? Refer a colleague to win a $250 Visa gift card!
Become an IABC Champion by referring a colleague or renewal membership! Our members hold the key to our success and we want to make your membership as valuable as possible. As a current member, tell your friends and colleagues to join by March 31 and use you as a referral to receive:
  • The chance to win a $250 Visa gift card
  • Recognition on the IABC website
  • Additional recognition at the IABC 2018 World Conference as an IABC
Join the fun locally – and worldwide! Use IABC Nashville as your passport to connect with communicators around the globe!
There are lots of ways to join the fun by participating in any of our upcoming events:
Got questions? We’ve got answers!
Contact IABC Nashville’s VP of Membership, Sarah Loeffler, with any questions!
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April 5th – IABC Spring Mixer

Join us on April 5th from 6-8pm for IABC Nashville’s mixer! The mixer will be a fun evening of networking, food and drinks with fellow communications professionals and industry leaders. 

Our mixer will be themed around “Building Your Tribe” and held at Walden, one of Nashville’s newest watering holes. We’ll be bringing together middle Tennessee and southern Kentucky’s finest communications professionals! We’ll meet from 6-8pm for food, libations, authentic conversation, and great networking!

Get to know new members and strengthen your network the right way. Members are FREE and non-members are just $5 to attend!



Join us at IABC Nashville’s April Mixer at Walden in East Nashville. 

New to the area or IABC Nashville? Let us know when you register, and we’ll make sure to connect you with others working in the Communications, Advertising, PR and Marketing fields.

FREE for members and just for $5 non-members. Prepay only. Registration will not be taken at the door.

2909B Gallatin Pike
Nashville TN, 37216


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Mar 21 — PR & Crisis Communications

Join us Mar 21 with our first panel discussion. At our March professional development luncheon, we’ll host Brookdale Senior Living’s corporate communications team for live discussion and Q&A.
It Takes a Team: PR & Crisis Communications in the Corporate Environment
Protecting and enhancing the reputation of a corporation these days requires more skills and perspectives than any one person can possess. It takes a team with complementary skills and experiences to protect a brand through large and small crises, to shape perceptions about an industry and a company, and to build engagement and trust with all stakeholders. But coming together as a well-rounded, highly experienced, and temperamentally compatible team doesn’t happen overnight.  Come hear from the PR team at Brookdale, America’s largest senior living company, about their journey this past year. This panel discussion will provide helpful guidance to all communications professionals whether they are a PR department of one or ten.


Moderation will be lead by: Julie K. Davis, APR, Vice President of Communications
Julie joined Brookdale in March 2013, and leads the Communications team that handles Associate Communications, Public Relations and Crisis Communications. The team supports Brookdale’s reputation internally and externally, sharing positive stories and mitigating the negative. Julie has over 25 years of professional experience. Prior to Brookdale, she headed up Corporate Communications for Cracker Barrel Old Country Store.


Panel Includes:
Dianna Gee, Director of Public Relations

Dianna joined Brookdale in September 2017 as  the Director of Public Relations, leading external efforts to  promote and protect the reputation of the company. Dianna has over 25 years of working with or for the media, first as a broadcast journalist followed by spokesperson duties for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Walmart Corporate Communications.  Her crisis communication experience from FEMA included serving as a field spokesperson on various disasters, from hurricanes, floods and tornadoes to wildfires and ice storms.


Dana Schroering, Senior Public Relations Specialist
Dana joined the Brookdale Public Relations team in March 2016. Since then she has lead PR efforts that showcase the lives of some amazing older adults. Her milestones include producing the first-ever Brookdale Celebrates Aging Film Festival and successfully leading two PR campaigns that highlight Brookdale’s dedication to Alzheimer’s and dementia care. A passionate multi-media producer, she drives the team’s content strategy, manages the online newsroom, promotes Brookdale’s thought leaders and responds to media relations requests. Before working in the senior living industry, Dana led marketing strategy for the local nonprofit Nashville CARES, an HIV/AIDS service organization.


Heather Hunter, Senior Public Relations Specialist

Heather joined the Brookdale Public Relations team in  September of 2016 as a protector and enhancer of the brand. She leads crisis communications including responding to reporters, writing, reviewing, and approving talking points, and oversees support to community-based and corporate associates.  Heather also guides the local leadership at the 1,031 communities on finding and shaping stories of the amazing older adults and associates living and working at Brookdale communities. Before coming to Nashville and to the senior living industry, Heather led marketing and communications for a nonprofit in Branson, Missouri.


James Hauge, Public Relations Specialist
James joined Brookdale in February 2012 and has over four years of professional communications experience. As a member of Brookdale’s public relations team, he manages media monitoring and provides analysis of press coverage about the company. His other functions include developing hyper-local news stories, content creation for public relations campaigns, and promoting Brookdale’s partnership with Wish of a Lifetime, a non-profit organization dedicated to fulfilling the wishes of Brookdale residents and seniors across the country.


*The event was rescheduled due to extreme weather Jan. 17. 
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2018 IABC World Conference, Montreal, June 3-6

Palais des congrès de Montréal

3-6 June, Montréal

#IABC18: The Communication Crossroads


Seth Godin (left), opening keynote of the 2018 IABC World Conference in Montréal

Our theme this year focuses on “The Communication Crossroads,” emphasizing that the communication profession is uniquely positioned at the crossroads of business, culture, functions and audience. That’s a powerful place to be. This year’s conference will explore how to leverage that power in new and innovative ways.

  • Learn how communication drives business performance and innovation.
  • Explore the rise of transformative communication and collaboration.
  • Discover your role at the center of culture and ethics.
  • Strengthen your knowledge and confidence as a strategic adviser.

A mosaic of culture, language and identity, home to major global corporations, and a thriving technology hub, Montréal is the ideal venue to connect with your peers from across the communication profession.

About the World Conference

The IABC World Conference is a long-standing, global professional development event designed for communication practitioners. The only major conference of its type, the event typically draws 1,000 attendees from around the world. Speakers are selected through a peer-reviewed process, with evaluations conducted by top experts in the field. Selections are based on alignment to the IABC Global Standard, and the degree to which the sessions will inform, engage and deliver on the conference theme.

Tangible benefits

 By attending the IABC World Conference, you will:

  • Expand your network, with more than 1,000 participants in attendance.
  • Experience outstanding keynote speeches and informative panel discussions.
  • Choose from exceptional sessions in a variety of formats.
  • Earn credits toward professional certification.

We’ll share the innovative knowledge, creative tools and critical connections we need to make communication the centerpiece of a thriving business community.

Tracks with a focus

Our sessions will be organized by these five tracks:

Leadership and Strategy: For communication professionals aspiring to a leadership role, this track empowers them to support business goals and build a high-value function with impactful approaches/techniques. Sessions offer case studies and examples of strategy in action for the function and/or the organization.

Marketing and Brand: This track shows how to unlock your creativity as a communicator and how best to support an organization’s brand. Sessions will offer insights and expertise on marketing to increase support for an organization, product or service.

Reputation: These sessions uncover the importance of stakeholder management and the role communication professionals play in building relationships in/outside the organization. This track incorporates social responsibility and the strategic role of a communication professional in times of crisis.

Employee Engagement: Through case studies, best practices and highlighting creativity in employee communication, sessions in this track demonstrate the power of communication in building a strong internal culture and the behaviors that support organizational goals.

Communication Skills: This track offers both what communication professionals need to know and know how to do. Sessions explore trends in the communication profession (particularly technology), the latest research and the skills needed to remain current now and in the future. Below are some of examples.

  • Enabling employees to understand the strategy, vision and values of the organization
  • The Office 365 effect and the rise of social channels
  • Digital storytelling
  • Social listening
  • Strategic planning
  • Written communication
  • Social media as collaboration
  • Multimedia content development
  • Verbal communication
  • Business knowledge
  • Business skills
  • Management knowledge
  • Management skills

Read More and Register Now!


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Genma Holmes Among 2018 Influential Black Women In Business

The Network Journal (TNJ; TNJ.com) has announced their Twentieth Annual Influential Black Women in Business Awards and unveiled its 2018 list of 25 Influential Black Women in Business honorees.

Genma Holmes, Owner/Holmes Pest Control and CEO at GSH Consulting, host of Living Your Best Life, Nationally Syndicated Radio Show, and IABC Nashville Board Member, is among this year’s designees. Congratulations, Genma!

“The women we honor in the 20th year of the awards span occupations, industries and expertise, and they share the same traits when it comes to their career and community service: passion, drive and focus. We salute them for achieving significant levels of success in their businesses and professional careers, and for their myriad contributions to their community,” states TNJ Publisher and CEO Aziz Gueye Adetimirin.

This select group will be profiled in the spring 2018 issue of the magazine, and will be formally honored during Women’s History Month at the 20th Annual 25 Influential Black Women in Business Awards Luncheon, presented by Morgan Stanley, on Friday, March 16, 2018 in New York City.

(Read More)

Genma is also a Woman of Influence with IABC. She was a speaker at the IABC Leadership Institute in San Diego, CA, Feb 8-10. She spoke on “Inclusive and Diverse Chapter Programs.”

“National surveys show that most organizations miss opportunities by not embracing diversity. This session will give insights into infusing diversity into chapter program planning early so opportunities with funders, sponsors, and growing membership are not missed when presented, ” say Genma.  #IABCLI #IABCSoReg #IABCNashville.

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Feb. 21 — Leverage the Power of Social

“Those companies who haven’t reacted to the expectations of swift, useful social media service will see their customers move to their rivals quicker than you can type 140 characters.” – Sir, Richard Branson

IABC Nashville is delighted to have the Frist Center’s Emily Beard, Community Relations Manager, as our guest speaker for February’s professional development luncheon. Emily will be talking about how to leverage the power of social media to more effectively communicate with your customers.

As the Frist Center’s community relations manager, Emily Harper Beard works with a variety of community groups and audiences to help promote the Frist Center’s mission and vision. This includes managing the Frist Center’s online community through social media. For the last 7 years, Beard has  been the voice of the Frist Center’s social and digital media sites: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, and Pinterest.

 Prior to working at the Frist Center, she received her B.A. in graphic design from Middle Tennessee State University and worked at a puppet shop in Nashville creating characters for live shows, film, and television. She continues to be an active artist in Nashville’s growing arts scene.


Click on the link below to register or RSVP.

Join us at IABC Nashville’s January 17th Professional Development Luncheon at Maggiano’s on West End.  

Join our members, and other Mid-South communications and marketing professionals. Be seen — and see who else is in the room.

IABC is the only place to connect with communicators globally.

IABC Nashville is your passport!


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IABC Nashville Announces 2018 Officers

The Nashville Chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators is proud to announce that our members have elected new officers for 2018. The new board members will be introduced at IABC Nashville’s January luncheon at Maggiano’s on West End.

This new slate is comprised of highly experienced communicators representing a variety of industries, including health care, public relations, media production strategy, transportation, consulting and higher education.

·      President – Gene Boulware, the Vincit Group
·      President-ElectSarah Loeffler, Tanner Corporate Services
·      Past-PresidentTom Kenley, Rogers Group Inc.
·      SecretaryMollye Dietrich, HCA
·      Vice President-FinanceLysa Rigo
·      Vice President-Membership – Sarah Loeffler, Tanner Corporate Services
·      Vice President-Professional DevelopmentRyan Stout, Astute Communications
·      Vice President-CommunicationsBrandon Mize, Treeline Bamboo Partners
·      Vice President at LargeGenma Holmes, Holmes Pest Control, GSH Consulting, LLC
·      Vice President at LargeMisty Moore, HCA
·      Vice President at LargeJennifer Fuqua, Jarrard Phillips Cate & Hancock
·      Vice President at LargePhil Matisak, ABC, UPS (retired)
·      Vice President at Large – K. Dawn Rutledge, Tennessee State University
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Membership Spotlight – Kerry Burke

On a continuous basis, IABC Nashville spotlights its diverse members through a Q&A feature. We are pleased to showcase Kerry Burke, Senior Communications Specialist at HCA Healthcare. 

 IABC: What is your background? 

Kerry: I was born and raised in CT, and received my public relations/communications degree from Roger Williams University in RI, where I played NCAA softball – Go Hawks! After graduating, I joined the marketing and communications team at Rushford, a non-profit mental health and addiction treatment center in CT. In 2012 I moved to Charleston, SC, where I managed MUSC Health Medical Center’s employee communications program. I arrived in Nashville last year and am loving it!

IABC: How did you get started in this business?

Kerry: I have always loved storytelling, connecting with others and serving a greater purpose. Early in my career, I developed a deep respect for health care professionals and the lifesaving work they do. I wanted to support them by making sure they have the information they need to do their job and feel appreciated, and internal communications was the perfect fit.


IABC: What is your current position and business affiliation? How long have you been in this role?

Kerry: I am a senior communications specialist within HCA Healthcare’s Clinical Services Group. I have been in this role for 14 months.


IABC: What makes your business/organization stand out?

Kerry: HCA is a national leader in health care. As one of the largest health systems in the world, we are fortunate to be able to lead the way in many areas of health care and affect positive change in how care is delivered.


IABC: If you could describe yourself in three (3) words, what would it be?

Kerry: Friendly, compassionate, quirky


IABC: Tell something about yourself people would be surprised to learn.

Kerry: This may not be surprising (especially to those who know me), but I am pretty obsessed with the Nashville foodie scene – If anyone has restaurant recommendations, I am all ears!


IABC: What lesson(s) have you learned along the way that you believe has made you a better communications professional?


  • Know your audience.
  • Always ask for and be open to feedback.
  • Go with your gut.
  • If you don’t ask, the answer is always “no”.


IABC: What makes an effective communications leader?

Kerry: An effective communications leader builds up those around them, and is not afraid to be innovative and try new strategies and approaches.


IABC: What do you feel is the greatest benefit of IABC?

Kerry: Connecting with other professionals in the field personally and professionally. I have developed wonderful professional and personal friendships through IABC, and it is always fulfilling to be able to talk with others who do similar work and “speak the comm language”.


IABC: What prompted you to join IABC?

Kerry: HCA encourages participation in professional organizations, and after seeing the value in IABC membership, I joined as a member last year along with fellow HCA colleagues.




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Digital Workplace Strategies for Employee Communications | Nashville

November 7 – 9, 2017 | Nashville, TN

Using the latest tools to drive engagement, strengthen your culture, improve productivity, and re-energize your organization

Pre-Conference Workshop Day: Tuesday, November 7
Main Two Day Conference: Wednesday, November 8 – Thursday, November 9

Since our Chapter is supporting this conference, IABC Nashville members who register will receive a $200 discount! When registering use the code “IABC Nashville”.

At the event, you will learn about the latest tools and technologies that are engaging employees across various organizations in NEW ways – to help you get better results tied to your organization’s business strategy and goals.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to be surrounded by your internal and employee communications peers, learn best practices from leading organizations, and walk away with practical tips and tools to implement when you return to the office! 

Visit the ALI conference website to learn more!

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