IABC Nashville Board Members “Connect” In Atlanta


(l.-r): Misty Moore, Genma Holmes, Gene Boulware, Paul Lindsley, and Tom Kenley

The IABC Southern Region recently held their annual conference, Connect16, at the Coca-Cola headquarters in Atlanta, Ga. IABC Nashville was well represented by five board members. Two of them, Genma Holmes, VP of professional development, and Misty Moore, VP of communications, share more about their experience and why this a great way to connect, learn and grow as professional business communicators. Other IABC board members in attendance included:

Pictured (L to R): Misty Moore, VP of communications (HCA), Genma Holmes, VP of professional development (Holmes Pest Control), Gene Boulware, VP of membership (Vincit Group), Paul Lindsley, VP-at-large (Phase 3 Marketing and Communications, and Tom Kenley, president elect and VP of awards (Rogers Group Inc).

What was your primary reason for attending?

GH:  To network and to gain more knowledge about the leadership in IABC. It is so important to have an understanding of the culture of an organization and how your talents maybe compliment the organization.

MM:  I attended the event because it’s a great opportunity to meet like-minded communications professionals and reconnect with those I’ve met during previous events. It’s also a great way to learn about current trends in communications and best practices used by some of the nation’s top communicators.

What were 2-3 takeaways you received from the meeting?


  1. Communication at every level is vital to your business and the perception of your business.
  2. Learning something new never gets old.
  3. My preferred methods of communicating with others is face to face and via phone was affirmed. The human touch is not dead in a society extremely dependent on digital communications.

MM:  I learned about the power of benchmarking. From several of the presentations, I gathered great best practices that I could bring back to my organization to tweak and apply in current communications efforts. I also enjoyed the chance to see how other communicators shared their work and ideas. Watching great presentations and observing effective presenters allows you to improve your personal public speaking skills.

What was your favorite part about the conference?

GH:  The Silver Quills Award ceremony. I promise to enter every year from this day forward. It was extremely motivating to see great marketing at its best!

MM:  A natural socialite, my favorite part of any conference is always networking. I love the opportunity to meet fellow communicators and others throughout the country. I enjoy learning about them, as well as their work and organizations. However, I must comment on this year’s keynote speaker, Kenn Kington. He was absolutely a great speaker with an uncanny ability to infuse optimism into any situation. He spoke about success and how communicators could succeed by being FAIR. He said successful people use filters to focus, have the ability to anticipate the future, take initiative and take responsibility for their actions.

What surprised you about your experience?

GH:  Meeting and having one on one with John Gregory Clemons, a communications giant and this0 year’s Hall of Famer. I have followed his career for years and was grateful to be able to get advice and encouragement from him. Also, time with our International Chair, Dianne Chase. Lastly, everyone knows I own a pest control company which tells me that my work is not going unnoticed.

MM:  I was surprised by the beauty and atmosphere at Coca-Cola’s headquarters. It was an amazing facility! In addition to being more secure than Fort Knox (and I’m serious), it was filled with great lighting and Coke-themed artwork, bright paint and quiet glass-walled enclaves (to catch up on email or work, if needed). Not to mention, we were treated with an unlimited supply of Coke products in your choice of glass, can or soda fountain.

How can Nashville IABC members benefit from attending the Southern Region conference?

GH:  Whether working for yourself or another company, the networking can lead to genuine relationships and is worth the price of membership. I love getting feedback on upcoming programs that I am planning and how it will help leverage not only my work in the field of communications but in my company, Holmes Pest Control.

MM:  Members and non-members alike can benefit in many ways. As I’ve mentioned, attendees have the opportunity to select from a number of presenters according to their personal needs and preferences. I’ve never walked out of a session and said, “I simply didn’t learn anything.” Additionally, there’s so much opportunity to network and meet like-minded professionals and establish relationships that will benefit them for years to come.

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