IABC February Event: How to Herd Cats, Or, Mastering Team Leadership


Thursday, February 27, 2014
11:30 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Maggiano’s Little Italy

Register Here

So, you’re good at what you do.  And you’ve been rewarded with the opportunity to lead a departmental or cross-functional team to complete a visible project.  Or maybe you’re making the leap to the manager, director or vice president level, with new authority and the expectation of producing results through teams.  The trouble is, most of us don’t get to pick our team members.  We work with whoever is in a given position at the time.  And that doesn’t guarantee teamwork – or success.

High achievers often are rewarded with leadership roles only to find the skills they used to excel on their own aren’t the ones they need to succeed as a team leader.  Understanding your preferred leadership style, and learning to accurately assess others’ preferences in a team context, is key to leading productive teams.  This meeting will help you:

  • Understand the different types of teams,
  • Adjust your leadership style accordingly,
  • Make your team productive, and
  • Deal with common dysfunctions.

There are different types of teams and different types of leadership.  Whatever hand you are dealt, you can make the most of it by understanding team members and dynamics; what you can and can’t influence; and how to encourage productivity and defuse conflict – skills that will make you shine as a team leader.

About Our Speaker

Thomas A. BrowdyOur speaker is Thomas A. Browdy, PhD, a professor and consultant with more than 25 years of experience in project management, organizational behavior, leadership and related topics. He currently is director of the Master of Project Management (MPM) and Graduate Certificate in Project Management programs at Washington University in St. Louis, where he is also an affiliate professor in the School of Engineering and Applied Science.  Dr. Browdy holds a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics, a master’s degree in Information Management, and a doctorate in Organizational Behavior and Psychology.  He has authored two books on project management, and published numerous professional and academic articles.

Meeting fees:
$30 – Members
$40 – Non-members
$20 – Students

** No-shows will be billed their registration fee to reflect the per-person meeting costs.

Maggiano’s Little Italy#2 The Boulevard Saint Louis
Richmond Heights, MO 63117-1122

11:30 a.m. – Registration and Networking
12-1:30 p.m. – Program

IABC January Event with PRSA: Content Creation and the New Communications Model for 2014 and Beyond


Wednesday, January 22, 2014
5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
BJC Learning Institute

Free Parking: In the garage behind the BJC Learning Institute. Take the elevator to the pedestrian bridge and follow the signs.

Register Here

Join PRSA and IABC for our annual joint meeting on January 22nd. The ubiquity of information vying for our attention, and increased accessibility and addictive nature of it via mobile devices, will require big leaps forward in how organizations think about communications and work to break through the clutter and confusion. Dave Collett and Jason Wellcome from Weber Shandwick will discuss how this transformation is taking place – and give some great examples of businesses and organizations that are gaining traction.  They will also call out some new themes and other emerging factors to consider for 2014 and beyond as our communications landscape continues to evolve.


Jason WellcomeJason Wellcome
EVP, General Manager of Mediaco
Weber Shandwick

Jason Wellcome heads up Mediaco, Weber Shandwick’s content creation and distribution unit focused on delivering a comprehensive approach to brand publishing. The new unit builds on the firm’s pioneering work in the space and combines first-rate editorial planning and production, emerging technology and paid media in support of distribution and discovery of content. Today, Mediaco includes 100+ specialists spanning a range of disciplines required to deliver a full service content offer including: brand planners, editors, user experience designers, writers, SEO experts, media planners, producers and more.

Jason also continues to co-lead one of Weber Shandwick’s largest digital teams, a group he founded and helped grow into one of the firm’s thriving digital centers, encompassing digital strategy, experience design, content strategy and orchestration, social campaigns, community management, and more. He has spent more than a decade managing strategic communications, social media campaigns and integrated marketing efforts for Fortune 500 and multinational clients, including PepsiCo, Microsoft, Unilever, Samsung and Verizon Wireless.

Jason previously oversaw the firm’s Digital Entertainment practice, managing clients in the converging world of entertainment and consumer technology. His work spanned the dawn of online music services and the launch of numerous digital media offerings, from audio and video codecs to rights management software and high definition video standards.

With a strong technical acumen and experience exploring new opportunities with the social web, Jason has gained a unique perspective helping clients embrace the virtues of digital storytelling, brand building through engagement and tapping into audience advocacy.

Dave CollettDave Collett
EVP, General Manager
Weber Shandwick

As executive vice president and general manager of the St. Louis office, Dave Collett counsels clients such as Anheuser-Busch InBev, Ameren, FedEx and others on strategic integrated communications – and how content can be used as a catalyst of conversations to engage key constituency groups.

Previously, Dave was a global client relationship leader (CRL) for a major Weber Shandwick account, responsible for setting overarching communications strategy and ensuring the performance of all Weber Shandwick teams and work-streams across more than 40 countries, while serving as a strategic advisor for the company’s communications leadership in its corporate headquarters.

Prior to joining Weber Shandwick in April 2004, Dave served a variety of Fortune 100 accounts during his seven-year tenure at another major agency, ultimately holding the title of vice president. There, he directed major national communications campaigns and became well versed in developing strategies for forging relationships with media, analysts and other influencers at all levels. Dave also brings a wealth of experience in corporate communications, C-suite executive speechwriting, crisis communications, and merger and acquisition communications.

Prior to that, Dave was at the corporate communications department of McDonnell-Douglas, which at the time was one of the nation’s largest defense contractors and is now a part of Boeing. At McDonnell Douglas, Dave specialized in internal communications, product communications, and communications supporting the company’s merger with Boeing.

Dave has written for the Associated Press and Wired Magazine. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Truman State University, with an emphasis in journalism and a minor in English. An avid musician, he is married and has three children.

Students: $25
Members: $35
Non-Members: $45
*Price includes buffet dinner & beer/wine/soda

Chicken Marsala
2nd Entree (Fish, Beef, Vegetarian, Pork)
Green Beans with Garlic Roasted Almonds
Rice Pilaf
Garden Salad
Assorted Dessert

Member Spotlight: Mary C. Foshage


Mary C. Foshage works in communications for SSM Health Care, a Catholic, non-profit health system that spans four states: Missouri, Illinois, Oklahoma and Wisconsin, with its headquarters here in St. Louis. For more than three years she worked in public relations and marketing at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center and for SSM Maternity Care. Outside of work Mary enjoys time with her family, playing sports, learning the violin and volunteering which she does for a few different organizations, including IABC St. Louis.

What do you like most about your job?

New challenges. SSM has never shied away from challenging people to accomplish new and better things. And in communications there are always new strategies to explore, new media to test out, new relationships to cultivate and new obstacles to think through and overcome.

What is the most significant experience that shaped your career?

A few years ago my boss and mentor left for a position at another organization. This was a good move for him, but it came at a hard time. We weren’t aware of his changing jobs and were in the middle of an international media craze. It was sad, exciting but even nerve-racking all at the same time. In the end my colleague and I pulled together (with help from other co-workers) and got through the month-long media hurricane.

It was a few more months before another team member was hired so the craziness didn’t cease right away. Still, that time was a great learning and growing experience. I learned a lot about working under stress and that at the end of the media crazy day there is still work on your desk that has to get done. I also learned that a bit of coffee and a lot of laughter can get you through those 12- to 14-hour days on minimal sleep.

How has IABC St. Louis helped your career?

In working on the IABC St. Louis Quill Awards and attending different lunch/lecture series I’ve had the opportunity to meet and work with so many great people. Everyone comes from such different backgrounds and brings such unique opinions that it’s really connected me not just to people, but the pulse of “what’s going on.” Building good relationships is key, but staying on top of the latest trends and tools is vital to an organization’s, and a person’s, success.

Why did you volunteer for the 2013 St. Louis Quill awards committee?

Actually, it was suggested that I volunteer before before becoming a full IABC member. The awards committee needed people and I’ve always loved volunteering and event planning so it seemed like a good fit.

Since being with the planning committee, I have become a full member and have even moved into the role as event Chair. The 2014 awards program is going to be a lot of fun. We have some really great changes (and new challenges) that I think will really get people excited about entering their work and coming to the event. Keep an eye for details!

What significant professional challenges have you overcome in the last year?

I’ve had to learn to say “no.” It’s such a small word, but for a person who loves pleasing people and doing a good job, it’s a challenging little word. But no matter a person’s work style, one person, or even one team, cannot do everything, at least not effectively. Saying “no,” or at least “not right now” or “not in that way,” frees up a lot of time and energy for the few things that really need to be done and done well.

Volunteer Spotlight: Cheryl Foster


Foster_Cheryl (2)

Cheryl Foster is a Marketing Manager at Brown Smith Wallace, one of the Midwest region’s most prominent, locally-owned public accounting firms. Although Cheryl is a new, busy mom, she volunteered her time and marketing expertise for the recent IABC St. Louis Quill Awards. Read on to find out why – and what she thought of the experience.

What do you like most about your job?  

I love the variety and the fast-paced environment. No two days are alike. My team does everything from digital, social and content marketing to event planning and business development support for our practices and industry groups. While the demand can be challenging at times, the diversity keeps me on my toes and fully engaged.

What is the most significant experience that shaped your career?

Starting my career at Build-A-Bear Workshop allowed me to get a broad range of marketing experience very early in my career. I was there before the company went public, so there was great opportunity to contribute and take ownership of projects. It was an empowering experience that has shaped my career.

How has IABC St. Louis helped your career?

IABC has been given me a great opportunity to network with other marketing communications professionals in the St. Louis area. The organization also offers great professional development opportunities that have allowed me to keep pace with the many changes our field is going through.

Why did you volunteer for the 2013 St. Louis Quill awards committee?

Up until this point in my career, I had not volunteered much and I felt that it was high time that I got involved in something. I ran across the call for volunteers in the IABC LinkedIn group and thought I would ask to serve on the committee. It was a blast! I met a lot of great people and learned a lot about the marketing communications community here in St. Louis.

You should consider volunteering as it’s a great way to see what others are doing in the world of professional communications. In addition, it’s a great way to expand your professional network!

What significant professional challenges have you overcome in the last year?

Learning to balance my personal and professional lives has been something I had to do for the first time. I became a mom a little over a year ago and that’s been a huge adjustment. Fortunately, Brown Smith Wallace offers great flexibility for me when I need it, so I can continue to pursue my professional goals and be a good mom.

IABC December Event: Sharing Hope – How Doing Good Can Be Good for Your Business


Due to unforeseen circumstances, we have cancelled our December event. Happy Holidays and we look forward to seeing you in January!

Golden Cord FINAL VECTORLearn from this case study how Blick&Staff’s pro-bono work supported The Golden Cord Foundation and its mission by helping to make its inaugural blood drive a huge success through outreach to potential donors and media coverage to raise awareness locally of the benefits cancer patients receive from transfusions.

In addition to supporting the blood drive event, Blick&Staff has provided the foundation with strategic counsel in the areas of planning, messaging, social media and media relations and holds a seat on the charity’s board.

Learn from this pro-bono case study what results were achieved when these two organizations partnered, and what affect the work has had on both organizations. You will learn how your organization, whether a nonprofit, an agency or a member of the community, can benefit from pro-bono work.


founder photo - Jessica StegenJessica Stegen, Founder of The Golden Cord Foundation

Fighting alongside her husband Jon during his battle with a fiercely aggressive cancer in 2012 provided Jessica with a wealth of knowledge and experience she never expected to have at age 33. The journey she and Jon traveled with the support received from family, friends and co-workers continues to teach lessons of hope and love. Jessica currently operates her own special events consulting business, JLS Event Management, LLC. With more than 10 years of experience in working with nonprofit organizations, Jessica brings a unique perspective and expertise to the creation and development of The Golden Cord Foundation.

About Blick&Staff Communications

Blick&Staff Communications was founded in 1993 and is a full-service, public relations, social media and marketing communications agency dedicated to bringing fresh thinking to a select group of clients who want to make a meaningful difference for their companies, communities and customers. Rated as an A-list CSR agency by PR News, Blick&Staff helps connect brands with strategic and meaningful causes that build sales and brand loyalty.

Headquartered in St. Louis, Blick&Staff Communications operates satellite offices in New York and Los Angeles. For more information visit www.blickandstaff.com.

Samantha FisherSamantha Fisher, Executive Leader at Blick&Staff Communications

Ten years ago, Samantha Fisher traded in the news desk for the Blick&Staff conference table. Ever since, she’s been wrangling bears, bunnies and beagles from south St. Louis to South America. Whether it’s the Humane Society of Missouri, Build-A-Bear Workshop or Energizer, Samantha strives to build true partnerships with her clients – providing out-of-the-box thinking with seamless execution.

Outside of the office, Samantha goes for out-of-the-building thinking – enjoying summer days with her family at Tower Grove Farmers’ Market, Missouri Botanical Gardens and playing outside.


Call for Presentations for IABC St. Louis’ Spring Seminar


“Sharpen Your Pencils: Communication Measurement & Management”

Are you an expert on one of these topics or have a topic you think needs to be shared with leading communicators? IABC St. Louis is requesting speaker proposals for a seminar focused on communication measurement and management to be held March 27. The deadline for speaker proposals is December 20 to Shelley Lester.


Measurement topics could include:

Market research, social media measurement, evaluating changes in employee actions rather than attitudes, analyzing brand recognition and response, integrated marketing communication results, meaningful measurement on a shoestring budget, QR codes, etc.

Management topics could include:

Best practices in communications planning, budgeting principles/how to, content management, supervising design/other agencies, strategic planning, reputation management tools, mobile strategies, etc.

Mark Your Calendars for March 27. You won’t want to miss this year’s seminar!

IABC November Event: Annual Reports – They’re Not Just For Shareholders


november luncheonThursday, November 14, 2013
11:30 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Maggiano’s Little Italy

Register Here

Annual reports – they’re not just for shareholders. Our November luncheon presentation will be a panel discussion on annual reports and how different organizations use them to communicate more than financial results to key audiences.

Panelists for the discussions will be:

Michael Burger, marketing communications manager and a 12-year veteran at Monsanto. For the past five years he has been part of the Corporate Affairs organization focused on sustainability communications. In 2011 he was part of a small team that developed the first Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report for Monsanto that followed the GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) framework. Since then, Michael has developed a GRI B-Level report for the 2012 calendar year, and is currently working on the new G4 guidelines of GRI for 2013.

Ryan Farmer, communications manager at the St. Louis Area Foodbank since 2009. Ryan has transitioned the Foodbank’s annual reporting to a web-based format that supports story-telling about the organization’s mission and successes. Before starting at the Foodbank, Ryan spent nearly 10 years working in the radio industry, both here in St. Louis and in Des Moines, IA. He received his BA in Radio/Television Production from Drake University in 2000.

Kristin Gumper, manager with Standing Partnership where she provides reputation management counsel and strategic communications support. Most recently, Kristin completed The Doe Run Company’s inaugural Sustainability Report in accordance with the GRI standards. Kristin’s project management and copywriting efforts have landed clients numerous accolades, including several APEX Awards for Publication Excellence, IABC Silver Quill and Bronze Quill awards, and TAM awards from the Business Marketing Association in St. Louis.

Bob Prow, vice president at Obata Design. Bob is a corporate communications design expert with more than 30 years of experience in graphic design, creative process management and client service. He has produced more than 150 print and interactive annual and CSR reports for public and private companies as well as non-profit organizations. Bob’s work for an internal communications employee campaign recently received an IABC Gold Quill Award of Merit.

Moderating the panel will be John Hastings, IABC-St. Louis’ VP of Finance. John is a 25-year veteran of corporate communications and investor relations and has overseen the writing and production of 40 annual reports.

At this time of giving thanks, we encourage all attendees to bring donated canned and nonperishable food items to the meeting for the St. Louis Area Foodbank.

Meeting fees:
$30 – Members
$40 – Non-members
$20 – Students

** No-shows will be billed their registration fee to reflect the per-person meeting costs.

Maggiano’s Little Italy#2 The Boulevard Saint Louis
Richmond Heights, MO 63117-1122

11:30 a.m. – Registration and Networking
12-1:30 p.m. – Program

This event is sponsored by Paradowski Creative.


Member of the Month: George Grimm-Howell


George Grimm HowellIABC garners its strength from the diversity, talents, and wisdom of its members. This October, we shine the spotlight on George Grimm-Howell, a 16-year member of our St. Louis chapter. George became involved with IABC as a student at Butler University. He’s since married his communications skills and passion for working with people to become Director, Talent & HR Solutions for Buck Consultants, a global HR benefits consulting services firm.

Why communications?
As a kid I was always interested in advertising and public relations. I loved the idea of fusing communication with creative concepts. As a student I was blessed to have solid writing skills. At Butler University in Indianapolis, I worked on the school newspaper and eventually changed my major from Public and Corporate Communications to Journalism.

The most significant experience that shaped your career?
My incredible ah-ha moment came several years ago with the accelerating pace of interactive communication. The ‘ah-ha’ was when I realized the ratio of print vs. online communication was going to completely flip in just a few years: 80%print/20% online quickly moved to 80% online/20% print.

The major issues facing today’s communications professionals.
Reduction in the quality of work is the most significant issue. The reduction in communication budgets means fewer professionals to do the work, and the advent of cheap and fast methods of communication often lead us to issue communications before they’re really had the proper scrutiny. A close second is the fact that our audiences increasingly don’t read, causing us to pare down content to the point where it’s almost devoid of true educational value.

Words of wisdom for young communications professionals today.
Expose yourself to examples of high quality work and surround yourself with people who are committed to the pursuit of communication excellence. (In other words, be active in IABC!)

If there was one thing you could change about your career choice, what would it be?
Since hindsight is 20/20, I now can see that I might have had even more value to my clients if I had studied more strategic organizational forms of communication rather than journalism. So much of our HR communication is essentially change management. Communication doesn’t happen in a vacuum, it happens in the context of what’s going on in the organizational environment. And the audience doesn’t read your piece only for the information it contains; rather, they view it their own lens as part of a process of validating their own world view. This is something I have learned over the years, but if do-overs were possible, I probably would study organizational communication.

How IABC St. Louis helped your career.
IABC has always been an important part of my professional life. It has helped my career by exposing me to what other excellent communication is going on in the St. Louis region and has provided a network of friends and acquaintances who help each other in many ways-from helping out when we have overflow work, to providing a specialty service that fills a unique need, to networking for employment opportunities.

Life’s next chapter.
The next chapter in life for me is navigating the experience of raising two college-bound teenagers, rediscovering the relationship with my wife after many years of busy child-rearing, and spending more time meeting interesting new people and wrestling with important ideas. Despite life’s experience, I find I’m never too old to change, to discover new experiences and to have my old assumptions challenged. I’m happy that I still don’t have all the answers, and I truly look forward to exploring the questions; the questions are usually much more interesting.

IABC October Event: An Internship Program for Your Organization – What It Takes to Get the Job Done!


Thursday, October 24
11:30 am – 1:15 pm
Webster University Emerson Library


From Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In internship snafu – to the former intern suing P. Diddy – internships are a hot topic these days. Despite these and other high-profile cases, internships are still a valuable investment for employers and students alike – as long as they are executed effectively.

At this month’s IABC St. Louis luncheon, you’ll learn how to maximize an existing internship program or start one from scratch in your organization. Our panel represents all perspectives on this topic – from an employer, to a student, to a university internship director.

Key takeaways include:

  • How can an internship program be beneficial to your organization – particularly in communications?
  • Why should your nonprofit, corporation or small business invest in an internship program?
  • What pitfalls should employers be aware of when employing paid or unpaid interns?
  • What tips do the experts recommend for establishing or improving an internship program?

Mindy Berkowitz is Director of the School of Communications Center for Portfolio Development & Internships at Webster University. She has more than 20 years in the corporate community, non‐profit and educational organizations. As Director, she has taken a small internship program in scope and size and has created a program with a defined mission, learning outcomes, and assessment plan that is fully integrated into the culture of the School of Communications. The Center assists more than 150 students within 16 different majors each year in securing credit bearing internships across the country and globe. Mindy also serves as Midwest Region Co-chair of the National Association of Experiential Education.

Ellen Flesch is the Senior Graphic Designer at the Missouri Botanical Garden, where she’s been designing and producing books, posters, signage, advertising, and more for 13 years. She started the Garden Publications intern program in 2002. With four interns each semester, she has now mentored over 80 former interns. The internship program has grown over 11 years to a defined curriculum and project assignments that teach students what is like to work in the real world before they start their first professional job. She has also formed an alumni program to help former interns network and find out about job opportunities.

Amanda Karas is a senior at Webster University seeking a bachelor’s degree in public relations. Amanda gained practical experience during her internship this past summer at the City of St. Peters. Her internship experience helped her improve her writing, event planning and more. She has always been interested in communications and has held several on-campus positions related to public relations and special events.

This event is co-sponsored by Webster University School of Communications.

Webster U

Unleash the Power of Social Media Case Study


September Professional Development Meeting

Unleash the Power of Social Media Case Study

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Don Sanford, Principal of Buck Consultants

Learn how to use social media to educate your audience about a key business topic. While social media is being used by many organizations to recruit talent and to create a forum for internal conversations, few companies have unleashed its true power to educate employees about key business issues. In this session, Donald Sanford, Principal of Buck Consultants, will provide a unique case study, with proven metrics, that shows how a “Facebook-like” social media platform was created to educate employees about a complex new business subject.

During a three-month period in 2012, Don worked with a company to launch the new site using weekly “news feeds,” personalized information and interactive quizzes, to drive key messages around an important business subject. He measured employee knowledge of the subject prior to the launch, and following the three-month period, to gauge its true impact.

This case study, presented at the IABC World Conference in June, explores the unique finding and impressive results achieved! It could become an important new way for you to communicate with all of your employees.

Register Today!

About Our Presenter

Donald R. Sanford, Principal, Buck Consultants
Don Sanford is a principal in Buck’s Communications practice and leads the St. Louis Communications team. He has more than 30 years of consulting and related management experience and has assisted clients with numerous human resources campaigns.

His past includes serving as the national leader for the Communications Practice as well as leading one of the firm’s largest offices. Prior to his consulting work, Don worked as an editor of a newspaper, as a manager of marketing communications, as an editor for a public relations firm, and as a manager of publications in a corporate communications group.

Don is a lifetime member of IABC and has received dozens of awards from the organization during his career. He is a frequent speaker on a wide array of effective communication strategies.

Meeting fees:
$30 – Members
$40 – Non-members
$20 – Students


Maggiano’s Little Italy#2 The Boulevard Saint Louis
Richmond Heights, MO 63117-1122

11:30 a.m. – Registration and Networking
12-1:30 p.m. – Program