June 04, 2009 14:41 ET

Local Communications Volunteers Recognized as IABC/BC Enjoys Recessionary Surge in Volunteering

Volunteering at local communications association up 37% as members recognize value of generosity during economic downturn

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - June 4, 2009) - Celebrating a dramatic jump in the number of its members volunteering their services this year, the local BC chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC/BC) last night recognized the contributions of those volunteers by naming a "Volunteer of the Year" and two "Outstanding New Volunteers" at its annual Bronze Quill Awards Gala at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.

The IABC/BC, whose stated mission is to connect communicators to people, programs and services that inspire their communications careers and enhance the credibility of the profession, offers accreditation as well as professional development seminars to its over 620 members.

Co-winner of this year's Outstanding New Volunteer Award, Amanda Brkich, Communications Advisor at E-Comm 9-1-1, was instrumental in coordinating several IABC/BC Professional Development events and saw tremendous value from her volunteering.

"For me, volunteering has allowed me to meet people and find out exactly what other communications professionals are up to - to keep up with the latest forward-thinking ideas," explains Brkich, who has been an IABC member for the last 2 years. "The experience has helped me learn about initiatives that would be beneficial to apply at my own organization. It was such an honour to receive this, knowing how many incredible volunteers there are at IABC."

Many of the communications volunteers at IABC/BC, which is itself 100% volunteer run, have benefited greatly from being so giving with their time, especially in this tough job market.

"I have met lots of volunteers who have found un-posted jobs by referral through their IABC connections, so I know volunteering is paying off for many members," explains Outstanding New Volunteer of the Year Award co-winner Monica Hartanto, a communications consultant with the Fraser Health Authority who can be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MonicaHartanto. "Personally, my volunteering with IABC/BC, has taught me many skills, like event planning for example, that I may never otherwise have had the chance to learn in my work environment. And it's been very fulfilling contributing to an organization that benefits the communications industry so much - and their social events are really fun!"

Felicia Granger, this year's IABC/BC Volunteer of the Year, is a Regional Channel Marketing Specialist at Kodak Graphic Communications Canada, as well as being IABC/BC's volunteer Treasurer, having helped the Association reduce its accounts receivables to virtually nil this year.

"For me, professionally, it's been a great way to connect with others in similar areas of communications and to share Best Practices," states Granger, who has been an IABC/BC member for close to six years and whose LinkedIn profile can be seen at http://www.linkedin.com/in/feliciagranger. "Experience with IABC shows a certain level of commitment to the profession, and in today's very competitive job market, volunteering with IABC is a great way for those who are looking for work to find those hidden communications jobs."

IABC/BC, whose vision is "to inspire great communicators", is one of 105 IABC chapters worldwide and is the third largest chapter in Canada. With more than 620 members from the Lower Mainland business communications industry, IABC/BC has an international reputation for progressive, professional communication. Founded in 1970, IABC provides a global professional network of over 15,500 business communication professionals in over 80 countries. Its members hold positions in public relations, media relations, corporate communications, public affairs, investor relations, among other communications fields. For more information on IABC, please:

- Visit the volunteer section of IABC/BC at http://www.iabc.bc.ca/volunteer,

- Visit the IABC/BC main site at http://www.iabc.bc.ca/,

- Visit the international IABC site at http://www.iabc.com/,

- Join the IABC/BC Facebook group at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2894300579,

- Follow IABC/BC on Twitter at http://twitter.com/BCCommunicators,

- Read the IABC/BC blog "Ragged Right" at http://www.iabc.bc.ca/blogarticles,

- or call Chris Friemond at 604-990-1378.

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