Ron Shewchuk Seminars

Ron Shewchuk Seminars

February 04, 2010 14:58 ET

Communications Guru Mixes Barbecue with Business

Ron "Rockin' Ronnie" Shewchuk Brings His Meaty Motivational Message to Conferences in Vancouver and Calgary

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 4, 2010) - In his day job, Ron Shewchuk is a business consultant who helps organizations communicate better with their employees. In his spare time, he's built a second career as his alter-ego, Rockin' Ronnie, international barbecue champion and bestselling cookbook author.

After achieving some success in both careers, Shewchuk had a crazy idea: to combine his lifelong passions for outdoor cooking and indoor business communications. The result: Rockin' Ronnie's Communication Cookout, a tasty cross between a motivational speech and multi-course barbecue dinner.

Shewchuk is bringing his smoke-infused business wisdom to RonCon 2010, an employee communications conference he's hosting in Vancouver March 22 – 24 and Calgary March 24 – 26. He'll be joined by seven leading American and Canadian communications experts for the three-day conferences, individuals who share both his passion for internal communications and good food.

"If famous motivational speakers and self-help gurus can use mountain climbing or sailing or chicken soup to bring home their messages about making life and business better," says Shewchuk, "why not use backyard cooking?"

In the Cookout, which he also calls "Everything I Know About Business I Learned From Barbecue," Shewchuk serves up a menu featuring his award-winning grilled and barbecued dishes. He uses each course to illustrate a message about how cooking is a lot like communication.

Fresh asparagus, seared for just a minute on a hot grill and served with a squeeze of lemon and drizzle of olive oil, becomes a metaphor for the simplicity and power of face-to-face communication. The contents of a tasty grilled quesadilla illustrate the importance of having the right content, delivered the right way, to meet the needs of today's employees (the cheese filling represents information and the tortilla shell is the delivery mechanism). And the traditional cuts of meat featured in a barbecue contest – chicken, pork ribs, pork butt and brisket – become the four personality types found in every workplace in a bit of Rockin' Ronnie-style pop psychology.

"The session is a delicious and fun way to get some important messages across about what businesses can do to improve communication with their employees," says Shewchuk, who first brought the session to a global conference of business communicators in Vancouver, British Columbia. His talk was one of the highest rated sessions at that event, and he has since presented the Cookout to business groups in Melbourne, Australia and Houston, Texas.

Shewchuk is delighted to be including his Communication Cookout in the agenda of his Vancouver and Calgary conferences. "It will be the celebratory dinner for RonCon 2010 attendees at the end of the main conference day – something to add a little sizzle to the event and give attendees some tasty food for thought."

For more information about RonCon 2010, download the full conference brochure here. You can also follow the conference twitter feed, or check out the RonCon 2010 Facebook fan page at

Host city sponsors of RonCon 2010 are the BC and Calgary chapters of the International Association of Business Communicators. Marketwire is a supporting sponsor.

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About Ron Shewchuk, ABC, MC

Ron Shewchuk is one of Canada's leading communications professionals, with a 25-year track record of delivering positive results. Ron has served in senior positions in corporate public relations, employee communications, marketing, and PR consulting. He is an Accredited Business Communicator (ABC) and in 2002 was named Master Communicator by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), becoming one of only 39 Canadians to be honoured with this designation since it was established in 1980.

Ron's writing talent and progressive approach to employee communications has earned him four prestigious Gold Quill awards, and he is a popular commentator and a sought-after speaker on communications issues. Ron is the host of For Your Approval, a blog about employee communications, and the author of Writing and Editing the Internal Publication: Delivering Employee Communications with Impact, Integrity and Style, published by the IABC Knowledge Bank.

In addition to his passion for communications, Ron is an avid cook and was named by Food & Wine magazine as one of "America's greatest grillers". He is Canada's leading proponent of traditional Southern-style barbecue and the author of three bestselling cookbooks, including his latest, Barbecue Secrets DELUXE!: The Very Best Recipes, Tips & Tricks From a Barbecue Champion. Ron is never far away from a grill or a smoker, whether he's leading barbecue workshops or cooking up a storm on the competitive barbecue circuit as the chief cook of Rockin' Ronnie's Butt Shredders. He's also the host of the Barbecue Secrets podcast and blog and the self-appointed Dean of Barbecue Academy, a corporate team-building program that gives participants a chance to learn the ways of championship barbecue in an atmosphere of friendly competition and foodie fun.

"For me, barbecue is not just a pastime, it's a lifestyle," says Ronnie. "Barbecue at its best is a spiritual experience, and I like to think of what I do as high ceremonial cooking." In his third cookbook, Barbecue Secrets DELUXE!, Ronnie shares recipes, tips and tricks he's picked up in a lifetime of outdoor cooking and documents the history, tools, techniques and culture of championship grilling and barbecue.

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