June 08, 2006 13:58 ET

Local Communicators Receive International Acclaim as Winners of IABC's 2006 Gold Quill Awards

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - June 8, 2006) - Thirteen local communications professionals have garnered recognition for their work from the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). They accepted their Gold Quill awards at IABC's international conference in Vancouver on June 5.

"To win an award at the Gold Quill level is a tremendous feat. These local communicators are the cream of the crop in BC," notes IABC/BC chapter president, Maureen Healey, ABC.

Local chapter member Chris Freek, manager of internal communications for Prospera Credit Union in Abbotsford, garnered two Gold Quill awards of merit for the company's employee publication goodprospects magazine, in the categories of publications and design.

"It's a great honor for our communications efforts at Prospera to be recognized alongside giant companies like Microsoft and Travelocity," says Freek. "For Prospera, listed as one of Canada's 50 best companies to work for, it helps to demonstrate the value of investing in communications in any company, as part of meeting our corporate goals."

Kamloops winners Wendy Heshka, ABC and Sharon Stevens, APR, of Communication Solutions Inc. earned a Gold Quill award of excellence in electronic and digital communication management, representing one of only two companies globally to receive an award of excellence in this category. They were recognized for their strategy and implementation of a pilot project for Environment Canada, Health Canada and Interior Health. Branded as AirPlay, the pilot tested the Internet presentation of Canada's first Air Quality Health Index (AQHI).

"With AirPlay, we took a highly complex subject and communicated it in a way that was accessible, understandable, and encouraged action," explains Heshka. "We are thrilled with this affirmation that a Kamloops-based company can compete on an international stage."

This year's BC winners of international Gold Quill awards are:

Mijanou Serre Meagan Olsen
BC Securities Commission Coast Capital Savings Credit Union

Bruce Hitchen Eduarda Hodgins, ABC, and
TELUS Communications Jennifer Wah, ABC
West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. and
Forwords Communication Inc.

Roberta Randall Chris Freek
BC Housing Prospera Credit Union - Insurance

Heather Prime, ABC, Catherine Worrall
Tudor Williams, ABC, Ideastream Design Inc.
Ryan Williams
BCAA and Tudor Williams Inc.

Wendy Heshka, ABC, and Sharon Stevens, APR
Communication Solutions Inc.
Kamloops, British Columbia

For more than 25 years, IABC's Gold Quill Awards program has been the hallmark of excellence in international business communication. From among the thousands of entries, only the most outstanding communicators have been honoured. For a complete list of all 2006 Gold Quill winners, visit http://www.iabc.com/awards/gq/2006gqwinners.htm.

The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) is a not-for-profit international network of professionals committed to improving the effectiveness of organizations through strategic interactive and integrated business communication management. With more than 100 chapters, IABC serves 13,500 members in 60 countries and 10,000 organizations.

IABC/BC, the BC chapter, has a membership of over 400 communications professionals. They provide a vital link between their organizations and the community, by informing residents about products, services, issues and programs that affect their lives. They also help their organization "listen" to the public and other partners who are affected by their actions. IABC members adhere to a strict code of ethics to ensure their behaviour is in keeping with their significant social responsibilities.

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