June 2018
This is the last issue until the fall. Have a safe and wonderful summer!

More than 120 people gathered at Design House London to recognize the year’s best in strategic
business communications at the year’s sold out Virtuoso Awards Celebration. Since 1995, IABC London’s Virtuoso Awards have recognized excellence in business communications and the best in creative strategy and design.

More than 20 awards were presented to local communications professionals and students, including the “Best of the Best” award to Lashbrook Marketing & Public Relations for their work on the London Symphonia Rebrand. For a full list of award recipients, please visit the Virtuoso Awards website at www.virtuosoawards.com/2018-winners. Check out our flickr album for photos from the evening.

“We are so honoured to win Best of the Best, especially for such a courageous client,” said Laurie Lashbrook, Founder and President of Lashbrook Marketing & Public Relations. “Working with the incredibly committed musicians of the former Orchestra London to develop their new identity was a real inspiration. The whole experience was incredibly rewarding.”

A special thanks to our sponsors for their support and the dedicated group of committee members who made this event a success. Thank you to everyone who was able to join us for a night of recognition, networking and celebration with friends and colleagues.

We hope you can join us again next year!
David Billson of rTraction named Outstanding Communicator

IABC London presented the 2018 Outstanding Communicator Award to David Billson, CEO of rTraction Canada Inc at the Virtuoso Awards Celebration. This prestigious award recognizes a leader who exemplifies excellence in communications and demonstrates strong commitment to communications in their organization.

“This is a validation of the work we’re doing to tell the community’s brand and bring people together to help solve problems,” said Billson. “Regardless of whether you’re in the business sector or other sectors, effective communications can bring your voice forward, move your community forward or move your organization forward.”

Billson is recognized for his leadership and commitment to effective communications that has sparked change in the London community. As the CEO of rTraction, he introduced a new management model with a strong vision that has attracted more clients and transformed the culture of his organization.

Other finalists for the 2018 Outstanding Communicator Award were Kelly Ziegner , CEO of United Way Elgin Middlesex, and Jane Riddell President and COO of GoodLife Fitness.
The art of a comeback - reflection on recovery in my mental health journey
By Andrew Kaszowski, incoming 2018-2019 president, IABC London

Comeback (noun: come·back \ ˈkəm-ˌbak \)
- a return to a former position or condition (as of success or prosperity) : recovery, revival
As I reflect on preparing to take on the presidency of IABC London this coming year, I wanted to share a personal story… one about mental health and the power of recovery and the support of a network like IABC in fueling one's health.

In June, I flew out of Montreal to return to London after spending several days with truly inspiring communicators whom I admire at an IABC meeting. Waiting at the Montreal airport, the word *comeback* was flashing in my head. Not in an arrogant or boastful way; these words came to me from a place of complete appreciation for my life and its journey. From a place of deepest gratitude for where things have reached in my life through a tonne of support from those around me and a whole heck of a lot of hard work to get back to a place of happiness.

Some of my network may not know of my journey of the last five years, and about the time that I left London to move to Montreal in 2013... and how different it was to leave Montreal after that very short move compared to my return to London today. When I moved to Montreal in 2013 with wanderlust and dreams in my eyes, I very quickly experienced an acute mental health crisis as a result of tremendous stress that I went through in moving there alone. I was shaken to the core and came back to London to the loving arms of my family and friends who took me back and helped me heal my mind and soul. My IABC London family was a big part of that support network. Read more .

Member Profile: John Finney
by Sonia Hota

At the recent International Conference in Montreal, John Finney was inducted into the IABC Class of Fellows, an honour reserved for communications professionals of the highest calibre. Finney has a long history of volunteering for the IABC, as Treasurer, Program Director, Secretary, Chapter President, District Director, and International Chairman, and attributes the growth of his professional career to his involvement in the IABC. Although he now lives in Windsor, John began his professional career with the IABC London Chapter.

Last week, John agreed to participate in an interview with me, to share his experiences and wisdom.

A Stellar Start
After graduating from York University with a Honours Bachelors Degree in Political Science, a job with the Royal Bank of Canada brought Finney to London. He went on to complete a Master in Political Science at York University, and his interest in government and media relations led him back to London to complete a Master in Journalism.

When asked how he began his career in communications, John says, “I was in the right place at the right time when opportunity knocked. Dawn Snow, the wife of my broadcast journalism professor Peter Snow, had recently been hired to manage the official opening and launch the first Miracle Network Telethon for the Children’s Hospital in 1985. She offered me a job to plan the broadcast, recruit the volunteers, develop the behind the scenes systems, and help with fundraising.”

The telethon raised over $326,000, with over 80 speaking engagements. After the telethon, Finney was hired on full-time in the communications department of Victoria Hospital, where he continued to assist with the telethon and first became involved in the IABC. His boss at the time, John Burke-Gaffney, was a strong IABC supporter, and insisted that John and his fellow colleague, Laurie Lashbrook, join the organization.

“I learned so much from attending those sessions – it was like earning a real-world education. It really gave me a solid grounding in the best communication practices and technologies of the day,” Finney claims. “However, there was a catch – a quid pro quo. Burke-Gaffney also insisted we “get involved” with the chapter, and serve on the board. In hindsight, this was as much, if not even more, beneficial to my career in communications.” Read more .
Member Celebrations for May and June 2018

We warmly welcome to our newest Members:
  • Alicia Baertsoen
  • Trevor DeHaan
  • Robert DeLaet

Congratulations to the following members with a recent or upcoming membership anniversary:
  • Jacqueline Sullivan - 30 years
  • Scott May - 27 years
  • Otte Rosenkrantz - 27 years
  • Janis Wallace - 25 years

A complete list of anniversaries can be found here .
Job Board
Here are the most recent job postings:
For more information on how to post a job with IABC London visit our website here or contact Cassie Caranci, IABC London Job Board Liaison, at iabclondonjobboard@gmail.com.
Looking Ahead
IABC London's 2018-2019 vision is:
Learn. Connect. Celebrate.

Our chapter turns 40 years old in October, 2019! We wouldn't be a strong community of professional communicators without you!

Incoming 2018-2019 IABC London president Andrew Kaszowski explains the excitement behind the chapter's vision for the coming year: providing you opportunities to Learn, Connect, and Celebrate with  #ldnont 's professional communications community.

Get involved, get connected, get participating! 

Follow our website  http://london.iabc.com , subscribe to our Connect newsletter, and follow us on Twitter at  https://twitter.com/iabclondon

Want to volunteer this year? Email iabclondonpresident@gmail.com
There's a role for you!

Looking forward to the year ahead!
About Connect
Connect is the monthly newsletter of IABC London. 
Feedback and news ideas are always welcome. 
Please contact Jackie Westelaken  iabclondonconnect@gmail.com
Editor: Richelle Lowry,  iabclondoncomms@gmail.com