To offer an outstanding, in-person event while also giving high priority to the safety of our participants, we are postponing the IABC Heritage Region Communication Conference in Boston to fall 2021. Stay tuned for an announcement of the date so you can mark your calendar and plan to join us for this great professional development and networking opportunity. 

Boston old and newIf you are interested in getting involved on the conference planning team, it’s not too early to let us know. Just email or email Pat Frey, region liaison to the conference committee, at Hope to see you in Boston! 


Recapping the 2019 IABC Heritage Region Communication Conference

  • Enjoy this quick video capturing the 2019 Conference experience in Detroit, MI.
  • You can also view special visual notes from the event created by Ink Factory here. Visual notes Password: IABC2019
  • See conference photos and a recap article below.
Here are some scenes from the 2019 IABC Heritage Region Communication Conference in Detroit, MI.

"Drive the Future" Regional Conference


More than 190 communication professionals from across our 17-state region and beyond attended the 2019 IABC Heritage Region Communication Conference Sept. 20 - 22 in Detroit, Michigan. Take a look at this quick wecome and recap video.

With theme "Drive the Future," a slate of top-notch marketing and communication keynoters and breakout speakers shared their insights: 

  • Seeing Detroit as Detroiters See It, keynote speaker Aaron Foley, chief storyteller, City of Detroit

  • Becoming a Superstar Communicator, keynote speaker David Pitre, president, Davis & Company

  • Managing Your Brand Reputation in a Fragmented, Omnichannel Media World, keynote speaker Andy Hetzel, vice president of Corporate Communications, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

  • Engaging Employees and Stakeholders During Fundamental Company and Industry Transitions, keynote speaker Paula Silver, vice president of Communications, DTE Energy

  • Consumers in Control: The New Reality for Marketing and Communications, keynote speaker Brad Heureux, Founder and CEO, Zing Media Group
  • Communications Under Pressure; Are You Ready for the Next Crisis?, an interactive role playing session using real-life scenarios with Andrew Gilman, President & CEO, CommCore Consulting Group

  • Think Like Ink: Using Visual Notetaking to Engage Your Audience with Ink Factory Co-Founders Dusty Folwarczny and Lindsay Wilson

  • Advancing Inclusion and Diversity in Today's Workplace with Rebecca Duff-Campbell, senior director of Talent & Rewards, Willis Towers Watson, and Karolyn Karl, director of Talent & Rewards, Willis Towers Watson

  • Where Does Podcasting Fit In Your Media Mix? with Tracy Imm, founder & CEO, Tracy Imm Worldwide LLC

  • Ensuring that Transformation Isn't A Crisis with Courtney Boone, vice president of Global Communications, Westinghouse Electric Company
For the full list of 30+ conference speakers on topics from marketing and social media to employee communication, public relations, crisis communication and more, visit the conference website. You can read about the conference experience on social media using the official hashtag for the conference, #IABCHeritage19, as well as #DriveTheFuture.

Click the image below for the short recap video:

recap video screen capture

Conference participants:

  • Learned from the best and improve communication knowledge and skills during nearly 30 professional development sessions, including keynote, breakout and extended sessions
  • Celebrated successes at the Silver Quill Awards luncheon
  • Made new friends and expanded networks to include colleagues in the Heritage Region’s 17 states
  • Savored the sights, sounds, and tastes of the nation’s top rising urban hot spot, at the popular Dine-Around event
  • Enjoyed a first-rate venue at the AAA Four Diamond Greektown Casino Hotel in the heart of the Greektown district
  • Saved money by paying just a fraction of the cost of other top conferences

Participants enjoyed the venue's location in the heart of the bustling Greektown District and within walking distance of great restaurants, nightlife, sports arenas and live entertainment. Detroit was named one of the “10 Coolest U.S. Cities to Visit in 2018” by Forbes magazine.

IABC Detroit and the Heritage Region thank the following sponsors: Davis & Company, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Toyota, DTE Energy, Internal Comms Pro, Cerkl, Franco, Barton Malow, Oakland Community College, Dragonfly Editorial, Business Wire, Willis Towers Watson, Eastern Michigan University, Michigan State University, Igloo Software, Ink Factory, Linx Consulting, LLC, and The Somerset Collection

"Drive the Future" Sept. 22 - 24

Eager to share your professional insight? Learn from communication experts? Meet people from across our 17-state region? It's time to mark your calendar to attend this year's IABC Heritage Region "Drive the Future" conference in Detroit, MI. The image below will take you to more details, including registration and sponsorship information.

2018 Regional Conference Photos

Business communication professionals from across our region, ranging from the Midwest to the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic states and portions of the South, enjoyed exceptional sessions and great networking in November at the IABC Heritage Region Conference in Richmond, Virginia.

2017 Regional Conference Photos

2016 Conference Photos

Nearly 160 business communication professionals from across the Heritage Region and beyond enjoyed outstanding sessions and networking Oct. 9 - 11, 2016, in Columbus, Ohio.

Regional Leadership Institute

The 2019 Heritage Region Leadership Institute (RLI) took place Sunday afternoon, Sept. 22, just before the 2019 Heritage Region Conference at the Greektown Casino-Hotel in Detroit, MI. Chapter leaders, region leaders and members-at-large from across the region attended the valuable training and idea-sharing session.

Rhonda Sciarra, New Jersey Chapter president, organized and facilitated the program. Attendees included Bonnie Caver, IABC International Executive Board vice chair and Micayla Felicion-Davin, chapter relations manager, as well as chapter and region participants (in alpha order): Joe Bobbey, Mary Bogan, Theresa Card, Matt Evans, Patricia Frey, Rebecca Gallagher, Heather Guenther, Robert Herta, Alexandra Hichel, Marie Kilbane Seckers, Courtney Laws, Greg McCormick, Amy Miller, Bonnie Piper, Patricia Radice, Peter Ternes, Cathy Toner, Drew Williams and Jackiedra Wilson.






Here are a few more photos from the event.

RLI Goals Achieved:

  • Celebrate success in IABC chapter leadership while looking ahead to chart the future course

  • Recalibrate to fuel best practice strategies and tactics across volunteer and member engagement, professional development, IABC global alignment and more

  • Cultivate connection among chapter and region leaders in a collaborative, friendly environment #WeLeadIABC

2019 Chapter financial support:

The registration fee was $20. To help chapters with that fee, as well as documented travel and lodging expenses, the region provided chapters with a $500 stipend. Each chapter who requested the stipend in advance could choose to use it for one leader or split it among several.

RLI is designed for Heritage Region chapter leaders and emerging leaders, as well as Heritage Region members-at-large who are interested in IABC leadership opportunities. Participants heard helpful IABC updates and enjoyed the opportunity to interact with IABC leadership, Heritage Region board members (including chapter liaisons) and leaders from other chapters.

Participants enjoyed taking a quick group selfie:

Rhonda RLI group selfie 9-22-19

Looking back at last year's RLI:

Here's a photo of many chapter leaders and members-at-large who attended last year's face-to-face IABC Regional Leadership Institute on November 11, 2018.

cropped-IABC-HR-RLI2018.jpgParticipants heard updates and enjoyed interacting with IABC leadership, Heritage Region board members (including chapter liaisons) and leaders from other chapters. Attendees enjoyed:

  • Renewing relationships in a collaborative, friendly environment
  • Celebrating successful results and brainstorm ideas
  • Leveraging regional support 
  • Focusing on best practice strategies and tactics
  • Gaining tangible takeaways to support chapter success 

Certification Opportunities

 Are you ready to take your career to the next level?


Professional certification through the Global Communication Certification Council (GCCC) gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise—and provide evidence of your outstanding abilities.

You can view a quick video with testimonials on the benefits of certification here and go to recent certification webinar info here.

(The exam dates page on the GCCC website includes exam dates for other locations. Check back often for new dates.)

You must apply for the CMP or SCMP path at least two weeks before the exam date and then, once you’ve been accepted, register for the exam at least one week prior to the test date.

And don't forget, IABC members save 75% on their GCCC application fee compared to the non-member fee. That's a savings of US$300. And the IABC Foundation is now awarding scholarships for certification to members through the Gift of Excellence program—more here: The program is designed to support prospective certification candidates who demonstrate a financial need. The foundation is accepting applications until December 10, 2019. 

Getting ready to take the CMP or SCMP exam:

Step 1: Choose the certification path that’s right for you and apply at least two weeks before the date you’d like to take the exam. 

 Step: 2: Once your CMP or SCMP application is accepted, register for the exam at least one week prior to the test date. 

 Step 3: Prepare for the exam by visiting the GCCC study resources page and/or through the CMP refresher course or SCMP refresher course available from the IABC Academy. 

 Step 4: Take your exam. 

Please email with any questions about certification. Or contact Pat Frey, the Heritage Region Certification Chair at



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2019 Conference Planners

Questions about the conference? Or interested in volunteering? Contact Nancy Sarpolis at or Deb Salem at

Conference Co-Chairs
Deb Salem and Nancy Sarpolis

Region Board Conference Liaison
Pat Frey, ABC

Marketing Chair
Ted Coutilish

Sponsorship Leads
Deb Salem and Pat Frey

Speaker Chair
Joy Lovejoy

Welcome Chairs
Sydney Lepora and Heather Guenther

Dine-Around Chair
Andrea Kenski

Finance and Logistics
Amy Miller and Nancy Skidmore

Volunteer Coordination
Ryan Bowers

Consulting Leader 
Gary Spondike

Regional Leadership Institute
Rhonda Sciarra

Conference Blogs

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