Meet a Member featuring Whitney Dittman

Title: Public Relations Specialist

Company: Cherokee Nation Businesses

Why do you love your job? My job allows me to serve my tribe while working in an industry I love. I am beyond blessed to collaborate with some of the most amazingly talented individuals, and together we share the history, culture and art of the Cherokee people. There is nothing more rewarding!

How long have you been a member of IABC? This is my first year as an IABC member, but I have attended and enjoyed events when possible throughout the past few years.

Have you ever served on an IABC Board? Not yet!

What is the best IABC meeting/conference you have attended? Why? I enjoyed the May 2017 lunch with Lance Latham. He spoke openly and honestly about past experiences and gave great insight to the impact having a seat at the table can make. It was a great reminder of why it is important to have public relations and communications built into the leadership team.

How has IABC played a part in your professional development? I am still new to the organization but have greatly enjoyed the events so far. The professional development opportunities are always spot on and leave time to network with peers.

What is your favorite thing to do outside of work? Family is everything to me, so if I am not at work I am likely spending time with my “people.” I have an amazing husband and a 10-month-old daughter, Aubree Jean, who typically runs the show. I also enjoy baking, photography and cheering on my OSU Cowboys!

What’s your favorite vacation spot? I am happy anywhere there is sunshine and love being on or near the water.

Who is your favorite musical artist? Garth Brooks. Hands down. Seeing him live at the BOK Center in 2015 was a DREAM!

Which website do you visit daily? Facebook, CNN

What is your favorite restaurant? Such a tough call. Either Mary’s Trattoria or anywhere with good queso. I just can’t say no.

How will we recognize you at the next IABC function? I’m a very proud OSU alum and am almost always wearing America’s Brightest Orange!

Complete the following: The future of the field of communications is…always changing!

What advice would you give to new communications professionals? Don’t wait for someone to give you permission to be awesome.

Meet a Member featuring Tom Droege

Title: Communications Specialist

Company: SemGroup

Why do you love your job? As a kid I always had fun dreaming up contraptions and then trying to build them. Communication is a lot like this, except we build with words and visuals, instead of boards and nails. The longer I’m in this field, the more I see the value of communication for organizations. It has the power to unify and motivate employees around a strategy while attracting investors, who want to be a part of the story.

How long have you been a member of IABC? I joined shortly after my first daughter was born… so about 11 years.

Have you ever served on an IABC Board? Yes. I even once served as treasurer, which proves that just about anybody can pitch in if you have the will!

What is the best IABC meeting/conference you have attended? Why? Anything with Steve Crescenzo is usually hilarious and helpful. My favorite times are just swapping corporate communication war stories over libations with IABC friends.

How has IABC played a part in your professional development? Without IABC, I’d probably still be wearing pleated khakis. It keeps me current.

What is your favorite thing to do outside of work? Last weekend there was a nice breeze, so we took my sister’s two-person sailboat out to a quiet little lake. After giving rides to each of my three daughters, I sailed out on my own and watched my little family get smaller and smaller on the beach. “Sailing… takes me away to where I la de da de da…” (Sorry Keeli, next time let’s just the two of us go!)

What’s your favorite vacation spot? Anywhere I can pose with a surfboard and look pensively toward the ocean.

Who is your favorite musical artist? I like a lot of different styles of music… especially world music from different cultures and time periods. The last big concert we saw was Paul Simon. There were probably 30 musicians on stage playing all sorts of crazy instruments – a lot from Africa.

Complete the following: The future of the field of communications is….. evolving and complex, but simplicity will always win. I hope.

What advice would you give to new communications professionals? Take time to do good work. Listen a lot. Fill your trophy case with Bronze Quill awards!