August 2018 Newsletter

Letter from the President
I’m sitting here watching American Pickers on the History channel.  If you’re not familiar, it’s two quirky guys traveling the U.S. seeking Americana treasures from generations ago.  In this particular episode, they are exploring a collection of record players, radios, eight-track players – basically anything that has played music in the last 75+ years.  It’s amazing to see the evolution and then look down at my phone where I can carry around thousands of songs in one tiny device.

This got me thinking about how communication has evolved, including our ability to consume and comprehend it. The feverish pace that information is exchanged is dizzying.  What’s the saying?  You have to communicate a single piece of information seven times, in seven different ways for it to stick.  So how do we keep up?  The one answer I have found to be true 100% of the time is…you can’t do it alone.  We all need a network of support, expertise and knowledge.

This may seem like a shameless plug, but IABC has been that for me.  Joining and participating has unlocked a world of colleagues I admire, resources that have furthered my career and friendships I treasure.  So I thank you, each of you, for your membership and engagement in our Chapter.

We have an exciting fall planned for you: don’t forget the IABC Southern Region Conference is coming up in October. Plus the deadline to enter Silver Quill is tomorrow.  Dust off your Bronze Quill entry, review the judges’ comments, adjust and submit.

See you at the Tulsa City-County Library with CEO Kimberly Johnson next month!

“You never get more out of something than what you put in to it.”  -Mark Millen

Learning to Lead: what executives want from their communication professionalsLearning to Lead: What Executives Want from Their Communication Professionals

You’ve heard the saying, “working your way up.” Tulsa City-County Library CEO Kimberly Johnson did just that. Beginning her career as a library resource coordinator and now leading an organization that serves 600,000 people, Kimberly knows what it takes to be a leader and she thinks communication professionals should too.

At this program, you’ll learn:

  • What key traits leadership looks for in communications professionals.
  • How to increase your influence within your organization by demonstrating success.
  • Why the language you use with leadership is important to building credibility.


  • IABC Member fee: $25
  • IABC Non-member fee: $35
  • Student fee: $15

Where: Central Library, Pocahontas Greadington Learning and Creativity Center (lower level 2)

Register Online by September 11!

Top 10 Ways to Improve your Comprehension

Missed our August professional development on Communication vs Comprehension with Denise Vladovich? Or just want a handy way to remember the takeaways?

Check out this helpful infographic to assist your audience in grasping important concepts easily. It’s not about “dumbing it down.” It’s about “clearing it up.”

top 10 Ways to Improve Comprehension

IABC/Tulsa Third Annual Spelling Bee(r)

We all love a good copy editing session, but how are your spelling skills without a red pen in hand? How about with a drink in hand? We found out this year at IABC/Tulsa’s third annual Adult Spelling Bee(r).

Spelling ‘cauterize’ correctly garnered the win at this year’s event after the second place contestant misspelled ‘chlorofluorocarbon.’ Congrats to all our participants!

Check out the photos below from the event and watch this video to see the fun in action.

The top three contestants in the spelling bee(r). The spelling beer champ celebrates after being handed their prize!
Another contestant from the Spelling Bee(r) final round. Emcee from spelling beer event

Meet a MemberGet to Know Stephanie Higgins

Stephanie Higgins family fishingTitle: Supervisor, Communications

Company:  ONEOK

Why do you love your job? Quite frankly, it’s the people. I love my co-workers like they are family. It makes it much easier to come to work every day when you enjoy the people around you. They celebrate in my successes and lift me up and when I am down.

How long have you been a member of IABC? I have been a member of IABC for 3.5 years.

What is the best IABC meeting/conference you have attended? Why? I attended the IABC World Conference earlier this year in Montreal, Canada. It was really cool to engage with other communicators from outside the United States. To find out there are people all over the world combatting some of the same issues we do on a daily basis made me feel like I wasn’t in this profession alone. Some offered practical solutions to those issues as well.

How has IABC played a part in your professional development? I have been a member of various professional organizations throughout my 20-year career in communications. IABC offers me a network of professionals that are primarily in corporate communications. Corporate communications can be a daunting world and having a network of other professionals to bounce ideas off of is priceless. They also offer professional development opportunities that are pertinent to my position for a reasonable price.

What is your favorite thing to do outside of work? My husband and I have two boys, one is a sophomore in college and the other is a freshman in high school. Between the hustle and bustle of chasing them around with their sports (college baseball and high school basketball), we love to go fishing! Striper fishing, trout fishing, crappie fishing, it doesn’t matter. We love that family time and spending time outdoors.

What’s your favorite vacation spot? I love to go anywhere with a beach. I am not picky as long as it’s warm.
Who is your favorite musical artist?
That’s a tough one. When I listen to the radio, it’s typically on sports talk radio. I love sports. If I had to pick one, I would say I am a closet Taylor Swift fan. (Guess I am not in the closet anymore.)

Which website or app do you visit daily? Bleacher Report is an app I visit daily. It’s a constant feed of sports stories.

What is your favorite restaurant? Any place with a steak. I love a good steak and baked potato.

How will we recognize you at the next IABC function? I am a 6’0 tall sometimes blonde, sometimes brunette. I am hard to miss. I am usually the tallest in the room.

Complete the following: The future of the field of communications is….. Exciting! The field is constantly changing, and it’s fun to be a part of a profession that continuously challenges you.

What advice would you give to new communications professionals? Be open to exploring multiple facets of communications whether it’s in the news field, public service or corporate communications. I have had the privilege of working in multiple facets of the communications profession. Because of this, it has provided me with the opportunity to be a more well-rounded communications professional.

Send a shout out to these members celebrating anniversaries in August.

August 1 – Emily Perkins
August 12 – Kim Kuehler
August 15 – Kiley Roberson

Get to know Summer Austin

Title: Communication Business Partner for IT and Technology (R&D)

Company: Phillips 66 in Bartlesville, Okla.
Why do you love your job?
I enjoy digging into details and learning about new things for my writing, but what I love are the people. The organizations I support are global, and their work touches everyone in the company. By default, that allows me to work with colleagues from Bartlesville to Great Britain and everywhere in between. What’s so interesting is the wide range in diversity of thought and experience. Yet they are the same in that they’re extremely intelligent, driven and focused on the higher good of the company as well as one another. Who doesn’t want to be a part of that kind of energy?

How long have you been a member of IABC? I’ve been a member since February 2005 – this year is lucky 13!

Have you ever served on an IABC Board? Yes. Two terms from 2011-2015 as co-VP of Membership.

What is the best IABC meeting/conference you have attended? Why? I really enjoyed all aspects of the 2012 Southern Region Conference: Real People Talk, in Charleston, South Carolina. What stood out to me the most was Tim Cleary’s keynote on building engagement through understanding and ownership. We worked in teams to design a shoe that would help children learn how to tie their laces. Getting people using their hands frees up their minds to be more creative and feel more engaged. And as a group activity it gets people talking, and involves them in the process, which ultimately helps the individuals move themselves through change. Rob Oddi has a similar exercise using Legos to build a change management plan. Very impactful!
How has IABC played a part in your professional development?
The Tulsa IABC board is another group of diverse thinkers and experts from varied vocations. Working with them was both personally and professionally enriching.  IABC’s continued learning series has also been beneficial. Ann Wylie’s sessions are some of my favorites because I always come away with actionable principles to tighten up my writing and draw in the reader.

What is your favorite thing to do outside of work? Travel; I love exploring new places, experiencing new things, eating new foods. And travel photography is one of my passions. Check it out on Instagram @sumascenes.

What’s your favorite vacation spot? It’s hard to pick just one, so I’ll pick three: Scotland, Ireland and China, so far.

Who is your favorite musical artist? Ugh…what’s with picking just one? 😉 I’ll narrow it down to categories:

  • Top female – lately I’ve been re-listening to Eva Cassidy (but I also love Nora Jones, Nina Simone, Patsy Cline, and SO many more).
  • Top male – lately it’s been Bob Marley. I also like Van Morrison, Jack Johnson, Sting…you get me – variety is the spice of life.
  • Top bands – lately I’ve been obsessed with the Beatles Channel on Sirius XM. I’m surprised there are so many songs I’ve not heard, because I’ve been a fan since my teens. I also love the Eagles, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Michael Franti & Spearhead, and many, many more.
  • And Christmas music? I won’t even go there – okay just one, the all-time great BING CROSBY.

Which website or app do you visit daily?
My company intra and internet for research; Apps – Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Weather Underground (can’t get dressed or pack for a trip without it). 😊

What is your favorite restaurant? Hmmm – in Bartlesville, it’s Senor Salsas – love the comfortable atmosphere, and the staff all know us and try to teach us Spanish. Much like the rest of my life, I like variety in my meals too. In Tulsa my husband and friends and I frequent Yokozuna, Lana Thai, and we love Kilkenny’s weekend brunch. I recently visited San Diego, and I now have a lot of favorites there too!

How will we recognize you at the next IABC function? The next one will be the first one I’ve had the chance to attend in a LONG time. So, I’ll be the person working the room to introduce myself to all the new faces.

Complete the following: The future of the field of communications is…even more important than ever. With the speed of change continuing to increase exponentially in the digital age, clear communication and a strong focus on change management is so needed. Without out it you lose understanding, engagement and ultimately the support of your target audience.

What advice would you give to new communications professionals? If after two written exchanges (email, texts, etc.) you still don’t have clarity or understanding with the recipient, pick up the phone or meet with the other person and talk things through. This simple practice will save you and the other person a lot of time and frustration. It also works wonders in keeping misunderstandings from escalating.

Join IABC/Tulsa for the Third Annual Spelling Bee(r)

IABC/Tulsa nd Fassler Hall presents Spelling Bee(r)

We all love a good copy editing session, but how are your spelling skills without a red pen in hand?

How about with a drink in hand? Find out at IABC/Tulsa’s third annual Adult Spelling Bee(r).

Join us at Fassler Hall in downtown Tulsa for a night of fun and test your spelling skills for a chance to win cash prizes. No cost to enter.

Buy a brat and a b-e-e-r while you watch or compete in the spelling bee.

Don’t miss this chance to mingle with your fellow IABC members. Bring your non-IABC friends, too!

When: 6:00 to 9 p.m., Thursday, July 26 (Spelling will start at 6:30 p.m.)
Where: Fassler Hall, 304 S. Elgin Ave., Tulsa, OK 74120

RSVP at our Facebook event page to let us know you’re coming!

Letter from the President

It’s summer time, and IABC/Tulsa is sizzlin’!  Thanks to our amazing professional development team, there is a full line up of learning and networking planned for you. There’s something for everyone with new times, dates and locations to better accommodate your busy schedules. Go ahead, pull out those calendars and schedule some time for yourself. Whether you want to invest in new relationships, learn something new or both…you won’t want to miss these events!

You can review the complete event schedule below and on our brand NEW website. That’s right, our site and email template were recently updated. We hope you enjoy the new look and improved functionality.

Kicking off our summer of fun is IABC World Conference, next week! If you are going, look for your fellow IABC/Tulsa members and join us at the Southern Region reception on Monday, June 4. We will also keep everyone in the loop on conference activities and insights via our social channels.

Reminder: From your home or office and per your schedule, you can volunteer and gain professional development experience with our Bronze Quill Judges Circle. Contact Ashley Cleveland details.

“Investing in yourself is the best investment you will ever make.  It will not only improve your life; it will improve the lives of all those around you.” – Robin Sharma


Meet a Member featuring Jami Lamontagne

Six Facts to Get to Know Jami Lamontagne 

 1. She’s a Communicator, Mom, Wife, Daughter, Granddaughter and Sister

In addition to being a communicator, Jami wears many hats. She’s a mom to two daughters, Kate (5) and Quinn (3), wife to Travis, daughter to Tom and Sherri, sister (she’s the middle child) to Todd and Adam, and granddaughter to her favorite almost 90-year old grandpa, Charley.

2. She Yells “Go Pokes” AND Calls the Hogs

Jami was born and raised in Kingfisher, Oklahoma, which is a town of about 5,000 people with three stop lights. After graduating high school, she applied to only one university – Oklahoma State – and moved to Stillwater where she fell in love with all things orange. She went into undergrad focusing on Journalism/PR and never looked back, but did add a minor in Spanish along the way. She received her master’s degree in Communications at the University of Arkansas while working full-time in Walmart’s International Corporate Affairs division.

3. Jami was Inspired to Become a Communicator at an Early Age

There are a few people who inspired her in different stages of her life. She remembers, as a child, her Grandma Patsy looking up words in the dictionary that she didn’t know the meaning of or how to spell, and encouraged Jami to do the same, teaching her a love for words at an early age. In high school, she worked at the local Kingfisher newspaper, around some truly witty writers, who made the world of journalism and communications seem fun! And, as always, there’s that one professor who takes an interest in you and fuels your passion, Jami had that in her Public Relations professor at Oklahoma State, Shelley Wigley.

4. Storytelling is Her Jam

The best part about her role, according to Jami, “Telling stories, of course!” In Jami’s current role as Senior Director of Communications for Sam’s Club, she has the opportunity to talk to Sam’s Club’s 100,000 associates across the country and share their stories and the great work they’re doing at Sam’s Club to become the membership you love the most. Jami has worked for Walmart for 13 years in multiple communi

cations capacities across the company’s Walmart International division, Walmart corporate, and most recently Sam’s Club, doing everything from media relations and internal communications to speech writing.

5. She’s Working to Become the Next Serena

Although coloring or going to the park with her daughters are at the top of her list of hobbies, Jami also has another hobby she enjoys:  tennis. She’s not really working to become the next Serena, but does love playing tennis in her spare time.

6. Her Tip for Success:  Talk to Everyone

When asked if she has any tips for success, her suggestion:  talk to everyone! In her opinion, networking and best practice sharing are the primary benefits of organizations like IABC. There are so many smart people with different communications backgrounds doing interesting work and you can learn something from everyone. From communicators working in non-profits to corporations, we all have a common mission of sharing information with our stakeholders, whether internal or external, in an engaging and creative way.

Meet a Member featuring Angela Byers

Title: Owner

Company: Byers Creative

Why do you love your job? I founded the company in 2003 out of a spare bedroom of my house, so it’s never been just a job for me, but a true passion. What do I love most? I love the people that work here – they are so creative and special, and do incredible work for our important clients everyday.

How long have you been a member of IABC? Since 2006, I believe.

Have you ever served on an IABC Board? Yes, I served as Special Events – Bronze Quill Chair, and then served as IABC President in 2014. I also served on the Southern Region Board in 2016.

What is the best IABC meeting/conference you have attended? I really enjoyed the Southern Region conference in Atlanta, Georgia. Why? It was held at the Coca-Cola headquarters (wow), and the Coca-Cola products were free flowing all day long! Well, the speakers were awesome too. It was fun to serve behind the scenes helping the speakers and ensuring the event ran smoothly.

How has IABC played a part in your professional development? I wouldn’t have transformed my company if it weren’t for IABC. IABC sets the industry standards for our profession and taught me how to grow from a graphic design agency to a full-service strategic communications agency.

What is your favorite thing to do outside of work? Time with our 2 daughters – Lindsey (14) and Alannah (17). We covet family time together, especially since Alannah leaves for college in the fall!

What’s your favorite vacation spot? Watercolor, Florida for sure. It’s located in Seagrove Beach on the Northwest Gulf Coast of Florida near Destin. It’s located near to where the Truman show was filmed – a very idyllic location!

Who is your favorite musical artist? U2. I am so excited they are coming to the BOK Center in May, and I love their new “Songs of Experience” album.

Which website do you visit daily? Pandora, for one. Music inspires me, and I love to mix it up and try new genres and artists. I also love the Tulsa Library hoopla app – I download free audiobooks and e-books all the time. I am always perusing for my next reading adventure.

What is your favorite restaurant? I love trying new restaurants and was quite excited about Torchy’s coming to Tulsa!

How will we recognize you at the next IABC function? You’ll hear my southern accent, and I’ll be hugging all my IABC friends.

Complete the following: The future of the field of communications is more important today than ever. Because our world is flooded with “communications gone wrong”, the world needs a voice that stands for what’s good and right. Ethics, values and strategic and thoughtful insight are critical for every business. Companies can’t survive without communicators who understand this.

What advice would you give to new communications professionals? School only prepares you part-way; it’s your job to take your degree and make yourself valuable. You do this by being present, plugging-in, and seeking to understand before you take action. Also, never stop learning about your industry!

Content That Earns Relationships: How to Use the Web and Social Media to Your Advantage


You don’t want customers today. They will quit you. You want relationships, where people will not only read but also follow and share. Get strategy and tactics on how to leverage the advantages that the web and social media give businesses today when it comes to content. You will leave with a to-do list that has helped local businesses in the Tulsa market increase awareness, gain attention, start relationships and boost profits.

What you’ll learn:

  • How to design content that gets attention in the Age of Distraction.
  • How to better position your message, so people will open the email, click through to read and watch the full video.
  • How to give like no one else, so you can build relationships that can’t be broken.
  • How to stay organized and efficient so you can do it all without losing your mind with all the other work you have to do.
  • How to sell these tactics to your bosses when you have no budget, no support and no time.
  • How to make sure you are concentrating on the right measurements to find success.

When: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 28

Where: Tulsa Country Club, 701 N. Union Ave., Tulsa, OK 74127


  • IABC Member fee: $25
  • IABC Non-member fee: $35
  • Student fee: $15
  • Register for this event on EventBrite

About Our Speaker

Jason Collington is a deputy managing editor for the Tulsa World, where he works on digital initiatives for news, advertising and marketing. He teaches classes on digital and social media at 36 Degree North for Tulsa Tech and Oklahoma State University. He is an OSU graduate who worked for the Associated Press before coming to the Tulsa World in 1999.

Journey to Published Author: Practical Steps to Accomplishing Big Goals

No matter your career field, obstacles abound – but you can keep them from getting in the way of achieving your goals.

Join us January 17 as we explore the practical steps to accomplishing big goals, led by award-winning writer Sasha Martin, who will share personal stories from her journey as a new mom to published author and go-to blogger for international foodies.

What you’ll learn:

  • Why you should develop personal connections instead of making formal pitches.
  • How to overcome roadblocks on your way to achieving big goals.
  • How to bring community into your work and why you should.

Bonus! This month’s luncheon will take place at Tulsa’s new independent book store, Magic City Books, so you can hang out with your favorite communicators and check out downtown’s newest hot spot.

When: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. January 17

Where: Magic City Books, 221 E Archer Street, Tulsa, OK 74103 (Parking available in the old Spaghetti Warehouse parking lot.)


  • IABC Member fee: $25
  • IABC Non-member fee: $35
  • Student fee: $15
  • Copies of Sasha’s book, “Life From Scratch: A Memoir of Food, Family, and Forgiveness,” will be available to purchase at the event.

About Sasha Martin

Sasha Martin is an award-winning writer and blogger who spent almost four years cooking her way around the world. She graduated from Wesleyan University and was an MFK Fisher Scholar at the Culinary Institute of America. She lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma with her husband Keith and their daughter Ava.

While attending Wesleyan University, Sasha geeked out on Medieval French Arthurian Legend, wrote 100 pages about the history of artisan bread in France, and played several rounds of midnight Ultimate Frisbee barefoot, by streetlamp. During her time as a MFK Fisher Scholar at The Culinary Institute of America, she was Editor of La Papillote, the school paper, and learned to prepare an omelet in less than 90 seconds – though not at the same time. After moving to Tulsa, Oklahoma, she began cooking a meal from every country in the world and blogged about the experience at Global Table Adventure, a go-to hub for international foodies.

Her first book, “Life From Scratch: A Memoir of Food, Family, and Forgiveness,” chronicles her lifelong struggle to find inner-peace, including the years she spent cooking the world as a new mother. It was published by National Geographic and has been translated into multiple languages.

Her work has been featured on NPR, as well as in Food & Wine, People Magazine, NPR, Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street Kitchen, O Magazine, Boston Globe, and Food52. Most recently she was a 2016-2017 Research Fellow at the Oklahoma Center for the Humanities at the University of Tulsa.


Communicating Your Value (While You’re Communicating Everything Else)

As communication professionals, you excel at making sure your colleagues and clients are given top priority. But when it comes to promoting your own skills and managing your own career, you can easily put yourself last.

Join Darcy Eikenberg for a fun, interactive discussion, where you’ll learn how to better understand and promote your own value at work – even amid increasing work pressures to serve your clients, colleagues and everyone else. Walk away with practical, professional strategies you can use on the job immediately.

What you’ll learn:

  • Why it’s more important than ever to talk about your superpowers, strengths and talents – and not for the reasons you might think;
  • Simple ways to identify – and share – you success stories without feeling like you’re bragging; and
  • How to use everyday situations to show the world your extraordinary value.

Attend and Win: Bring your business cards for a chance to win $100!

When: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. February 28

Where: Tulsa Country Club, 701 N. Union Ave., Tulsa, OK 74127


About Our Speaker

Darcy Eikenberg, PCC
Executive and Leadership Coach, Speaker and Author

Darcy helps high-performance leaders and teams manage through constant change with more clarity, confidence and control – plus a little bit of courage thrown in to handle today’s complex life at work.

With over 20 years’ experience working with top companies around the world, she strives to bring her clients a practical, real-life perspective that creates true business results, but with a touch of humor and heart as well.

Darcy is a longtime member of IABC and was selected to speak at the IABC World Conference last year. Her clients have included Microsoft, State Farm, The Coca-Cola Company and Deloitte, and she’s been quoted in the Harvard Business Review,, and the Atlanta-Journal Constitution among others.

She’s the author of “Bring Your Superpowers to Work: Your Guide to More Clarity, Confidence and Control,” and writes regularly at, where you can download free career and success tools to help you create clarity, build confidence and take control over your life at work.

Acronym Mixer 2018 – ADCT, AMA, AWC, IABC, and PRSA

Acronym Mixer 2018

Bring your career resolutions, friends, colleagues and business cards.

Start the new year off right with “Goals that matter” and a fun night with members of Tulsa’s top professional associations. Discover how you can continue your education, foster relationships, inspire creativity and develop new skills all while enjoying tasty hors d’oeuvres and drinks. You’ll also have a chance to win one of ten great door prizes that are sure to give your new year goals a boost!

What:    2018 Acronym Mixer – A fun and festive networking party!

When:   5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018

Where:  Living Arts of Tulsa, 307 E. Brady St.

Who:     This event is open to all communications, marketing, and advertising professionals. Participating association members and guests.


$20/all early birds (includes food and one drink ticket).

$25/at the door and registrations after midnight on January 19th (includes food and one drink ticket).

All proceeds from this event will be donated to a Living Arts community program.

Participating Acronyms:

ADCT – Art Directors Club of Tulsa

AMA – American Marketing Association

AWC – Association for Women in Communications

IABC – International Association of Business Communicators

PRSA – Public Relations Society of America