President’s Column – August 2017

by Hayley Westwood, IABC/Tulsa President

As your new chapter president, let me begin by thanking you in advance for your support as our 2017-2019 board dives into our new roles.
For those of you who have been around IABC/Tulsa for several years, you know our past-presidency lineup is unparalleled. And having served the last two years under Megan Patterson, I can tell you I have some pretty big shoes to fill. (Not literally, of course, which is unfortunate for me because she has a lot of great shoes.) We kicked off the new board term in July with a full-day transition meeting, which made me nothing less than ecstatic to work with this incredible group of people. We talked through several great ideas and plans, and while I am still trying to find my footing (see what I did there?), I will do my best to uphold the legacy.

If you’ve ever attended an IABC conference, whether local, regional or international, you know that as with most things in life, you get out of IABC what you put into IABC. Talk to any long-time members and they’ll tell you that the relationships you build through IABC are truly the best thing you gain from membership. Building connections with other communicators – learning from them, sharing with them, making memories with them – will bring you more benefits than any other aspect. And the best way to start making connections is to get involved with our chapter!

You may be thinking, “I want to get more involved, but I don’t have time to commit to a board role.” Guess what? We have plenty of opportunities for you to be active on a smaller scale. For example…

Ever attended the Bronze Quill awards? To make those happen, we also must judge Bronze Quill awards for other chapters throughout the year. It’s amazing what you can learn from the hard work of fellow communicators by judging one or two entries each year. Interested in being a judge? Contact Ashley Cleveland, Bronze Quill logistics chair, for more information.

Are you a great public speaker or looking for opportunities to share your knowledge with an audience? Are you a subject matter expert in a certain area of communications? Or perhaps you know someone who would be a great speaker at one of our professional development luncheons? Contact Becky Carver, professional development chair, to help us provide the best development opportunities.

Looking for a meaningful way to give back to the community? Every year we need volunteers to help develop communication plans and deliverables for local nonprofits at our Gift of Communication event. Would you like to lend your talents to this event? Contact Leslie Agee, special events chair.

Have something to share with fellow IABC members? Maybe you’ve won an award, published a book or just want to participate in the “Meet a Member” section of the newsletter. Contact Sarah Andrews, communications chair, or Natasha Mitchell, social media chair, to share your news with the chapter.

Are you receiving our newsletter and attending our events, but not officially an IABC/Tulsa member? Learn how to become a member and find out why it’s worth joining by contacting our membership chair, Kiley Roberson.

As you can see, we have plenty of ways for members to get involved, and I’m eager to see what we can accomplish this term with your help! Please reach out to me if you’d like to be part of a committee or wish to volunteer in any capacity. And feel free to contact any of our board members if you have questions or suggestions!

I invite you to follow IABC/Tulsa on Facebook and Twitter for frequent updates about what’s happening in the chapter.

Thanks again for your support as we begin the 2017-2019 board term – we look forward to seeing more of you soon!



President’s Column – July 2017

by Megan Patterson, IABC/Tulsa President

MeganLewisThis letter is a bit bittersweet for me – it is my last as president of IABC/Tulsa. Next month, our new IABC/Tulsa board will be in place and your new president, Hayley Westwood, will provide her perspective on our chapter and her vision for IABC. The chapter couldn’t be in better hands.

My two-year term as president has flown by. I’m sad it’s coming to a close, but excited to see what our new president and new board will accomplish over the next two years. I know great things are in store for this chapter.

I’d like to thank our current board for all of your work and for the countless hours you dedicated over the last two years. For those who are staying on the board – we’re lucky to have you. For those who are rolling off – you’ll be greatly missed. I know the commitment it takes, and very much appreciate your contributions.

This board accomplished a lot in two years. Just a few examples include:

  • Receiving recognition among IABC chapters world-wide and winning five chapter management awards;
  • Receiving a record-breaking number of entries and our highest attendance levels during our 2016 and 2017 Bronze Quill Awards;
  • Holding our inaugural Spelling Bee(r) event which was so successful we’re bringing it back even bigger and better this year (don’t miss it on July 20); and
  • Providing more than 600 local communicators access to high-caliber professional development events including topics such as communications measurement, inbound marketing and crisis communications, just to name a few.

We also revamped our membership outreach efforts, created new membership marketing materials and relocated our monthly professional development events based on feedback from you, our members.

Yes, we’ve accomplished a lot, but there is always more we can do to further increase the value of your membership. This will remain the focus going forward, with our new president and new board.

I believe I may have taken away more from this experience than I was able to give, but I truly hope that together, we made some lasting impacts and improvements on our chapter.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your chapter president.

Meet a Member featuring Becky Carver

Title: Communications Consultant

Company: ONEOK

Why do you love your job? I work with some amazingly talented and creative people who teach me new things every day. I also love telling the stories of our employees and helping our internal departments achieve their business goals.

How long have you been a member of IABC? I joined in June 2014.

Have you ever served on an IABC Board? I am on the slate of nominees to serve on the 2017-2019 board.

What is the best IABC meeting/conference you have attended? Why? I enjoyed Deb Hileman’s recent presentations – “Prepare and Prevent, or Repair and Repent” and her follow-up crisis media training. Deb’s presentations included examples of many current crisis scenarios, so it was interesting to hear about dealing with crisis in the digital age.

How has IABC played a part in your professional development? Through my involvement with IABC, I have networked with many communicators throughout the region whom I may not have met otherwise. These are people with whom I can exchange ideas or ask questions. Their insight and expertise are incredibly valuable.

What is your favorite thing to do outside of work? I love to travel and experience new places through food. I also love spending time with my guys – my husband Todd and our pup Tux – and cheering on my Oklahoma State University Cowboys at football games!

What’s your favorite vacation spot? I love the mountains in any season. I try to spend every Fourth of July holiday in a national park.

Who is your favorite musical artist? I love authentic voices, regardless of genre, but I’m a country music fan through and through. On any given day, I may listen to Sam Cooke, Eric Church, Journey and Annie Lennox.

Which website do you visit daily? Facebook, The New York Times and my online banking website

What is your favorite restaurant? Fuji’s for sushi. Sisserou’s for curry. Hideaway for pizza. The Tavern for everything. You see where this is going…

Complete the following: The future of the field of communications is…digital. Technology continues to change the landscape for communicators. It will be both exciting and challenging as we continue to utilize new platforms to reach our audiences.

What advice would you give to new communications professionals? Learn from those around you. There will always be people in your life that excel in areas where you don’t. Lean in to those people and learn from them. Ask questions and listen to the answers.

President’s Column – June 2017

by Megan Patterson, IABC/Tulsa President

MeganLewisThe dog days of summer are approaching. Just ask our Goldendoodle, Cooper. A tennis ball isn’t even enough some days to spur his excitement or keep him from pouting about the heat.

For you astronomers out there silently correcting my use of “dog days,” I do know this isn’t the actual meaning of the phrase (or at least I do now, after a quick Google search)… but it still just seems appropriate for this time of year. School is out, temperatures are up and everyone has a vacation planned but you. Sound familiar?

Well, rest assured, IABC/Tulsa has some fun in store for you this summer with our Second Annual Adult Spelling Bee(r) event next month and some additional networking opportunities in the works. IABC/Tulsa is also gearing up for a new board term and is hard at work prepping and planning for a full slate of amazing programming to close out 2017.

As the current IABC/Tulsa board transitions out and new board members move in, we’ll be taking a closer look at programming, member benefits, communications, networking activities and more to be sure we’re providing you with the best membership experience. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or another board member with feedback or suggestions. Do you have professional development goals on your objectives list at work? Let us help you cross a few of those off. Would you like to see us offer a few more social events throughout the year to facilitate networking? Just let us know! We want to hear from you.

And remember, if you’re interested in getting more involved with the IABC/Tulsa board or committees, let us know.

IABC/Tulsa’s Second Annual Adult 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 second 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 20 (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!

Meet a Member featuring Natasha Mitchell

Title: Multimedia Communications Professional

Why do you love your job? I love to help high performing teams resolve group issues through research and communication as well as effectively manage change. I’ve had a wonderful multifaceted career in the news media, higher education and corporate communications.

How long have you been a member of IABC? Since September 2012.

Have you ever served on an IABC Board? Yes. I am the current VP of Membership for IABC/Tulsa and the incoming chair of the IABC Ethics Committee. The IABC Ethics Committee is responsible for input to the International Executive Board on policy, standards, strategic development, education and monitoring in relation to ethical matters and upholding the IABC Code of Ethics.To serve on both boards is a honor, and I’m excited to continue the conversation regarding the importance of ethics within IABC.

What is the best IABC meeting/conference you have attended? Why? Crisis Communications: When “IT” hits the Fan” with Gerard Braud. I found this session and other professional development sessions on crisis communications to be fascinating. Because I’ve interviewed leaders who faced crises during events such as natural disasters, political scandals and the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City, it’s interesting to see how business communication teams handle such affairs as well as understand how a crisis affects stakeholders within and outside of a company.

How has IABC played a part in your professional development? IABC helped me to understand the importance of internal and external communications as a corporate communicator and bridged what I already knew as a former journalist. Because of prior experience as a committee member who oversaw the implementation and education of media ethics for the National Association of Black Journalists, I was asked to consider serving as vice chair on the IABC Ethics Committee.

What is your favorite thing to do outside of work? I serve and work as a volunteer on various boards/committees in Bartlesville, travel with my husband and engage in monthly book club discussions.

What’s your favorite vacation spot? Any place with a beach (Jamaica, Barbados, Bahamas, Mexico, etc.)

Who is your favorite musical artist? My musical tastes are diverse, but Lisa Stansfield is my muse.

Which website do you visit daily? News media and social media sites. I love to track friends who are doing very well in the business.

What is your favorite restaurant? Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen. I miss the availability of authentic Cajun/Creole food. I’m aware of the offerings here, but there’s no comparison to the cuisine in the South.

How will we recognize you at the next IABC function? I’m a tall, graceful African-American woman who wears a green IABC name tag bearing my name.

Complete the following: The future of the field of communications is the use of augmented reality. We already utilize augmented-reality applications through devices such as smartphones or Google glasses to view the world and see real-time digital information about what we view. Communicators must be well-versed in current technologies.

What advice would you give to new communications professionals? Obtain a mentor in your company or if self-employed, seek a community leader to provide advisement and guidance as you embark on your career. Share your knowledge with others who will need mentorship. Giving to others is a powerful gift. At any given moment, you have the power to say, “This is not how my story is going to end.”

President’s Column – May 2017

by Megan Patterson, IABC/Tulsa President

MeganLewisHow often are you reminded of the power of communication? Or amazed by the impact technology has on our lives? How about when the two come together? A recent CNN segment got me thinking about the relationship between communication and technology. It also left me intrigued, inspired and hopeful for the impact we can have on future generations.

During the segment, CNN reporter Sara Ashley O’Brien interviews Pinchas Gutter, an 85-year-old Holocaust survivor. The catch is that O’Brien interviewed a digital version of Gutter. Hours of real video footage in which Gutter answered thousands of questions about his experience during the Holocaust was compiled to create a digital version of himself, fully capable of understanding questions and seamlessly producing relevant responses. Through the use of speech recognition and natural language processing technology, Gutter’s digital self can interact with people and teach them about his experience. Read the related CNN article about the technology and how it’s being used.

This article provides a stark contrast to the numerous stories about technology’s negative impact on communication skills or how younger generations can only write in 140 characters or less. In this case, technology and communication are working together and using storytelling to teach people about a time in the world’s history that must be remembered and understood. This interactive and emotional learning tool offers a much deeper and impactful learning experience than any history book could ever provide.

Stories like these get me excited about the impact we can make as professional communicators and remind me of the many opportunities we all still have to continue learning.

Learn more about the relationship between communication and technology at this year’s IABC World Conference, June 11-14 in Washington, D.C. One of the keynote speakers, IBM’s Jon Iwata will discuss how data and artificial intelligence are changing communication. There is still time to register for the conference, which is sure to be packed with wisdom, networking, and yes, even a bit of inspiration.

Join Us for Our May Luncheon: Leading a “No-Surprises” Approach in a Chaotic World, sponsored by BolenInk

Leading Business and brands operate at the wildest convergence of reputation, media, digital influencers and political advocacy ever seen. As communicators, we often find ourselves standing in the middle of this very complex intersection of stakeholders. How we lead and engage – both internally and externally – can mean the difference between success and setback.

Join us May 17 for a luncheon on Leading a “No-Surprises” Approach in a Chaotic World, sponsored by BolenInk. During this luncheon, Lance Latham, Williams’ director of external communications, will provide a look into a team-based, “no-surprises” approach to communication campaigns that support multi-billion dollar energy infrastructure projects in today’s politically charged environment. He’ll also bring firsthand stories and insights from companies like Scotts Miracle-Gro and Kimberly-Clark (Kleenex, Huggies).

Throughout the discussion, he’ll highlight critical leadership skills and capabilities required of communicators – regardless of position or level – and how those who embrace transparency and candor in today’s ever-changing world can contribute significant value.

When: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., May 17

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


  • IABC Member fee $25
  • IABC Non-Member/Guest fee $35
  • Student fee $15

Register Now


Meet a Member featuring Michael McCulloh

Title: Communications Consultant

Company: ONE Gas

Why do you love your job? I love my job because I get to write stories about great people working for a great company.

How long have you been a member of IABC? Six years.

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

What is the best IABC meeting/conference you have attended? Why? I enjoyed a meeting hosted by Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum because he reminded me how a good communicator listens, engages with people and can help influence change in a positive way.

How has IABC played a part in your professional development? IABC has been invaluable in my professional development. I gain new insights after every meeting I attend. I also get to meet and learn from fellow communicators.

What is your favorite thing to do outside of work? Spending time with family, going to movies and reading when I have the time.

What’s your favorite vacation spot? The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island in Michigan.

Who is your favorite musical artist? I can’t name just one! I really like an eclectic mix of musical artists (mostly older stuff). For example, I might listen to Stevie Wonder, Johnny Cash, U2, Ella Fitzgerald and Bruno Mars in a typical day.

Which website do you visit daily? The New York Times (I’m a news junkie).

What is your favorite restaurant? Local: Juniper Restaurant. When visiting Chicago I enjoy Frontera Grill.

How will we recognize you at the next IABC function? Just look down. I’m the short guy with glasses.

Complete the following: The future of the field of communications is…merging traditional communication messages with new digital media platforms.

What advice would you give to new communications professionals? Learn to be adaptable. The industry is constantly changing. There are many ways to tell your company’s story.

President’s Column – April 2017

by Megan Patterson, IABC/Tulsa President

MeganLewisThe first quarter of 2017 is in the books. Are you where you thought you’d be?

If you aren’t quite on track with some of your 2017 goals, don’t stress, there are still more than 250 days to get there. Accomplishing the goals we set for ourselves and our teams is fantastic, but keep in mind the journey is usually the most valuable – whether we end up exactly where we wanted to or not. Celebrating those small wins along the way can be just as important as the end result.

At IABC/Tulsa we think it’s important to stop and recognize the good work we’re doing in our profession – both small wins and huge successes.

On March 30, we celebrated at our annual Bronze Quill Awards ceremony. We recognized our area’s top communicators for their outstanding work throughout the year including these special award winners:

  • Jeff Stava, chief operating officer for Tulsa Community Foundation and executive director of Tulsa’s Gathering Place – Communicator of the Year;
  • Jennifer Rector, ONE Gas – John Hartman Professional of the Year;
  • Leslie Agee, Linde Engineering North America – Leon Bolen Service Award; and
  • Kiley Roberson, Tulsa City-County Library – Best of Show Award.

In addition, 33 Bronze Quill awards were presented to local communications professionals for their exceptional work. See a full list of award winners.

Our area’s communicators are an impressive group, and it’s a pleasure to help celebrate your professional wins.

If professional development is on your list of 2017 goals, IABC/Tulsa is here to help. We have two fantastic events coming up. On April 18, best-selling author Marsha Petrie Sue will present on “The CEO of You” and May 2-4 join us for Crisis Communication Management Certification and media training courses. We’ll see you there!