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!

Meet a Member Featuring Gary Darnell

Title: Senior Manager, Supply Chain

Company: Walmart

Why do you love your job?   There’s a world of challenges each day and a huge diversity of communication needs.  We have a small team responsible for communicating strategy and tactics to a group of 100,000 field associates.  I get to work closely with many of the leaders of the Supply Chain.

How long have you been a member of IABC? Maybe 10 years?
 
Have you ever served on an IABC Board?
No

What is the best IABC meeting/conference you have attended? Why? A few years ago, I was able to attend a one-day conference on Crisis Communications. It was a great opportunity to hear from an industry leader and later be able to implement much of what I heard him explain.

How has IABC played a part in your professional development? The organization’s website is a great resource, and the network of professionals is invaluable. Great to be able to learn from each other’s experiences.

What is your favorite thing to do outside of work? I am a ham radio operator and a PADI-certified divemaster, so I enjoy both of activities when I can. Also enjoy boating, hiking and my family.

What’s your favorite vacation spot?   In early December 2017, we took a family trip to Costa Rica, and it was tremendous. The people were fantastic, and we had some great adventures.

Who is your favorite musical artist? You’d probably laugh, but suffice it to say, I enjoy the music I grew up with: 70s, 80s, 90s.  I’m not sure it’s better than today’s music…but most of those tunes have some of my best memories associated with them.

Which website do you visit daily?  I visit a variety of news (and weather sites) each day. I like to see a diversity of opinions. And, of course, my own company’s internal sites.

What is your favorite restaurant? It’s hard to beat a good, cheap and cheerful Chinese restaurant. BBQ ranks pretty high on my list, too.

Complete the following: The future of the field of communications is…very bright! As the world gets more complicated (usually by our technology that was supposed to make things easier!), there will be plenty of opportunities for communicators who can take the complex and make it easy to understand.

What advice would you give to new communications professionals? 

  1. Learn everything you can about your employer.
  2. Figure out early how your organization/company makes money.
  3. Identify quickly what skills your employer finds valuable.
  4. Never say “it’s not my job”.
  5. Don’t lose momentum because you are waiting on someone else.
  6. Be flexible in work priorities and projects.
  7. Don’t get so set in your ways that you can’t change.
  8. Be nice.
  9. Buzz words are the quickest way to lose an audience’s attention.

Leverage the people around you.