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!

President’s Column – October 2017

by Hayley Westwood, IABC/Tulsa President

Over the last several years, I’ve had the privilege of meeting IABC members from Australia, Tanzania, Scotland and more, and they all say the same thing about membership: that the greatest benefit comes from the people they meet along the way.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of learning from the conferences, webinars and other professional development opportunities that membership provides. But the best learning comes from the relationships you build. Getting to meet and know communicators from across the world is IABC’s greatest benefit. Having the chance to learn from people who do the same work you do, but in different capacities, in different industries and in different countries. Sharing real-world experiences to help one another be more successful and push our industry forward together.

IABC membership helps us advance a global standard for business communicators. It allows us to share ideas and experiences so that we can raise the collective value of communications across our organizations, no matter where we are in the world.

I’m incredibly thankful for the relationships I’ve built because of my involvement with IABC/Tulsa. I’ve gained mentors and friends, and those relationships continue to benefit me in both my professional and personal life.

If you’ve been considering membership in IABC, I hope you’ll explore the opportunity to join during the month of October and take advantage of our Member Month discounts (and the chance to win great prizes)! See more information below about Member Month and why our members love IABC/Tulsa.

Always feel free to reach out if you want to know more about membership or getting more involved!

-Hayley