Each month, IABC/Tulsa features one of its members in the “Meet A Member” section of the newsletter. In this issue, we learn more about Susie Wellendorf, director of Corporate Communications and Public Relations for Hilti North America.
IABC/Tulsa: How long have you been a member of IABC?
Susie: I’ve been a member for almost 16 years, and have served on the IABC/Tulsa board several times, including a stint as president from 1998-1999.
IABC/Tulsa: What is the best IABC meeting/seminar/conference you have ever attended?
Susie: I appreciated getting the opportunity to attend the Leadership Institute in Ottawa, Canada. Besides taking me to Canada for my first time, the conference helped me understand the bigger picture of the communication profession at a time when I was new to it. That’s when I realized what makes IABC special – it’s small enough at the local level to allow you to really get to know its members, but with an international network that gives you access to any resource you would need to develop a communication interest.
IABC/Tulsa: What do you love about your job at Hilti?
Susie: I love the art and science behind finding the best way to explain a situation or issue to influence behavior. It’s hard to beat the feeling of knowing you’ve connected with an audience in a way that drives action and improves the business. I also enjoy the process side of developing new communication platforms and being part of an international organization.
IABC/Tulsa: Over the years, has IABC helped with your professional development?
Susie: Absolutely! Having the opportunity to take on leadership roles in the organization gave me the confidence to build on my career. Early on, it provided the foundation and resources to better understand all parts of the communication profession. Now with the advent of social media redefining how we work, IABC has been a big help in getting up to speed.
IABC/Tulsa: What do you like to do in your spare time?
Susie: I love to travel. If it’s for relaxing, give me a beach town in Mexico. If it’s to appreciate nature, put me in any National Park. If it’s for culture and adventure, I take me to Europe or Africa.
IABC/Tulsa: What’s your favorite restaurant?
Susie: Biga – great Italian!
IABC/Tulsa: The future of the field of communications…
Susie: … is going to change dramatically over the next few years with the introduction of social media. We’ve always preached the importance of two-way communication to promote understanding. As younger people enter the work force, it will no longer be optional.
IABC/Tulsa: What advice would you give to communications professionals who are just entering the workforce?
Susie: Continue to polish your basic skills of writing, editing and consulting. Read what management is reading and make sure you understand the business.