By Shannon Frederick, ABC, IABC Tulsa President

The tree is up and the stockings have been hung at my house. The pumpkin spice candles have (begrudgingly) been put away and the Christmas wreath now adorns the front door.

But, even with all of this Christmas cheer, my kids and I haven’t yet had the heart to dismantle our “grateful tree” that we built.

Allow me to explain… For the first time in my life, I cooked Thanksgiving dinner and hosted my family. This was a big event, and so my daughter decided to take this opportunity to prod our guests to remember the reason for the season. Thanks to some inspiration from Pinterest, we crafted a big, paper tree on the back door. Each guest was given several construction paper leaves to share the things for which they are thankful. By the end of the night, the tree was full of colorful leaves and wonderful sentiments. A week later, it’s still so beautiful that we just can’t bear to take it down.

You all might be pleased to know that IABC Tulsa has its own leaf on our family’s grateful tree – because it’s been another great year for this chapter.  In keeping with the tradition I started last year, here are just a few of the moments from 2012 for which I am thankful:

  1. Attending IABC’s Leadership Institute in Miami in February with Director-at-Large Megan Lewis, and having the honor of accepting IABC Tulsa’s second Small Chapter of the Year Award. Then to top it off, Megan and I were invited to the stage four more times as IABC Tulsa won multiple Chapter Management Awards. It was like the IABC Oscars, and I wish I had worn a fancy dress!
  2. Watching in awe as Angela Byers and her husband, Mike, Lucia O’Connor and many, many others pulled off yet another great Bronze Quill event. Just when we thought last year’s record-breaking Bronze Quill couldn’t be topped, this crew went and surprised us yet again. Bronze Quill has become an event that we can depend on, not only for a fun evening of networking and recognition, but also to help fund our professional development efforts for the year.
  3. And speaking of professional development… promoting all of our wonderful events – from the monthly meetings to the half-day seminar at Crystal Bridges to the crisis communications event with PRSA this past fall – has been a highlight of the year. Phillip Harris and Rachel Wagner have worked very hard to ensure this chapter has offered some of its best programming ever, and they’ve been recognized by IABC International and by us here locally, as leaders in this space.
  4. Representing IABC Tulsa at the Southern Region Board meeting this past fall in Charleston, S.C. Yet again, as the leaders around the table provided updates for their chapters, my heart nearly burst with pride as I shared all of the good things that are happening in Green Country. Our Chapter Services Director, David Kistle, even commented, “it sounds like things are rainbows and sunshine in Tulsa.” I smiled and said “not 100 percent, but pretty darn close.”
  5. And finally, announcing that Angela Byers has accepted the nomination of President-Elect for this chapter. I still have eight more months left to serve as your President, but it’s so exciting and humbling to know that IABC Tulsa has an extremely talented leader who will take the reins next summer. We all are blessed to have her.

While these are some of my many favorite moments, the IABC Tulsa leaf on my family’s grateful tree expressed my gratitude to work with the marvelous executive board that leads this award-winning chapter. A big thank you to: Dena Wind, Tom Droege, Amethyst Cavallaro, Stephanie Cole, Megan Lewis, Lucia O’Connor, Summer Austin, Rachel Wagner, Phillip Harris, Jennifer Pigeon and Angela Byers.  Because of you, our members continue to tell us that IABC is the top professional communications organization in Tulsa!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you.

Posted in Announcements & News.