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!

It’s Member Month! Find your Tribe. Grow your Tribe.

Make a bigger impact in your day-to-day tasks and projects at work. Tap into hundreds of case studies, CW magazine articles and curated industry news that share the experience of your peers for new ideas, fresh insights and problem-solving assistance. Find clients, find friends. Expand your social network plus gain instant access to members-only resources by joining or renewing today.

Why Join?

  • IABC is the only global association connecting you with the people and insights you need to drive business results.
  • Produce results like you never have before. Access thought leaders from around the world, build new skills through professional development and leverage a robust member community.
  • Connect with more people like you. Get instant access to live and virtual resources, and thousands of communicators around the world ready to help you deliver results and advance in your career.
  • Challenge yourself with professional development and with global insights from a network of business communicators ready to help you take your career to the next level.
  • Membership quickly pays for itself with access to free monthly webinars, Academy courses, CW Magazine, networking events, savings on World Conference, Gold Quill, and CMP or SCMP Certification and much more.

What’s in it for you?

All members who renew or join in March will receive:

  • 10% automatic discount on annual dues
  • Entry into the drawing to win the grand prize VIP World Conference package

Existing IABC Members who refer new/lapsed members to join in March will receive:

  • Entry in a drawing to win one $250 Visa gift card, for every new or lapsed member who lists you as a referral source. You may not list yourself as your referral source.
  • A free year of membership in exchange for referring 5 or more new/reinstating members in March.

Grow your tribe. Find your tribe. IABC.

Join or Renew Today!

Letter from the President

Spring has sprung!  Outside the trees and flowers are beginning to bloom, and inside our chapter we are bursting with exciting new ways to serve you. Last month a few board members had the privilege of attending IABC Leadership Institute (LI), an annual conference for chapter and regional leaders. This is an incredible opportunity for us to learn how to best serve our members, create connections and get insight into what is happening at the international level. FYI… amazing new developments are coming soon! Stay tuned.

LI inspiration coupled with your feedback from the annual survey has resulted in new plans for professional development topics, an updated website and fun social events. Our goal is to create a social, learning environment for you to grow and thrive in.

We also want you to be part of the fun in creating that environment. We are all extremely busy, but being involved in our organization doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing endeavor. Let us know what your development goals are so we can support you in achieving them. From social media to leadership, web design to event planning, there are endless opportunities to gain experience. If you have an hour or even 5 minutes… we have a “job” for you and would love your involvement.

Be sure to reach out to me or any board member with ideas or to raise your hand to volunteer.  See you all on March 28 for our next professional development lunch!

“Spring is a time to find out where you are, who you are, and move toward where you are going.”
– Penelope Trunk


Content That Earns Relationships: How to Use the Web and Social Media to Your Advantage


You don’t want customers today. They will quit you. You want relationships, where people will not only read but also follow and share. Get strategy and tactics on how to leverage the advantages that the web and social media give businesses today when it comes to content. You will leave with a to-do list that has helped local businesses in the Tulsa market increase awareness, gain attention, start relationships and boost profits.

What you’ll learn:

  • How to design content that gets attention in the Age of Distraction.
  • How to better position your message, so people will open the email, click through to read and watch the full video.
  • How to give like no one else, so you can build relationships that can’t be broken.
  • How to stay organized and efficient so you can do it all without losing your mind with all the other work you have to do.
  • How to sell these tactics to your bosses when you have no budget, no support and no time.
  • How to make sure you are concentrating on the right measurements to find success.

When: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 28

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


  • IABC Member fee: $25
  • IABC Non-member fee: $35
  • Student fee: $15
  • Register for this event on EventBrite

About Our Speaker

Jason Collington is a deputy managing editor for the Tulsa World, where he works on digital initiatives for news, advertising and marketing. He teaches classes on digital and social media at 36 Degree North for Tulsa Tech and Oklahoma State University. He is an OSU graduate who worked for the Associated Press before coming to the Tulsa World in 1999.

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?

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.

Letter from the President – February 2018

by Leslie Agee, IABC/Tulsa President

We are already a month into the new year and if your January was anything like mine, it’s been a bit of whirlwind.  Stepping into a new role on the board is very exciting, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to support IABC from another perspective. I’ve been a proud member of IABC/Tulsa for five years and fortunate to be part of the board for four years.  From professional development to building relationships with the most incredible people and everything in between, I am so thankful for what IABC has given me, and I look forward to giving back as the new President.

With a hectic start to the new year and starting something new, it occurred to me how quickly resolutions, goals, good intentions, etc. shift, change and sometimes slip through the cracks of our very busy lives.  As communicators, we are often pulled in a million directions and focused on others more than ourselves.  Our plans slide easily to the back burner and are forgotten.  If you can even remotely relate to this, I urge you to run, not walk, to our luncheon on February 28.  The wonderful Darcy Eikenberg will help us remember how to manage our careers and put ourselves at the front of the line.  Grab your capes and get excited; it’s all about you and shedding some light on your superpowers.

Speaking of superpowers…let’s talk about all of the amazing things you have already accomplished.  The projects implemented with glowing reviews and initiatives put in place that shifted your organizations.  Bronze Quill Awards are here and ready to celebrate YOU!  Extended deadline for entries is Sunday, February 18.  Don’t miss this opportunity to highlight the work you’ve done…you deserve it!

Meet a Member Featuring Phillip Harris

Title: Senior Communications Specialist

Company: Williams

Why do you love your job? The variety of work I do ensures there’s never a dull moment. From strategic oversight of the company’s intranet, to support for Information Technology, Business Ethics & Regulatory Compliance and Finance & Accounting, there are always new and challenging employee communications opportunities.

How long have you been a member of IABC? I’m quickly approaching my 20th year as an IABC member. Time flies when you’re having fun!

Have you ever served on an IABC Board? Yes, I first served on the IABC/Tulsa Board from 1998-2000 and then again from 2010-2017.

What is the best IABC meeting/conference you have attended? Why? I’ve attended several great regional, national and international conferences, but the 2000 IABC District 5 conference in Tulsa still ranks pretty high on my list. Not only did I get a lot out of it as an attendee, I also gained valuable experience as part of the conference planning committee.

How has IABC played a part in your professional development? Early on in my career, IABC presented many opportunities to grow outside of my immediate job. Participating on the IABC/Tulsa board is one example. Other examples include the outstanding regional and international conferences, as well as workshops and webinars.

What is your favorite thing to do outside of work? I love to travel. In the last four years I’ve been fortunate to visit Paris and the Normandy D-Day beaches in France; Munich, Germany; Salzburg and Vienna, Austria; and Krakow, Poland. While seeing historical landmarks in all these places was amazing, I think I have grown personally by reconciling misconceptions and generalizations that likely come from a lifetime of mass media influence. For example, contrary to what I thought Poland would look like in my mind’s eye, it was so much more beautiful with welcoming and engaging people, full of vibrant culture and delicious foods. And who would have ever guessed that Poland has an American-style football league? I met a couple from Warsaw who were in Krakow for an American-style football game between teams from the two cities – Warsaw Dukes vs. Krakow Kings. I was totally floored.

What’s your favorite vacation spot? My favorite stateside vacation spot is anywhere in the Florida panhandle. From Pensacola to Panama City, I’m a huge fan of the Emerald Coast and Hwy. 30A.

Who is your favorite musical artist? I’m such a music lover that it’s completely impossible for me to name one favorite musical artist. That said, Chris Stapleton, Foo Fighters, Garth Brooks, George Strait, Prince, The Rolling Stones, Steely Dan and Stone Temple Pilots are in regular rotation on my iPod.

Which website do you visit daily? Drudge Report

What is your favorite restaurant? Burn Co Barbecue

How will we recognize you at the next IABC function? I’ll be the guy sitting at the table closest to the desserts.

Complete the following: The future of the field of communications is…..Fairly safe from being overrun by robots with artificial intelligence.

What advice would you give to new communications professionals? Don’t hesitate to get involved with IABC and network with people.

Letter from the President – January 2018

by Hayley Westwood, IABC/Tulsa President

To My IABC/Tulsa Family:

Today, much sooner than planned, I find myself writing my farewell message to all of you. When I accepted the role of presidency, I thought I was signing on for a two-year presidency and third year as past-president. Little did I know that just five months in, my husband would receive a job offer that would take us out of Tulsa – all the way to Salt Lake City!

The last couple months have been a whirlwind, but in just under two weeks, I will be packing up and officially heading west.

I’m very excited for the adventure ahead, but sad to bid you all adieu. My time on the board the last few years has been so rewarding, both professionally and personally. I’ve gained tremendous experience while also building incredible relationships with many of you. Thank you all for making my time with IABC/Tulsa time well spent.

I am proud to announce that taking over as your new president will be Leslie Agee. Leslie has been a board member for many years and is currently serving as the chapter’s special events planner. Last year she was awarded the Leon Bolen Service Award for her dedication and contributions to the chapter. She is going to make an amazing president!

We have an exceptional board full of kind, generous and hard-working individuals, and I know I’m leaving you in great hands. I encourage each one of you to get more involved, as I can attest that the more you put in to IABC/Tulsa, the more you’ll get out of it.

I wish you all the best and know that our chapter will continue to thrive. I look forward to seeing all that you accomplish.

Thanks for the memories!


Journey to Published Author: Practical Steps to Accomplishing Big Goals

No matter your career field, obstacles abound – but you can keep them from getting in the way of achieving your goals.

Join us January 17 as we explore the practical steps to accomplishing big goals, led by award-winning writer Sasha Martin, who will share personal stories from her journey as a new mom to published author and go-to blogger for international foodies.

What you’ll learn:

  • Why you should develop personal connections instead of making formal pitches.
  • How to overcome roadblocks on your way to achieving big goals.
  • How to bring community into your work and why you should.

Bonus! This month’s luncheon will take place at Tulsa’s new independent book store, Magic City Books, so you can hang out with your favorite communicators and check out downtown’s newest hot spot.

When: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. January 17

Where: Magic City Books, 221 E Archer Street, Tulsa, OK 74103 (Parking available in the old Spaghetti Warehouse parking lot.)


  • IABC Member fee: $25
  • IABC Non-member fee: $35
  • Student fee: $15
  • Copies of Sasha’s book, “Life From Scratch: A Memoir of Food, Family, and Forgiveness,” will be available to purchase at the event.

About Sasha Martin

Sasha Martin is an award-winning writer and blogger who spent almost four years cooking her way around the world. She graduated from Wesleyan University and was an MFK Fisher Scholar at the Culinary Institute of America. She lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma with her husband Keith and their daughter Ava.

While attending Wesleyan University, Sasha geeked out on Medieval French Arthurian Legend, wrote 100 pages about the history of artisan bread in France, and played several rounds of midnight Ultimate Frisbee barefoot, by streetlamp. During her time as a MFK Fisher Scholar at The Culinary Institute of America, she was Editor of La Papillote, the school paper, and learned to prepare an omelet in less than 90 seconds – though not at the same time. After moving to Tulsa, Oklahoma, she began cooking a meal from every country in the world and blogged about the experience at Global Table Adventure, a go-to hub for international foodies.

Her first book, “Life From Scratch: A Memoir of Food, Family, and Forgiveness,” chronicles her lifelong struggle to find inner-peace, including the years she spent cooking the world as a new mother. It was published by National Geographic and has been translated into multiple languages.

Her work has been featured on NPR, as well as in Food & Wine, People Magazine, NPR, Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street Kitchen, O Magazine, Boston Globe, and Food52. Most recently she was a 2016-2017 Research Fellow at the Oklahoma Center for the Humanities at the University of Tulsa.


Communicating Your Value (While You’re Communicating Everything Else)

As communication professionals, you excel at making sure your colleagues and clients are given top priority. But when it comes to promoting your own skills and managing your own career, you can easily put yourself last.

Join Darcy Eikenberg for a fun, interactive discussion, where you’ll learn how to better understand and promote your own value at work – even amid increasing work pressures to serve your clients, colleagues and everyone else. Walk away with practical, professional strategies you can use on the job immediately.

What you’ll learn:

  • Why it’s more important than ever to talk about your superpowers, strengths and talents – and not for the reasons you might think;
  • Simple ways to identify – and share – you success stories without feeling like you’re bragging; and
  • How to use everyday situations to show the world your extraordinary value.

Attend and Win: Bring your business cards for a chance to win $100!

When: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. February 28

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


About Our Speaker

Darcy Eikenberg, PCC
Executive and Leadership Coach, Speaker and Author

Darcy helps high-performance leaders and teams manage through constant change with more clarity, confidence and control – plus a little bit of courage thrown in to handle today’s complex life at work.

With over 20 years’ experience working with top companies around the world, she strives to bring her clients a practical, real-life perspective that creates true business results, but with a touch of humor and heart as well.

Darcy is a longtime member of IABC and was selected to speak at the IABC World Conference last year. Her clients have included Microsoft, State Farm, The Coca-Cola Company and Deloitte, and she’s been quoted in the Harvard Business Review,, and the Atlanta-Journal Constitution among others.

She’s the author of “Bring Your Superpowers to Work: Your Guide to More Clarity, Confidence and Control,” and writes regularly at, where you can download free career and success tools to help you create clarity, build confidence and take control over your life at work.