Making Waves – Postponed

Making Waves Postponed

After monitoring the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, we have decided to postpone Making Waves on April 2. In an effort to support social distancing and help flatten the curve, we feel this is the right decision. IABC NL hopes to reschedule Making Waves this fall and will confirm a date in the coming months. We want to thank you for your interest in the event and will keep you updated on our future date! 

On April 2, 2020, IABC NL is proud to invite you to “Making Waves”, a one-day professional development and networking conference. An impressive lineup of homegrown shining stars will lead engaging sessions that will help you create communications results to elevate your organization and your career.

Making Waves
April 2, 2020, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Fortis Energy Centre, 4th Floor, 5 Springdale Street, St. John’s, NL
Google Map – 
A continental breakfast, networking breaks, and lunch will be included. To ensure you have an excellent experience, please email if you have any special requirements including dietary restrictions or accessibility needs.

Event Sponser:


8:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. – Continental Breakfast

8:45 a.m. – 9 a.m.
Welcome and Opening Remarks
Jackie O’Brien, President, IABC NL
Nora Duke, EVP, Sustainability & Chief Human Resource Officer, Fortis Inc.

9:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.
Navigating Digital Waters
Heather Dalton, Partner, m5  (View Bio)

Marketing and advertising are often an essential compliment to communications to amplify your message. This interactive session will bring you the latest in consumer media consumption trends and debunk some of the often-heard myths about the transition to digital media. It will also provide guidance around selecting the right channels for your message, managing the demands of ‘always on’ digital, and ultimately making the internal case for support and measuring impact.

9:45 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.   
Engaging with the Indigenous Community
Heidi Dixon, Business Development Coordinator, First Light  (View Bio)
Lynn Hammond, Vice President Corporate Affairs, Anaconda Mining (View Bio)

This session will include a brief look at historical and current realities within Indigenous communities; the importance of communications and consultation in cultivating relationships; and ways to build relationships in a respectful way.

10:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. – Networking Break

10:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
5 Comms Lessons from a new MHA
Sarah Stoodley, MHA for Mount Scio, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador (View Bio)

Sarah will share lessons learned early in a journey from private sector to elected official, including lobbying, knocking on thousands of doors, and sometimes knowing the real story.

11:00 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Media Panel
John Gushue, Digital Senior Producer, CBC (View Bio)
David Maher, Legislative Reporter, The Telegram
Jodi Cooke, Journalist, NTV (View Bio)
Linda Swain – Journalist & Talk Show Host, VOCM
Moderator: Glenda Power, Director of Strategic Communications, RCMP Newfoundland and Labrador (View Bio)

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. – Lunch & Networking

1:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
Keynote Address – Two Steps Ahead        
Karen McCarthy, VP Communications and Corporate Affairs, Fortis  (View Bio)

Hear from Karen McCarthy, Vice President, Communications and Corporate Affairs of Fortis Inc. as she discusses global communications trends and gives you an inside look at the industry-leading sustainability work taking place at Fortis. She’ll talk reputation, digital and more while drawing on her personal experiences to define why the role of communicators is essential in steering successful organizations in 2020.

1:45 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Organizational Culture
Neala Quigley, Director of Community Engagement, Sequence Bio 

2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Are you prepared for a crisis? Often it is not the issue or crisis that will determine the outcome, but how you handle it.

Ronalda Walsh, Associate Vice President, National  (View Bio)
Amanda Eit, Senior Consultant, National  (View Bio)
Jill Pitcher, Senior Consultant, National  (View Bio)

Planning and preparation are essential to a well-coordinated and timely emergency and crisis response. Given today’s 24-7 communications environment, the potential for issues to escalate quickly is a greater challenge than ever before. Join us for an interactive workshop on best practices in effective crisis management, and how you can follow a thoughtful step-by-step process to prepare, plan, respond, and recover in difficult circumstances.

2:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Networking Break

3:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.      
How to Build a Global Community with Newfoundland Hospitality
Katie Thompson, Content and Community Manager, HeyOrca!  (View Bio)

HeyOrca! is a local company with a global impact. We’ll share our story from a local start-up to a household name that over 400 social media agencies worldwide trust. We’ll speak on how we communicate with Newfoundland Hospitality and how we’ve been able to build a global community online.

3:15 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Rapido Panel with Award-Winning Communicators

Dana Hawco, Marketing and Communications Specialist, Pennecon (View Bio)
Terri Roberts, Creative Director, Ray Agency (View Bio)
Melisa Valverde, Manager, Digital Communications, Eastern Health (View Bio)
Desirée Newhook – Communication Manager, Let’s Talk Science
Moderator: Martha Muzychka, ABC, MC, IABC Fellow, Principal, Praxis Communications

4:00 p.m.  – 4:15 p.m. – Wrap up