IABC NL Announces 2021-22 Board of Directors

2021-22 IABC NL Board

IABC NL 2021-2022 Board of Directors from left top, Tanya Alexander, Karyn Whelan, Glenda Power, Sophie Cutler, Dana Hawco; bottom left, Marlayne Hardy, Carolyn O’Keefe, Samantha Harding, Kathy Dicks-Peyton, Stephanie Tucker, and Hannah Kirby.

The International Association of Business Communicators Newfoundland and Labrador (IABC NL) announced yesterday its 2021-22 board of directors. Karyn Whelan is IABC NL’s president for 2021-22.

“IABC NL is fortunate to have a creative, diverse, and experienced group of communicators volunteering to serve on our board,” said Whelan. “Last year, we had a strong year despite the pandemic because we adjusted and evolved. The new board is looking forward to building on this success, and we hope to offer opportunities for our members to connect again in person while respecting public health guidelines.”

The 2021-22 board of directors for IABC NL includes:

  • Tanya Alexander, CMP®, BACS – Past President/Certification Coordinator
  • Karyn Whelan, BA, BPR – President
  • Glenda Power, SCMP® – Vice President Finance /Incoming President
  • Sophie Cutler, BA – Executive Assistant
  • Dana Hawco – Director, Communications
  • Marlayne Hardy – Director, Membership and Marketing
  • Carolyn O’Keefe – Director, Professional Development and Networking
  • Samantha Harding, BPR – Director, Pinnacle Awards
  • Kathy Dicks-Peyton, ABC – Judging Coordinator
  • Stephanie Tucker, BA Dip. PCM – Digital Communications Coordinator
  • Hannah Kirby, BA, MA – Special Events Support Coordinator

The award-winning chapter of IABC Newfoundland and Labrador works to advance the communications profession, create connections, and develop strategic communicators in the province. The chapter has some 55 members representing a broad range of interests and experiences in communications.

For more information about IABC NL, please visit www.iabcnl.com

BACKGROUNDER – IABC NL Board of Directors 2021-22

Tanya Alexander, BACS, CMP® – Immediate Past President
Tanya Alexander has built a fulfilling career over 25 years as an award-winning journalist, communicator, editor and freelance writer. Tanya has worked with the College of the North Atlantic (CNA) since 2002 in corporate communications, public relations and marketing, and for several years, as editor of the CNA’s publication, Currents. She is currently the Communications Specialist with CNA’s Academics Division. Tanya is excited about the growing Inclusion movement and has recently completed the Leadership and Inclusion program at Centennial College, is active with Pride at Work Canada’s Ambassador Group in St. John’s, and sits on the Steering Committee for CNA’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion strategy. Tanya has been an IABC member for over 18 years, has served in various roles on the IABC NL Board, and is honoured to now serve as Past President and Certification Coordinator for a bright new year!

Karyn Whelan, BA, BPR – President
Karyn Whelan is an award-winning communicator with 15 years of experience. Karyn works for the Registered Nurses’ Union Newfoundland & Labrador where she enjoys putting her strategic thinking and creative mind into action. Karyn is responsible for everything from communications planning, government relations, issues management, media relations, social media and more. Karyn has a bachelor of public relations from Mount Saint Vincent University and a BA from Memorial University. She has received a Gold Quill and several Pinnacle Awards of Excellence for her work from the International Association of Business Communicators. Karyn joined the IABC NL Board in 2018 and is excited to step into the role of President. 

Glenda Power, SCMP®, B.A., B.Ed. – Vice-President Finance/Incoming President
Glenda Power is an accomplished professional with experience in senior strategic communications roles in both the public and private sectors. She thrives when the chips are down and the stakes are high, with specific areas of expertise including crisis communications, issues management, strategic planning, public relations, brand reputation and more. She has worked with three Premiers, advised three Commanding Officers, and has served as communications lead for high-profile investigations, provincial budgets, and royal visits. She is currently the Director of Strategic Communications for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Newfoundland and Labrador, where her fingerprints are on every news release, news conference, critical incident, communications strategy, and all things social media. She has been recognized for excellence in her work with multiple awards from the International Association of Business Communicators and, in 2018, received the Pinnacle Award of Excellence as Communications Professional of the Year in Newfoundland and Labrador. Ms. Power has served on multiple boards in the non-profit sector and is an avid volunteer. 

Sophie Cutler, BA – Executive Assistant
Sophie Cutler is a recent graduate of Memorial University’s Communications Studies program. She most recently held the position of Communications Assistant for the Faculty of Education at Memorial University. New to the field, Sophie is thrilled to be serving on the IABC NL Board. 

Dana Hawco – Director, Communications
Dana Hawco is an award-winning communications professional with over ten years of experience specializing in strategic marketing and communications, graphic design, social media, website design, and corporate branding. Her career has brought her to many places, including the Provincial Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, ExxonMobil Canada, M5 Communications, Pennecon, and her current position at the Town of Paradise. Dana joined the IABC NL in 2019 and is proud to be a member of this thriving board.

Marlayne Hardy, B. Comm – Director, Membership and Marketing
Marlayne is an experienced marketing, communications, and project management professional with diverse work experience in the private and public sectors as well as non-profit environments. As Director, Innovation Programs at techNL, she leads the marketing, communications and member relations portfolios for the dynamic industry association, which represents the province’s exciting technology and innovation sector. Marlayne is happiest when she is near the ocean and is grateful to live in NL.

Carolyn O’Keefe, B. Comm (Hons), CAIP – Director, Professional Development and Networking
Carolyn is a senior marketing professional with over 20 years of experience in marketing research and strategy. Carolyn led the growth of one of Atlantic Canada’s leading research companies for more than 20 years, moving over to partner with Thinkwell Research + Strategy in 2020.Carolyn has worked with hundreds of clients throughout Atlantic Canada on the execution and management of quantitative and qualitative research. She is an expertly trained focus group moderator and a Certified Analytics and Insights Professional (CAIP). In addition to research, Carolyn also leads Thinkwell’s market and business strategy team, providing clients with focused leadership and guidance in business development and growth. Carolyn has a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons.) degree from Memorial University, with a concentration in Marketing. She has a passion for mentoring companies in the start-up space and is a Mentor with the Creative Destruction Lab in Halifax. Carolyn is also a valued member of several advisory boards in Atlantic Canada.

Samantha Harding, BPR – Director, Pinnacle Awards
Having worked with clients across the globe, Samantha is an accomplished marketing and communications practitioner with a specialization in social media strategy, creative content marketing, and business and relationship management. As a natural goal-seeker and relationship builder, Samantha brings a sense of care and curiosity to every conversation. Driven by a passion for understanding, she believes that effective communication is a key to success in any industry.​ ​Through working alongside government, corporate, and non-profit organizations, Samantha combines strong communications, problem-solving, and leadership skills to tackle complex projects and achieve measurable results. As a strategic thinker—widely known for her enthusiasm, personality, and attention to detail— Samantha is passionate about connecting the world through communication and proudly ensures clients, customers, and their experiences are put first.​ ​Samantha graduated from Mount Saint Vincent University with a Bachelor of Public Relations and Marketing Minor, and received her Indigenous Canada certification from the University of Alberta. She also has Incident Command System (ICS) I-100 certification.

Kathy Dicks-Peyton, ABC – Judging Coordinator
Kathy Dicks-Peyton is a two-time president of IABC NL. She is a senior communications professional with over 30 years of experience in journalism, public relations and event planning. Throughout her career, Kathy has held management positions with a variety of newspaper and magazine publications, provincial government departments and agencies. She is also a marriage commissioner, chief event strategist with her own event planning company, Functional Communications & Events, and co-directs the Miss Achievement Newfoundland and Labrador Leadership Program.

Stephanie Tucker,BA, Dip. PCM – Digital Communications Coordinator
Stephanie is a communications professional with a passion for video storytelling, creative content creation, and digital communications. She currently works as the Communications Coordinator for the Town of Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s. Stephanie holds a B.A. Degree in Communication Studies and English, and a Diploma in Performance and Communications Media.

Hannah Kirby, BA, MA – Special Events Support Coordinator
Hannah Kirby works as Strategy Associate for the local biotechnology company Sequence Bio. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications with a minor in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Political Science (Co-op), as well as a Graduate Certificate in Strategic Public Relations from the University of Toronto. She thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of working on the board last year as the Director of Professional Development and Networking throughout the pandemic and is pleased to be maintaining her opportunity to learn from new and returning, local communications professionals.