About IABC Ottawa

The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) is a diverse global community working to advance the profession, create connection and develop strategic communicators. IABC Ottawa, established in 1976, is a community for professional communicators who want to thrive in their career. We’re a local organization with a global network to connect you to opportunities, resources, people and insights you need to drive business results.

IABC Ottawa is a fun, non-profit organization run by volunteer leaders. To connect the local community we offer a number of career development opportunities to help you learn and connect including: professional development events, networking events, special interest groups for members, Jobline, The Voice podcast, volunteer opportunities and more. This is your community, come join us!

Learn more about the learning and recognition opportunities offered nationally and internationally.

IABC Ottawa, established in 1976, is a community for professional communicators who want to thrive in their career. We’re a local organization with a global network to connect you to opportunities, resources, people and insights you need to drive business results.

Our members work across a variety of industries, from software to healthcare, and sit in junior and senior roles across communications, marketing, PR and more. IABC Ottawa is a fun, non-profit organization run by volunteer leaders. To connect the local community we offer a number of career development opportunities to help you learn and connect including: professional development events, networking events, special interest groups for members, Jobline, The Voice podcast, volunteer opportunities and more. This is your community, come join us!

Local and international volunteer opportunities to build your leadership skills, share your talents and create connections. Opportunities include serving on the chapter board, planning local professional development events, judging awards, being on an international committee to name a few.

About IABC International

The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) is a global network of communication professionals committed to improving organizational effectiveness through strategic communication.

The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) is a diverse global community working to advance the profession, create connection and develop strategic communicators. Established in 1970, IABC serves members in more than 70 countries for networking, career development and personal growth. Find out more about the benefits of being part of IABC on our Membership page.

“An organization with excellent internal communication will run smoothly, allowing its members to progress toward a mutual goal, which will ultimately affect the quality of external communication.”

Meet the 2019–2020 Board of Directors

IABC Ottawa is run by a volunteer Board of Directors.

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Kayla Isabelle, President



Kayla has over 6 years of strategic communications and project experience across the public, para public, and association sectors. With a blend of vibrant energy and a passion for community building, Kayla is a dedicated volunteer in the Ottawa community.

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Cassidy Charron, Executive Secretary



Cassidy is a motivated new communications professional who recently graduated from Carleton University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication and Media Studies. She has built her communications experience through her work at various Government of Canada Departments. She currently works at the Canada Revenue Agency as a Communications Officer focusing on communicating to the Agency’s 45,000 employees. Cassidy is excited to join the IABC Ottawa Board this year after volunteering with the chapter’s Leadership Development portfolio last year.

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Kristina Martin, Past President



Kristina is a seasoned strategic communications and government relations expert with over a decade of experience working in politics, government relations and the non-profit sector. Based in Ottawa, she knows the inner workings of Parliament Hill and is recognized as a connector and go-to advisor for corporate and nonprofit leaders to advance complex policy agendas.

Before joining Loyalist Kristina worked as Director of Communications and Public Affairs at Canada’s largest science and technology outreach organization, Actua. Prior to that she worked at a national government relations and strategic communication firm.

Kristina has also served as a communications and political advisor to federal elected officials.

In her volunteer life, Kristina serves as Past President on the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Ottawa’s Board of Directors. She is also on the board of the Canadian Advocacy Network.

Kristina holds a B.A. in Political Science from Dalhousie University, an MSc. Strategic Public Relations and Communication Management, as well as a Master’s in Political Management from Carleton University.

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Tara Sutorius, Executive Vice President



Tara Sutorius is the Director of External Communications at Export Development Canada (EDC) and the founder of “Tara Sutorius Coaching and Wellness” – a coaching company offering compassionate, transformational and values-based leadership coaching.

As a certified professional coach with Erickson International Coaching, Barrett Values Centre, and Career Joy, as well as an accredited coach with the International Coach Federation (ICF), Tara specializes in helping individuals better understand their personal core values so they may live a more purpose-driven life in alignment with what is most important to them in their personal and professional lives.

Tara has been coaching for 6 years and leading teams for 15 years. She specializes in using solutions-focused coaching methods to guide individuals to find the answers within themselves to transform their mind, body, and soul wellness through consistent action. Working alongside senior leaders in both the private and public sector for over 20 years, Tara also has a keen sense of what is required to be able to connect with one’s personal and professional leadership mission in order to effect meaningful change over the long-term and build greater resiliency both at home and at work.

What Tara loves most about coaching is helping guide individuals through powerful questioning and transformational conversations. Her style is compassionate, action-oriented, motivational, connected, and intuitive. She can help guide you to better align your values with your dream job, clarify your passions, set clear goals, and take greater ownership of your career and health.

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Alexandra Sebben, Vice President, Membership



Alexandra is a communications professional with expertise in developing and implementing earned and paid digital media strategies and managing the creation and execution of extensive annual publications and events. She has a BA in Media Production from Ryerson University’s internationally acclaimed Radio and Television Arts (RTA) program and a Master’s of Professional Communication. This is her third year volunteering with the IABC Ottawa chapter and she looks forward to offering members unique virtual programming this season.

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Adam D'Agostino, Treasurer



Adam is an experienced communications professional with expertise in developing and implementing communications strategies, with a particular focus on digital and paid media. A graduate of both Carleton University and Algonquin College, Adam began his career as a consultant with NATIONAL Public Relations, one of Canada’s largest public relations firms, where he worked with clients in a wide variety of sectors, including non-profit, international development, agriculture, and defense, among others. A dual Australian-Canadian citizen, he currently works at the Australian High Commission in Ottawa, where he manages their public diplomacy efforts.

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Amanda Ruddy, Vice President, Professional Development



Amanda started her own event planning business, amanda julia events, last October (2019). She has a decade of experience managing large national events at the National Arts Centre Foundation and the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group. Of note, Amanda led the planning of one of the most successful Grey Cup Festivals in the CFL’s history. Amanda brings multi-faceted experience in sponsorship, event planning, project management, and client relations. She is a strategic thinker with a flair for creativity and a love for building experiences that are unique and memorable.

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Raghda Salama, Vice President, Communications



Raghda has over 5 years of experience in communications. She is passionate about strategically leveraging her background, growing skillset, and the latest tools available to help achieve corporate and business objectives. She currently plans and implements communications in a variety of areas including: branding, web and social media content, recruitment marketing, employee engagement and change, and health and safety communications. With a degree in political science and communications from the University of Ottawa, Raghda is passionate about effective communication, learning new languages, and social justice.

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Lauren Doty, Vice President, Leadership Development



Lauren has six years of professional experience in communications. She graduated from Carleton University with a BA Honours in Communication Studies in 2014 and has held various communications positions at Carleton University, the British High Commission, and Colliers International. She currently works at ACFO-ACAF, a federal public service union for accountants, as Acting Manager of Membership Engagement. She is also a certified Emotional Intelligence (EQ-i 2.0) facilitator and pursuing a Professional & Personal Coach Certification from Concordia University to become an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) with the International Coaching Federation. In her spare time, she loves to read, travel, and jog!

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Sherry Aske, Vice President, Digital Programming



Sherry is an innovative digital communicator who advises on social media best practices and emerging trends in online storytelling. She joined the federal public service in 2018 after working for six years as a multimedia journalist at CBC Ottawa, where she produced radio, television and online news. Sherry has been asked to speak publicly on issues connected to social media regulation, the future of journalism and reporting in the Canadian media industry. She loves popcorn, podcasts and kickboxing.

Meet our Volunteers

A number of volunteer roles are available, offering you the flexibility to fit your needs and availability.

Want to volunteer at IABC? Please fill in this form and we’ll get back to you soon!

Volunteer at IABC Ottawa

Form for Contact Us page.
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Brooke Anderson,

Membership Engagement, Content

Brooke Anderson is a Senior Account Manager with Edelman’s corporate communications practice, where she helps clients build trust, shape unique corporate identities, advance and protect their reputations, and foster strong stakeholder relationships. She specializes in communication strategy, messaging, and media relations.

Prior to Edelman, Brooke worked at FleishmanHillard HighRoad, where she consulted on major tech, consumer, and financial service brands. In 2012, Brooke completed a public affairs internship at the Canadian embassy in Washington, DC. Brooke holds a bachelor of arts degree from University of Guelph, a master of arts degree from Queen’s University, and a certificate in public relations from Humber College. She is in her third year of volunteering for IABC Ottawa.

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Erica Principe,

Marketing Communications

Erica is a passionate and driven marketing and communications professional with 2 years’ experience in the field. She doubles as a full-time PR student at the University of Ottawa and a part-time marketing and communications officer at the Telfer School of Management. Her interests include social media, content creation, digital marketing, events, and project management.

She holds a diploma in Public Relations from Algonquin College and is one semester away from completing her Honours Bachelor of Arts with Specialization in Public Relations. Erica is a self-proclaimed expert coffee drinker and multitasker – passionate about traveling, learning new languages, volunteering, and all things food-related!

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Khatia Odzelashvili,

Membership Engagement, Events

Khatia Karolina Odzelashvili, founder of Khatia Communication and OKEANEA, is a purpose-driven, insightful, dynamic and highly organized public relations specialist with an entrepreneurial mindset who enjoys developing and implementing creative strategies. At her boutique public relations agency, Khatia helps companies with branding, brand management and digital marketing. With the Dose of Inspiration subscription box, her Ottawa-based company OKEANEA aims to boost your creativity & help you accomplish more. Khatia, beyond constitutional law and public relations, speaks English, German, Russian, and Georgian fluently.

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Melissa Adey,

Leadership Development

Melissa is a dynamic Communications professional with a blend of project management, branding know-how and natural aptitude for marketing and communications. Her strengths include building relationships and connections with others with an eagle eye for details.

She received a Bachelor of Professional Arts with distinction in 2018 focusing on Communication studies in addition to a Diploma in Graphic Design. Melissa enjoys travel, golf, and fine foods.

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Paroma Datta,

Website Management & Design

Paroma is a digital marketing analyst at EDC, with an engineering background. She has been working in the private and non-profit sectors since 2014.  She is well versed in Ottawa’s small business digital asset management and online marketing strategies. Paroma is also credited as a publicist in An Insider’s Guide to Canada’s Capital, a maiden publication venture by Wingd Canada which was launched in 2017 to commemorate Canada’s 150th anniversary. She also volunteers with Ask Womxn Anything and organizes their monthly speaker panels. Paroma loves traveling, photography and curating content on local business.

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Priscilia O. Kabengele,

Members Connect

Priscilia Odia Kabengele just received a specialized bachelor’s degree in public relations and communications from the University of Ottawa and College La Cité -with honors-. She will be pursuing her career in the Government of Canada. She likes reading and testing new technologies. She is interested in the contribution of new media to public and organizational communications. She will volunteer in the members Connect Program.

Prior to joining CPCS, Benoit was involved in strategic communications and change as part of the Program Management Office at the Royal Canadian Mint. Before that, he earned record-breaking media coverage for the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) by marketing studies and stories impacting Canadians.

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Rafael Dezordi,

Membership Relations

My name is Rafael Dezordi and I am a Brazilian, Canadian and Luxembourger communications professional, specialized in international communications and stakeholder management within the academic and scientific fields, to promote positive change and handle complex global information issues. I have been the Communications Specialist for the Institute of Science, Society and Policy at the University of Ottawa since September 2017.

I have extensive experience in digital marketing, content creation and brand amplification, through graphic design, web content design, social media outreach, e-newsletters, video editing and podcast broadcasting/ publishing.

I hold a M.A. in International Affairs, with a specialization in International Economic Policy, from The Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA) at Carleton University and an LL. B. (Bachelor of Laws) from the Federal University of Parana.

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Samantha Rae Ayoub, MA, CMP,

Director, Certification

Samantha is a seasoned communication professional with 15 years of experience advising organizations and senior leadership.

She has built her career working within organizations to improve their communication, planning and operational efforts, and has also worked closely with numerous CEOs, COOs, and scientific experts, coaching them on effective communication strategies and media relations.

She holds a Masters degree in Professional Communication and has obtained professional certification as a Communication Management Professional (CMP).

Fun facts: She is a wife, dog owner, restaurateur – yes it’s true! – and a member and avid volunteer of the International Association of Business Communicators.

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Somayeh Mortazavi,


Somayeh is a Communications Professional with more than 10 years of experience in teaching, scholarly publishing, journalism, media relations, and public relations. Passionate about building relationships, creating and delivering effective messaging, and leading projects. Somayeh holds a Ph.D. in Mass Communication and a MSc in Communication Technology from the University Putra Malaysia as well as a BS in Journalism from Azad University in Iran.

Past Presidents of IABC Ottawa

2019-2020 – Kristina Martin

2018-2019 – Samantha Rae-Ayoub

2017-2018 – Kaleigh Maclaren

2016-2017 –  Dominique Jolicoeur

2015-2016 – Sherrilynne Starkie

2014-2015 – Tara Lapointe

2013-2014 – Jennifer Birch

2012-2013 – Kelly Rusk

2011-2012 – Kerry Mortimer

2010-2011 – Sandra Markus

2009-2010 – Sandra Markus

2007-2008 – Doug Wotherspoon

2005-2006 – Gord McIntosh

2004-2005 – Malcolm Bernard

2002-2003 – Isabelle Perreault

2003-2004 – Stephen Goban

2000-2001 – Katherine Power

2001-2002 – Wendy Cherwinski

1998-1999 – Stephen Boissonneault

1999-2000 – Beth Green

1996-1997 – Mark Giberson

1997-1998 – Ellen Henderson, ABC

1994-1995 – Darrin Shewchuk

1995-1996 – Kate Low

1992-1993 – Sue Rutherford, ABC

1993-1994 – Moria King

1990-1991 – Christine Tausig

1991-1992 – Cathy Sabiston

1988-1989 – Peter Johansen

1989-1990 – Freda Fraser

1986-1987 – Don Reimer, ABC

1987-1988 – Mark Giberson

1984-1985 – Richard Chambers

1985-1986 – Rick Green, ABC,MC*

1982-1983 – Catherine Mason

1983-1984 – Oxana Sawka, ABC

1980-1981 – Dave Esler, ABC

1981-1982 – Christopher Bunting, ABC, MC, IABC Fellow 

1979-1980 – Jan Logan

1978-1979 – Joel Levesque

1976-1977 – Lorne Darlington

1977-1978 – Rick Green, ABC, MC*

1975 – Lucille Tessier

1976 – Lorne Darlington

ABC = Accredited Business Communicator
MC = Master Communicator

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Join Us

We are an organization of professional communicators who work toward advancing careers of individual members as well as advancing the communications field as a whole.

Membership with IABC/Ottawa includes access to a network of local members, professional development workshops, meet-ups, webinars and more.