About

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 2023–2024 Board of Directors

IABC Ottawa is run by a volunteer Board of Directors.

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Sherry Aske, President

Manager, Social Media Communications, Environmental Monitoring Centre

Elections Canada

Sherry Aske is an innovative digital communicator who advises on social media strategy and countering false information in the online environment. She joined Elections Canada in 2018, after spending six years as a multimedia journalist at CBC Ottawa, producing radio, television and online news. She hosted and produced IABC Ottawa’s The Voice podcast for three years and is honoured to be serving as the Ottawa chapter’s president this season.

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Lauren Doty, Past President

MANAGER, COMMUNICATIONS

ACFO-ACAF

Lauren has eight 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 the Manager of Communications and Membership Engagement. She is also a certified Emotional Intelligence (EQ-i 2.0) instructor and holds a Professional & Personal Coach Certification from Concordia University. Her Associate Certified Coach (ACC) with the International Coaching Federation is in progress. In her spare time, she loves to read, travel, and jog!

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Anu Sharma, Executive Vice President

Senior Consultant

PROSPECTUS ASSOCIATES

With an extensive communications skill set and rich international experience, Anu Sharma has over 13 years of expertise in public relations. Some of her experiences include media relations, digital marketing, crisis, event and reputation management. Her analytics-driven approach and strategic thinking have contributed to her leading multiple award-winning PR campaigns across various sectors, including education, automotive, healthcare, technology, sports, consumer packaged goods, government and entertainment. In 2019, she was one of PR Moment India’s “30 under 30,” recognized for her contributions to the public relations profession. She is a proud ACPR (Algonquin College Public Relations) alum. Apart from her commitment to the communications world, travelling, dancing, cooking and spending time with her family make Anu happy.

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Alisha Crawford, Vice President, Finance

Senior Manager of Marketing, Communications, & Brand

CBC Ontario

Alisha is an accomplished and dedicated leader with over 14 years of experience crafting innovative strategies that deliver impactful results. As the Senior Manager of Marketing, Communications, & Brand for CBC Ontario, she collaborates with local and national news and communication teams to implement data-driven marketing and creative communication strategies, with the goal of promoting the CBC brand and expanding audience.

Alisha’s passion for community building drives her to foster strong connections and collaborations within and outside CBC. She demonstrates a firm commitment to continuous growth and professional development, as exemplified by her Master’s degree in Public Relations, her undergraduate degree in Communications, her certificate in Prosci Change Management, and her active involvement as an IABC Ottawa board member and mentor.

Born and raised in Vernon, BC, Alisha has also resided in Kelowna, Vancouver, Saskatoon, and Calgary. She’s excited to embrace her new Ottawan identity and has been relishing the city’s cycling routes, paddleboarding spots, dog parks, and scenic small-town road trips since her arrival.

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Sacha Jackman, Vice President, Website

Digital Studio Strategist

Vision2Voice

Sacha is a vibrant individual with a unique educational journey that meandered through the worlds of communications, sociology, and art direction. Her academics began at the University of Ottawa and culminated in a Master’s degree from the University of the Arts London, where her passion for creative expression and human-centred design took off.

Sacha thrives on strategy, effective communication, and design that resonates with people. Sacha is an advocate for accessibility and inclusivity, always striving to make sure everyone is included and heard.

When they’re not immersed in their professional endeavours, you’ll find Sacha out hiking in the great outdoors, practicing yoga, enjoying live music gigs, and indulging in life’s sweet delights (especially gummy bears).

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Sandra Caya, Vice President, Professional Development

Director, Communications, Marketing, and Public Affairs

Canadian Institute of Actuaries

Sandra has over 15 years of experience in strategic communications management and partnership development with a focus on publishing, marketing, and outreach in government, non-profit, multidisciplinary, and global environments. With a Bachelor of Humanities from Carleton and a Master of Publishing from Simon Fraser, she started her career by working several years for the federal government in publications and editorial services. Then she spent almost a decade abroad, working on global climate and conservation policy issues. Now back home in Ottawa, she continues to focus on communications for socio-economic policy change in Canada, with personal interest in environmental and 2SLGBTQIA+ issues. She loves reading, gardening, playing board games, and spending time with her husband, teenagers, and pet cockatiels.

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Erica Principe, Co-Vice President, Marketing & Communications

Marketing and Liaison Coordinator

University of Ottawa

Erica is a dynamic and driven marketing and communications professional. With a passion for marketing and digital communications, she is powered by creating content that is both compelling and that effectively reaches target audiences. Erica values building positive interpersonal relationships and finding ways to translate innovative thinking & ideas into results-driven tactics.

Currently, Erica works as the Marketing and Liaison coordinator at the Telfer School of Management where she develops marketing strategies to recruit top students and is the bridge between prospective students and the university.

Erica holds a diploma in Public Relations from Algonquin College and an Honours Bachelor of Arts with Specialization in Public Relations from the University of Ottawa. She is a bilingual communicator and self-proclaimed expert coffee drinker and multitasker – passionate about continuous learning, volunteering, and all things food!

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Emily Wager, Co-Vice President, Marketing & Communications

Senior Manager, Communications

Spark * Advocacy

Emily brings a range of experience from working in both the corporate and non-profit sectors in digital marketing and communications. Currently, Emily works as the Senior Manager of Communications and Social Media Strategy at spark*advocacy, a public affairs, communications, and digital marketing agency in Ottawa. Prior to this, Emily worked at The National Ballet of Canada and, more recently, Sunwing Travel Group, where she managed the company’s social media for its numerous brands, both customer-facing and internal.

Emily holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing from McGill University and a post-graduate certificate in public relations from Humber College. Emily loves writing, a skill she’s honed over the years through her career, education, and volunteer experience.

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Tinsae W., Executive Secretary

Tinsae is a dynamic and passionate communications professional. With a diploma in public relations from Algonquin College and a bachelors in biology from Western University, she has honed her skills in communication, storytelling, and stakeholder engagement.
Enthusiastic about helping others and the planet, Tinsae worked for a nature NGO where she worked closely with nature-loving volunteers to improve their community outreach efforts. Tinsae now works in the public engagement space, where she helps foster dialogue and collaboration between organizations, government agencies and the communities they serve.

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Fabiana Ferraresso, VP Leadership Development

Assistant Communications - Adjointe, communications

Canadian Institute of Actuaries - Institut canadien des actuaires

Fabiana Ferraresso is a multiple award-winning, multilingual professional based in Ottawa with international experience. She has worked in various industries, such as financial institutions, and the education sector for more than 15 years in Brazil. She has a diploma in public relations and a post-graduate diploma in business management. Fabiana worked at Algonquin College as a social media and marketing assistant and is currently the assistant communications at the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.

Fabiana has always been committed to community engagement and inclusion. She has been actively involved with organizations such as IABC Ottawa, serving as Executive Secretary and now as VP of Leadership Development. Fabiana has volunteered her time and skills throughout her professional journey. She supported refugees through photography work with ADUS Brazil and promoted diversity and inclusion at Rabobank Brazil, as their D&I coordinator.

She enjoys riding her bike along the Rideau Canal and going to the movies in her free time.

Fabiana Ferraresso is passionate about communications and relationship building. She is willing to continue to make a positive impact in her field and beyond.

Meet our Volunteers

International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Ottawa is a fun, non-profit organization run by volunteer leaders. To connect the local community of communicators, 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!

Volunteer at IABC Ottawa

Form for Volunteer applications

  • Volunteer with us! Take a few minutes to tell us about yourself.

  • Where are you on the IABC career roadmap? (e.g. student or entry level, generalist/specialist, strategic advisor, business leader).
  • List the skills you would like to contribute to IABC Ottawa.
  • What personal or professional experience are you hoping to get out of volunteering?
  • What time commitments are you looking for (e.g., project based, short term, long term)?
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Kate Tenenhouse,

Director, Events Strategy

Kate is a fast-talking, loud-laughing, forward-thinking content maker. She joined United Way East Ontario in December 2020, in the heart of the first pandemic winter. In her current role as Senior Marketing Manager, she leads the planning and production of marketing materials and campaigns. Providing strategic marketing and content development expertise, Kate’s work is all about showcasing United Way’s impact to a variety of audiences. She loves to break down complex ideas into bite-size, scrollable content. She is also the strategic lead for GenNext East Ontario, a social impact movement for people who want to connect with others that are passionate about social issues, learn about challenges in the region, and take action to make our communities better for everyone.
Kate previously worked as a Current Affairs Producer and Communications Officer with CBC Ottawa, telling community stories on radio, TV, and web. She graduated from Carleton University’s journalism program in 2016 and later completed an MA in Communication, where her research focused on podcasts and audience engagement. She has bylines with edible Ottawa, CBC Ottawa, J-Source, and more.

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Annette Kam Mui Pun,

Director, Leadership and Development

Kam Mui Pun, who goes by the name of Annette, was an educator for 18 years before relocating to Ottawa. She has a Bachelor of Art and a Postgraduate Diploma of Education from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, as well as a Master of Education from the University of Hong Kong. She has rich experience in discovering, developing and stretching young leaders’ potential, having been in charge of different mentorship and leadership programs in her previous career.

While teaching full-time, Annette also worked briefly as a part-time research assistant at the University of Hong Kong and a writer for Marshall Cavendish Education. She was also seconded to the Education Bureau of Hong Kong for a year, during which she worked with her colleagues to refine the English curricula of different schools, conduct centralized professional development workshops, and produce the department’s quarterly newsletter.

Annette is currently a second-year public relations student at Algonquin College. She aspires to put her leadership, organization and multilingual communication skills to good use in a new career in communications and public relations.

Annette is a chocoholic and huge dog lover. Her new-found passions after moving to Canada include ice hockey and hiking.

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Brett Norbury,

Web Communications Advisor

Brett is a hardworking and active person, with a wide variety of interests, hobbies and experiences. Being a keen user of all forms of web communications, he has a particular interest in the different ways we communicate online, and how this affects our lives. Originally from Vancouver, he studied Political Science and French at Simon Fraser University before moving to Ottawa in 2021. A Francophile and fan of travel, Brett worked, lived and studied in France for two years during his academic studies. This included working as a Tour Guide on Canadian historic site Juno Beach, and studying for two semesters at Sciences Po Strasbourg.Currently working at Elections Canada, Brett has just begin to delve into the word of communications having previously worked in many other diverse fields. Brett enjoys many outdoor activities such as camping, fishing, backcountry skiing in the winter, and backpacking in the summer. When trapped indoors, he enjoys web design, travel, music and reading.

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Shamiul Hossain,

Social Media Lead & Event Assistant

Shamiul Hossain is passionate about digital storytelling and loves connecting with new people. He worked as a newspaper copy editor for more than eight years, collaborating with various stakeholders and gaining insights into audience needs, all while honing his written communication and creative thinking skills. He holds a master’s degree in English Literature.

Shamiul wants to travel more as he finds inspiration in diverse cultures and perspectives. He also enjoys strolling around new places during his free time.

Shamiul is currently enrolled in the public relations program at Algonquin College. He combines his expertise in communication with a strategic understanding of public relations for a more impactful storytelling experience. He can be reached at shamiulbdnews24@gmail.com.

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Jillian Desjardins,

Social Media Lead

Jillian (Jill) Desjardins is a public relations and communications student who is pursuing her education in public relations. She has completed two years at the University of Ottawa in an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations, and is now finishing up her joint program working towards a Diploma at Algonquin College in the same field.

In addition to her role at IABC, Jill has been an Advanced Aquatic Instructor and Supervisor with the City of Ottawa for five years, educating youth about lifeguarding and first aid skills, and is striving to bring that passion and drive for learning and communicating into her work with IABC.

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Alexa McGannon,

Digital Marketing Lead

Alexa moved to Ottawa from Calgary in 2019 to attend Carleton University. Now, she currently works for spark*advocacy as a digital marketer and is finishing her degree in Global and International Studies, hoping to pursue a career in digital marketing. Alexa has a passion for communications, travel, and music. 

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Sadia Sumona,

Junior Consultant, Digital Programming (Podcast Team)

Sadia Sumona is a dedicated and diligent individual, born and raised in the capital city of Bangladesh, and recently moved to Canada to pursue her higher studies, embarking on a new journey. She has completed four years of a bachelor’s degree in finance and marketing and worked in the marketing industry for several years. Sadia is currently a full-time student at Algonquin College in the public relations program. Embracing this new chapter, Sadia continues to thrive and blends her past expertise with a warm personality to make meaningful connections in the world of PR. She is dedicated to incorporating her passion and drive for learning and effective communication into her responsibilities at IABC.

Past Presidents of IABC Ottawa

2020-2021 – Kayla Isabelle

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

*deceased  
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.

JOIN NOW