Last night I retained the presidency of IABC Barbados. Having been a founding member of the chapter I am witnessing first hand its struggles and its mini victories. We started with just about five members, grew to 15 last year and now at the start of my 2nd year as president, we have 23 members.
Being a member of IABC Barbados is a true commitment to the profession. A staff member asked me how come I was the only accredited practitioner on the island and at first I did not have the answer. But then I really thought about it. It takes professional acumen, time, money and determination to become accredited in PR locally. With no other ABC on the island I had to research, travel and spend a lot of my own resources pursuing a qualification that is not demanded by employers locally. Maybe we are ignorant here or maybe it just shows the disregard with which the profession is taken.
We are hoping that our new struggling professional association will change all this. Last night Richard Thomas, our longest serving IABC member spoke to five statements or purposes which we set for ourselves when we launch IABC Barbados: create professional opportunities, networking opportunities, to have one local definition of what is pr, create a platform to speak with a singular voice and show c-suite what pr really is. The idea is that we professionals would shape what pr is and what status it has on the island.
We have a tough road ahead. VP Membership/Marketing Sharon Marshall shared her frustration that more members had not signed on over the last year. Our target was to double our membership and we fell short by seven. She has graciously taken up this duty again. I wish to thank Sharon and all the members who served on the 2010-2011 board: Jackie Marshall Clarke, Sara Odle, Samantha Jones, Fay Best, Richard Thomas and Christal McIntosh.
I am delighted to welcome the new board members. I thank you and all the members of the 2010 board who have remained in office. Clearly we are in a race that is not for the swift.
IABC 2011-2012 Board Members
President – Pamala Proverbs
Executive Vice President/President Elect - Samuel Brathwaite
VP Administration – Sara Odle
VP Professional Development – Jacqueline Marshall-Clarke
VP Professional Development - Sophia Cambridge
VP Membership /Marketing – Sharon Marshall
VP Communications – Marilyn Sealy
VP Finance – Lynda Holder
Past President/Senior Delegate – Christal Austin