On June 12, 2012, IABC-LA members celebrated the last event of the 2011-2012 with a distinguished keynote speaker and many congratulations to board position members as the torch passed to new and existing volunteers.  The evening was held at City Club on Bunker Hill with skyscraper views from the 54th floor and a lovely sunset to pay tribute to the past year’s events and chapter accomplishments during cocktails and a family-style buffet dinner around a very large table.

Opening remarks were made by our outstanding (and slightly weary) President 2010-2012, Paula Cassin, who praised the chapter’s wide range of events and thanked all those who so graciously volunteered time to make the chapter the best it can be for all its members.  Paula presented Cheryl Farrell, 2011-2012 Member Communications Chair, with a special recognition award for Cheryl’s dedicated and relentless chapter assistance, especially as Paula found it more and more challenging to execute all the details from her residence in Santa Barbara. Cheryl will continue on the 2012-2013 board as Co-Chair, Member Communications with new member and Co-Chair, Betty Henry. Hats off to Cheryl!!

Chris Cabrera, our chapter Board Advisor and “After Dark” coordinator, welcomed our own “Ted conference” keynote speaker, Janet Clayton, SVP of Corporate Communications for Edison International (http://www.edisoninternational.com). Janet leads internal and external brand communications, corporate and brand positioning, and community and philanthropic programs. Her distinguished career includes serving in key leadership roles at the Los Angeles Times, including editor of editorial pages, where she determined the Times’ official opinions. Ms. Clayton has also received praise and recognition as the editor for two Pulitzer Prize-winning series.  Chris has worked for Southern California Edison for years and has just stepped into a new role as Manager, Power Supply Communications at the company.

Janet discussed her views on fighting fire in the press with truth. She also discussed how Edison handled a tragic workplace shooting at its Irwindale facilities just before Christmas 2011, and how accountability by journalists has wained in the blogosphere and social media climate.  Janet inspired us all to communicate with integrity, and shared that people often do their best work when up against extreme deadlines and when there’s no time for lengthy discussions.

Dana Edler, our new IABC-LA chapter president, 2012-2013, introduced new board member roles and thanked Paula for her remarkable dedication over the last two years, inspiring new events and for leading a truly warm and collegial chapter.  Dana’s closing remarks included her intent to set goals for the chapter that includes much input from the new board, not just Dana’s ideas. A hint of things to come may be more more web events in addition or in place of some live events…this would allow more members to participate without worrying about city traffic to get to events. She also thanked the board members for their 2011-2012 service.

Big thanks to member Greg Cash who played acoustic guitar during the cocktail hour…a wonderful first for a chapter event!

Warmest thanks to Christie Ly, Past President and Chair, Major Events, 2011-2012, on the year-end event that communicated the collegial-style spirit of the chapter to the very end!