2017-2018 IABC Colorado Board of Directors
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Kimberly Kovacich, President
Kimberly works as an independent consultant. She is passionate about the communication domain and how it integrates with every piece of the business world. Her work aims to increase her clients’ revenues by producing tangible results in sales, marketing and communication…because without communicating how great you are, no one will ever know. She enjoys working with small to mid-size businesses to create programs that help organizations communicate effectively while improving corporate culture. Prior to branching out as an independent consultant, Kimberly was a marketing and communication lead at an oil and gas company providing corporate communications, marketing, social media and organization strategy for both a midstream and completion services company. Throughout her career, Kimberly has worked in many industries including aviation, commercial real estate, government consulting, startups and oil and gas. She is passionate about supporting her community and has done so by volunteering with IABC-Colorado for the past three years. She has also volunteered with the I Have A Dream Foundation, Hogar Hispano, Friends of the Orphans, and Urban Peaks. Kimberly earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Colorado, Boulder. https://www.linkedin.com/in/kimberlycroll
Alannah Smith – President Elect
Alannah is an experienced communications professional specializing in the health care and wellness sectors. With a passion for sustainability, creativity and a dedication to data driven solutions, Alannah provides innovative and forward thinking strategies to address the unique communication needs for internal and external projects in a health care environment. Prior to relocating to Colorado where she is now leading Internal Communications at Craig Hospital, Alannah had a successful career in the health care sector in Toronto, Ontario working in Corporate Communications at a large community hospital in the high tech capital of Canada. Alannah has been involved with IABC since 2010 and has served on various committees at the Toronto and Colorado chapters including serving as a director on the Professional Development committee (Toronto) and Membership Committee (Colorado) prior to serving as Co-VP of Professional Development on IABC Colorado’s 2016-2017 Board of Directors. Alannah earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from The University of Western Ontario and completed graduate studies in Corporate Communications at Seneca College of Art and Design at York University in Toronto, Ontario. Alannah looks forward to continuing to grow with IABC Colorado and is proud to be serving as President Elect on the 2017-2018 Board of Directors. https://www.linkedin.com/in/alannah-smith-25172219
Katie Murrin-Finch, Vice President Finance
Katie Murrin-Finch, a Colorado native, is a Public Relations professional who recently returned to Colorado with her husband, and their three children. She holds a master’s degree in Strategic Public Relations from George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Metropolitan State University. In her seven year career as a communications professional, Katie has managed crisis communications, community relations, and business development for the American Red Cross in Washington D.C. She has advised executive leadership on business best practices, recommended and initiated strategic business partnerships, and developed and executed communication plans for Airlines Reporting Corporation, also located in the Washington D.C. area. Katie has been an active IABC member since 2012 and supported the previous VP of Finance since October 2016. Prior to leaving the Washington D.C. area, she was active in the Heritage Region IABC chapter. https://www.linkedin.com/in/katie-murrin-finch-84610241
Jo Solonika, ABC, Vice President Administration
Jo is a corporate communications and marketing professional with success in developing and implementing game-changing strategies and programs that drive bottom-line results. She is a proactive, strategic business partner known for improving business results and driving brand awareness through effective corporate communications and marketing. Jo currently serves as vice president-corporate communications at CoBank, a national cooperative bank serving vital industries across rural America. Previously she led corporate communications and content marketing at IHS Markit, the leading source of information and insight in critical areas that shape today’s business landscape, and prior to that served in similar roles for other large organizations. Jo has served previously on the IABC Colorado board in various roles, including chapter president. She is a passionate proponent of her profession and also greatly enjoys her work. Jo presents seminars on topics including corporate communication, the benefits of an inclusive workforce, leadership, and personal career development. She also serves on the board of the Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking (www.lcht.com). Jo holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Minot State University, Minot, North Dakota, and attended postgraduate studies in history at George Washington University, Washington, D.C. She invites you to be involved within the communications profession and to connect with her on Twitter (@josolonika) and LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/josolonika/ .
Sabrina Hall, Co-Vice President Communication
Sabrina is an experienced communications professional with 18 years of experience in organizational communications. Her specialties include strategic communications planning and implementation, internal communications, writing and presenting. Sabrina currently serves as manager of organizational communications for Denver Water, where she directs internal communications, creative services and the utility’s internal and external websites. She serves on the organization’s news team, part of the shift to brand journalism. Prior to joining Denver Water, Sabrina held communications roles in agency, nonprofit and corporate organizations. Sabrina Hall earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Colorado State University and a master’s degree in applied communications from the University of Denver. https://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinahall/
Jay Thomas, Co-Vice President Communication
Jay has been a member of IABC for more than 10 years. He took on the role of Webmaster for the chapter’s IABC-Colorado.com website and was appointed Director of Communication in 2014 and Vice President of Communication 2014-2015. Prior to relocating to Colorado in 2013, Jay launched and managed a yearlong campaign on behalf of a federal program for people with disabilities, a position he has continued as a telecommuter. He now leads all marketing and communication efforts for a newly launched, national electronics-recycling network, CyclePoint from SourceAmerica. Jay’s work won awards from the IABC and PRSA Washington, DC chapters, and from printing, school public relations and municipal government industry associations. He has experience in media relations, marketing and brand communications, advertising, internal and external change management, speechwriting, and graphic and multimedia design. Jay’s career began as a TV news camera operator while in college, and later, in public affairs for a Virginia school system. Jay spent nearly 10 years with Maryland-based Melwood, where he ultimately oversaw communication, marketing and fund development for one of the nation’s largest nonprofits employing people with disabilities. Jay Thomas earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communication and minor in human services from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
Scott Hild, Co-Vice President Professional Development
Scott serves as the Vice President of Sales & Marketing for the Denver based firm, ElevatePoint where he works daily with Corporate Communicators to evangelize products and services that are transforming the way organizations communicate and engage with their employees. With 25 years of experience in sales and marketing, he has worked across nearly every industry and is still most excited when he can work directly with clients to solve their business challenges through technology. Scott Hild holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Michigan, which requires him to be an avid college football fan along with his other pursuits of Caribbean travel, running, craft beer and baking pies with his 12 year old daughter. https://www.linkedin.com/in/scotthild
Deanna Geldens, Co-Vice President Professional Development
Deanna is a marketing communications strategist with clients in higher education, health care and not-for-profit environments. A people person and connector by nature, Deanna loves helping stakeholders find the people, content and resources they need to solve problems and advance their goals. Before launching her own business, she was the director of marketing, communications and alumni relations at the University of Colorado College of Nursing. Deanna is a member of Colorado Healthcare Communicators and began volunteering with IABC Colorado by serving on the finance committee. She took over as Vice President of Finance in December 2015 and served in that role through the 2016-2017 board term. From the Midwest, she served on the Kansas City IABC board before moving to Denver to complete her master’s degree in applied communication at the University of Denver. She welcomes you to connect via LinkedIn. https://www.llinkedin.com/in/deannabeckettgeldens
Melanie Rice, Co-Vice President Membership
The founder of Crux Strategic Communications, Melanie is an employee engagement geek, marketing communication maven, entrepreneur and obsessed Oregon Duck football fan. In addition to serving as Vice President of Membership for IABC Colorado since 2015, Melanie served as creative director and led the marketing team for the IABC Southern Region Conference in Denver, October 15-17, 2015. She also is an active member of PRSA. Melanie has directed communications teams for over 25 years at industry-leading Fortune 500 companies, including Molson Coors Brewing Company, Newmont Mining Corporation, H-P, Compaq and Tandem Computers. This breadth of experience enables her to excel strategically, creatively and tactically in a broad range of communication disciplines. With the perfect balance of right-brain/left-brain thinking, Melanie Rice earned a B.S. in Quantitative Analysis from University of Oregon and a M.B.A. in Marketing from Golden Gate University, San Francisco, Calif. https://www.linkedin.com/in/melrice
Cathy Beuten, Co-Vice President Membership
Cathy is a career-long communicator: starting as a clerk at the Rocky Mountain News, moving on to writing and editing for small newspapers, then returning to the Rocky as content editor and writer. She shifted to university communications in 2004, joining the University of Colorado Denver as communications specialist. She is now multimedia editor in University Relations for the CU Office of the President, where her responsibilities include producing the monthly president’s newsletter, posting compelling information about CU on social media sites, monitoring and responding to queries and concerns via email and on Twitter, Linked In and Facebook (with a great, big smile), keeping up with tech and social trends, writing features and news stories and producing podcasts, video and photos. New to IABC, Cathy took a temporary role as VP of Administration for the Colorado chapter to finish the 2016-17 fiscal year and is hoping to assist members and increase membership as co-VP of membership in 2017-18. She is a big fan of family, friends, dogs, gardening and heavy metal music. https://www.linkedin.com/in/catherine-beuten-8a8a2212/
Cathy Chase, Senior Delegate and Past President
Cathy is a veteran communications strategist who prides herself on building strong client relationships, helping organizations and leaders communicate more effectively, and delivering solutions that produce measurable results. Currently, she serves as Corporate Communications Manager for CenturyLink, a Fortune 200 global communications, hosting, cloud and IT services company. Cathy has worked in the strategic business communications industry for more than 25 years and has experience on both the agency and corporate sides of the business. She excels at providing communications counsel to C-level executives and their leadership teams, an area of expertise she also particularly enjoys. Prior to moving to Denver in 2009, she spent 13 years with Kansas City-based American Century Investments, where she advanced through various communications roles with increasing responsibilities. Other professional experience includes communications/marketing/PR positions at Transamerica, UMB Financial Corporation and two integrated marketing/PR agencies. Cathy is a long-standing IABC member and has played an active role in IABC Colorado since joining the chapter. She served as Communications Committee newsletter editor from 2009 – 2011; VP of Administration from 2011-2015; president-elect from 2015-2016; and president from 2016-2017. Cathy is a former member of the Public Relations Society of America and earned a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from Northeast Missouri State University (now Truman State University) in Kirksville, Missouri. https://www.linkedin.com/in/cathychase