Welcome to IABC Lynchburg!
Your local chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators.
IABC Lynchburg is committed to creating and engaging a network of local communicators and providing professional development opportunities for all levels of communicators. Information on our upcoming events will be posted below as it comes available.

Merging for Success

When the Lynchburg Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Region 2000 Business and Economic Development Alliance announced their plans to merge in 2015, the two organizations had less than six months to combine their operations and be ready to face the challenges of recruiting and retaining businesses in the area. The combined organization, now known as the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance (LRBA), required continuous communications with both internal and external stakeholders to successfully merge the two entities and reach their goals for growth. On October 25, two key LRBA leaders will talk about the communications work that went into the merger, the lessons learned from that process, their successes to date and their plans going forward.

Meet Our Speakers

Megan A. Lucas, CEcD, CCE, IOM
CEO, Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance

Megan Lucas is a seasoned community and economic development professional. Her career in the industry spans more than 17 years and includes the states of Tennessee, Nebraska and Virginia.

Megan is currently the CEO and Chief Economic Development Officer at the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance. She is charged with leading the work of the Alliance, focusing on regional job creation and capital investment. She serves as an entrepreneurial business and economic development thought leader in our region and provides innovative, forward-thinking leadership for the organization and the Alliance Board.

Megan is a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute Board of Trustees and Chair of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Curriculum Committee. She has been a U.S. Chamber Institute Instructor for six years teaching: Volunteer Management, Marketing Strategies and Economic Development. She also sits on the Virginia Economic Developers Association Board of Directors and the Southern Economic Development Council. Megan is a Certified Economic Developer and a Certified Chamber Executive as well as the recipient of Consultant Connects “Top 50 Economic Developers in the Country.”

Christine Kennedy, IOM, CPC, ELI-MP
COO/EVP, Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance

Christine Kennedy’s leadership journey started over 15 years ago when she was hired at the Lynchburg Regional Chamber (now the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance) to oversee their Leadership Lynchburg program.

In 2015, she led the Chamber into a successful merger with its regional economic development organization, eliminating competition and creating regional collaboration that had been non-existent for years. During her tenure at the Alliance, Kennedy also has launched several initiatives, including the Business at Breakfast program, the Biz Forward Task Force, the Work Healthy coalition, the Women’s Luncheon Series and the Women of Worth event where the international ATHENA Award is presented.

Christine serves on several boards, including the U.S. Chamber’s Board of Regents, the board of the Virginia Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives and the local Workforce Development Board. In 2010, she was appointed to the Governor’s Workforce Council, serving a three-year term for the state of Virginia.

Join us at AREVA’s Core Training Room
3315 Old Forest Road

Lunch sponsored by AREVA NP

Date:          Wednesday, Oct. 25

Time:          12 – 1:30 p.m.

Cost:         IABC Members – $25
Non- Members – $35

(Lunch included with cost)

RSVP to Sallie Anthony (santhony@scottins.com) by noon, Oct. 24

Ticket Prices

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Rebranding in a Riptide: Adventures in Higher Education

Lynchburg College is currently working through a rebrand along with its transition to a new name. The next brand will need to appeal to prospective students while also building support among alumni, including those opposed to the name change. The university is putting what people love most about Lynchburg College – the community, culture, people and academic excellence – front and center as it begins its rebrand.

IABC invites you to join us on Wednesday, Aug. 23, for a presentation about Lynchburg College’s rebrand and a conversation on how communicators can impact the trust evoked by their brands. Bryan Gentry will share his personal experience as an observer and participant in higher education, answer questions and lead a discussion.

Meet the Speaker
Bryan Gentry is the director of communications – also known as the chief storyteller – for Lynchburg College. He believes in the power of a story and higher education. He earned his bachelor’s degree in English at Southern Virginia University and his MBA from Lynchburg College. He also graduated from Leadership Lynchburg in 2017. Before working at LC, he was a writer for Randolph College and business reporter for The News & Advance.

Join us at Lynchburg College’s Burton VIP Dining Room, Drysdale Student Center
1501 Lakeside Drive (Building 7 on the parking map)

Date:          Wednesday, August 23

Time:          12 – 1:30 p.m.

Cost:         Lynchburg College PRSSA Officers – $10, IABC Members – $25, Non-Members – $35

(Lunch included with cost)
RSVP to Sallie Anthony (santhony@scottins.com) by August 21 at 5 p.m.

Ticket Prices

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City of Lynchburg: Preparing for the President

On May 13, Lynchburg welcomed the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, as he addressed nearly 19,000 graduates on the campus of Liberty University.

Trump’s appearance marked just the second time an active U.S. President had spoken on the university’s campus. A record crowd of over 50,000 produced an influx of visitors to the city. As a result, hours of planning and preparation were required in order to execute an effective communications strategy and messaging for Lynchburg residents.

IABC Lynchburg invites you to join us on Thursday, June 22, for a presentation on the communication methods utilized by city officials during the President’s recent visit. Hear from City of Lynchburg’s LuAnn Hunt and Steve Smallshaw, as they discuss the preparation and means for effectively communicating information and alerts to Lynchburg’s citizens. A question and answer session will also follow the presentation.

Join us at City Hall in Downtown Lynchburg
900 Church Street (Second Floor Training Room)
Sponsored by BWX Technologies, Inc.

Date: Thursday, June 22

Time: 12 – 1:30 p.m.

Cost: IABC Members – $25

Non- Members – $35

(Lunch included with cost)

RSVP to Sallie Anthony (santhony@scottins.com) by noon, June 21

Pay ahead with PayPal:


PayPal does not act as an RSVP. Please also RSVP.

Roundtable discussion: Communications ethics in a post-truth world

The communication profession is once again at the forefront of some major business challenges. Just take a look at the news. Some brands have found themselves stuck in the middle of controversies they didn’t ask for, while others have made the conscious choice to take a stand on issues that strike at the heart of their brand values. The group will discuss recent world events and what they mean to a profession that is guided to make consistent, responsible, ethical and legal choices.

The IABC Code of Ethics states, “As a professional communicator, you have the potential to influence economies and affect lives. This power carries with it significant responsibilities.” The code also states “I am honest-my actions bring respect for and trust in the communication profession” and “I communicate accurate information and promptly correct any error.”

How can a communication professional follow through on these commitments if a new norm makes it acceptable to deliver an alternative version of the truth?

Please plan to attend this interactive discussion where we seek to answer these questions as we share our ideas with one another while drawing from our professional experiences.

Join us at BWXT’s Visitors Center
2016 Mount Athos Road (Take second entrance on the left designated for visitors)

Date:          Tuesday, May 30

Time:          12 – 1:30 p.m.

Cost:         IABC Members – $25

                 Non- Members – $35

(Lunch included with cost)

RSVP to Sallie Anthony (santhony@scottins.com) by noon, May 26

Pay ahead with PayPal:


PayPal does not act as an RSVP. Please also RSVP.

Q&A Strategies

Turn your next Question and Answer session into a persuasive interaction which addresses your client’s concerns and forwards your agenda at the same time. This seminar is perfect for short list interviews, persuasive presentations, and any situation where you answer questions about your work, services, or product.

Learn trade secrets to:

  • Highlight your company’s strengths
  • Close the deal with your clients
  • Respond to difficult questions easily
  • Become a flexible presenter

Join us at AREVA’s Core Training Room
3315 Old Forest Road

Date: Tuesday, April 25

Time: 12 – 1:30 p.m.

Cost: IABC Members – $25

Non-Members – $35

(Lunch included with cost)

RSVP to Sallie Anthony (santhony@scottins.com) by noon, April 24

Pay ahead with PayPal:


PayPal does not send a RSVP. Please be sure to RSVP to Sallie Anthony.

Meet Our Speaker
Paula Youra, PhD

Paula Youra, PhD is the Director of the Center for Professional Communication.

Dr. Youra is an experienced educator, college professor, and business consultant of twenty-five years. She specializes in curricular design and seminar facilitation. She works with local, national, and global organizations to help workforces communicate with impact and confidence while maximizing their professional effectiveness.

Dr. Youra is a professor of Communication Studies at Lynchburg College and is the author of several books including Vowed to Justice: The Story of Elliot and Rosel Schewel (Outskirts Press, 2015) and Pomp and Circumstance: Ceremonial Public Speaking (Alistair Press 2002). She has also authored several journal articles in the field of Communication Studies and in national trade magazines such as USA Today Magazine.

She also appears on television programs such as C-SPAN’s Washington Journal and ABC 13 News in Virginia as a guest expert on public speaking and political communication. Dr. Youra regularly presents her work at communication conferences such as the Eastern Communication Association, National Communication Association, and at the International Conference on Knowledge, Technology and Society in Berlin, Germany and Madrid, Spain.

How to Increase Employee Engagement – First Step, Ask Employees

More and more research on companies all around the world is finding that they are struggling to engage our modern, 21st century workforce.

With a clear correlation between employee engagement, customer satisfaction and revenue growth, companies need to take the first step by opening a dialogue with their employees.

As business owners and managers we know our number one asset is our people, but how do you keep them engaged? Crafting the “right” survey to is a critical first step in the process of driving a more engaged workforce.

We invite you to join us for this webinar, where you will learn about setting objectives for an employee engagement survey as well as how to create one, launch it, implement it, communicate the results and keep the momentum going.

Don’t forget that March is IABC’s Membership Month!  We encourage you to bring a friend to IABC Lynchburg’s first professional development event of 2017.

See below for more details and for a link to RSVP. We look forward to seeing you there!

Join us at Scott Insurance
1301 Old Graves Mill Road, Lynchburg, Virginia

Wednesday, March 22

12 – 1:30 p.m.

Cost: IABC Members – $25, Non- Members – $35

RSVP to Sallie Anthony (santhony@scottins.com) by noon, March 21

Pay ahead with PayPal:


PayPal does not send a RSVP. Please be sure to RSVP to Sallie Anthony.

IABC Annual Open House – RSVP Today

IABC Open House

Eat, Drink and Build Connections

Join us November 15, for the IABC Annual Open House for food, fun and networking.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016
6-8 p.m.
The Ann White Academy Gallery
600 Main Street, Lynchburg, VA 24504

Event is free for both members and non-members and includes complimentary appetizers, beverages, door prizes and more. Free validated parking available at the Holiday Inn parking garage.

RSVP today. You don’t want to miss this!

Kelsey McCown – kdmccown@bwxt.com by November 11.

From Revolution to Rescue to Revival: Charting a Course for Sweet Briar College

In summer 2015, Sweet Briar’s alumnae did something that had never happened in higher education. Five thousand women saved a college from closure. From the time closure was announced on March 3 until Virginia’s attorney general issued a legal settlement, Sweet Briar College appeared in the media thousands of times.

The communications office was unprepared for the onslaught and for the intense scrutiny that followed. This discussion will center on the communications imperatives born of the experience and how the college is working to regain its footing and reframe the story.

See below for more details and for a link to RSVP. We look forward to seeing you there!

Lunch Sponsored by BWXTbwxt

Date: Tuesday, November 8

Time: 12 – 1:30 p.m.

Location: AREVA – 3315 Old Forest Road (Core Training Room)

Cost: IABC Members – $25
Non- Members – $35

RSVP by November 7, to Breanne Crandall (Breanne.Crandall@areva.com)

Pay ahead with PayPal:


PayPal does not send a RSVP. Please be sure to RSVP to Breanne Crandall.

Meet our Speaker
Joelle Ziemian


Joelle Ziemian started at Sweet Briar College in February 2016, with nearly 30 years of strategic communications experience in the corporate, nonprofit, international development and government sectors. She worked with colleges and universities in the Washington, DC, office of Lipman Hearne, a national communications firm serving the institutional nonprofit arena. While at Lipman Hearne, she also led a U.S. State Department communications project for Iraq’s Ministry of Electricity and for Mongolia’s Ministry of Energy and Fuel. She worked with two government ministries in Qatar.

She started her career as a TV reporter before moving to state and federal government. She served as press secretary in the Pennsylvania Senate and in the U.S. House of Representatives. She moved to the U.S. Department of Energy and then to the private sector where she managed public affairs campaigns for an array of energy clients, primarily in the utility industry. She later did similar work at Edelman and Burson-Marsteller for the Edison Electric Institute, ComEd, Detroit Edison, and Accenture’s global natural resources portfolio. As a consultant in Romania for a U.S. Agency for International Development project, Joelle helped nongovernmental organizations get their message out to key audiences and impact policy. Before Sweet Briar, her most recent communications role was as a Director at Burson-Marsteller, where she was U.S. Client Leader for Royal Dutch Shell.

Joelle holds a B.A. from Goucher College and an M.F.A. in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Learn more: http://sbc.edu/news/sweet-briar-announces-new-director-of-media-marketing-and-communications/

Developing a Successful Action Plan for the Virginia Commonwealth Games

The Virginia Commonwealth Games is known as Virginia’s Olympics and is the largest multi-sport festival in Virginia. Creating such a successful event for over 10,000 athletes participating in 62 sports requires a strong and effective communication plan. Join members of your local IABC Chapter along with other like-minded individuals to network with peers and hear first-hand how Virginia Amateur Sports, in partnership with the City of Lynchburg, Liberty University and over 1,000 volunteers, made a successful move to the City of Lynchburg after 26 years in Roanoke.

Meet our Speaker:
Diane Williams
Marketing Director, Virginia Amateur Sports

diane_williamsIt is IABC’s pleasure to host our speaker, Diane Williams. Diane is a graduate of East Tennessee State University with a degree in Mass Communication. Diane has been with Virginia Amateur Sports for 12 years as the Marketing and Fundraising Director, where her responsibilities include developing sponsorships, managing statewide and local multi media campaigns, and enhancing opportunities for all 12 VAS events.  Diane previously worked for ABC 13 TV (six years), the Roanoke Times newspaper (10 years) and the Salem Times Register (two years).  Diane also owns an event consulting business, working with select businesses including Wendy’s and the High School Heisman.

RSVP by October 3, to Breanne Crandall.

Join us at AREVA
155 Mill Ridge Road, Lynchburg, Virginia
Tuesday, October 4, 2016
12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Cost: IABC Members – $25, Non-Members – $35

Pay ahead with PayPal:


PayPal does not send a RSVP. Please be sure to RSVP to Breanne Crandall.

The Digital Revolution: Trends in Digital Marketing

Trends in Digital Marketing

Thursday, August 25, 2016
Noon – 1:30 p.m.

Grabbing consumers’ attention is getting harder and harder as they abandon traditional media and avoid ads all together. How do we reach those much-coveted target audiences today? New technologies allow us to razor in on audiences, but are these tactics effective? John Anstey, principal and founder of Roanoke-based Anstey Hodge Advertising Group, will share his insight as he reviews trends in digital marketing.

Meet the Speaker:
John C. Anstey, MBA
Principal and Founder, Anstey Hodge Advertising Group

John has 20 years’ experience in marketing and communications. Before founding his own firm in 2003, he worked in the Corporate Communications department of Reliance Insurance Company in Philadelphia. Additional prior experience includes Director of Account Services for The O’Connor Group.John-Anstey An active member of the Public Relations Society of America, John has won awards from PRSA, as well as the International Association of Business Communicators. John holds a master’s degree in English, an MBA from Wake Forest University, and is a Who’s Who graduate of the University of Mary Washington, where he also serves as Founding Chair, College of Arts and Sciences Advisory Board.

RSVP by August 24, to Barbi Wagner. Please include any meal preferences or allergies with your RSVP.

Pay ahead with PayPal:


PayPal does not send a RSVP. Please be sure to RSVP to Barbi Wagner.