Jolly Good Fellows

Today, I want to talk about Fellows.

IABC’s Fellows are those honoured with the highest designation the Association can bestow.

They are, of rote, senior and time-served* members who have distinguished in their professional, work and volunteer lives and are also well ‘published’.

In the old days, ‘well published’ meant writing lots and having it made into books. Today it’s more about being sensibly prolific on social media and being happy to present at seminars and conferences etc – hopefully pro bono.

IABC doesn’t have enough Fellows.   Compared with most other Associations (communications and otherwise) we have a tiny percentage.

This was a subject I made recommendations on when I first joined IABC’s International Board, and will pick up again later this year, as Past Chair.

As part of this project we will also define the role of the Fellow more, and in a way which allows both Fellows and the Association to better benefit from each other’s time and expertise.

I had the honour of being with one of our more recently-appointed Fellows recently.

Elpi Cuna
Elpi Cuna, IABC Fellow

Elpi Cuna is the ‘father’ of the IABC Philippines Chapter. It was my privilege to sit next to him at the recent Philippine Quill awards, a glittering event organised by the local Chapter which attracted nearly 1000 paying guests and where I was invited as International Chair to present awards and give the keynote address.

Elpi started IABC Philippines in the Eighties. It was our first chapter outside North America and today is one of our most prolific, also hugely regarded and respected by the Philippine business community.

Although Elpi stepped back from day to day Chapter management some time ago, he (with other past Chapter Presidents and VPs) maintains a keen interest in Chapter activities and sits on a very active committee called the Board of Advisers.

I found this model very interesting and it’s exactly the sort of role we want to see for many of our Fellows.

There is currently a call out for IABC members to nominate an eminent member for Fellow. I have recently extended the deadline for this to Friday March 27th, so there’s still time for you to nominate.

Any member in good standing who meets the criteria above is eligible to be nominated.

The only restriction is that people who have been on the International Executive Board must wait three years before being nominated.

(This rule was established some years ago and, true to the rigorous ethics of the Association, is to prevent automatic succession simply for a ‘job well done’ on the Board).

I have appointed a diverse committee of six Fellows, this year headed by Paul Sanchez ABC, IABC Fellow, who will next month choose up to five individuals to go forward for this key honour in 2015.

Please consider whom you might want to nominate, and consult the IABC website for more information. That deadline again : Friday March 27th.

*Footnote : Please note that “time-served” is not the same as “life-expired” – a phrase I got caught out by with Canadian members once!)