IABC international board draws praise, criticism in town hall

In a meeting at its world conference, the communicators’ organization addresses a year of controversy, urges volunteers to step forward, and receives a few plaudits.

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But a year of controversies also reverberated as members asked about layoffs that occurred last year and wanted to know how IABC will select a new leader following the abrupt departure of its executive director this month.

IABC called the town hall meeting following months of sharp criticism on its LinkedIn group and elsewhere. Just a year ago, the organization hired a new chief, Christopher Sorek, only to accept his resignation this month following a tumultuous tenure.

“For a lot of us it felt like a perfect storm, and I know it felt like that for you, as well,” the organization’s new chair, Robin McCasland, said at an annual meeting that preceded the town hall.

As if prepared to face a firing squad together, the international board lined up in front to field questions as a group. Yet if board members worried about the reception they’d receive, they found an often appreciative audience. Along with tense moments, members also applauded the volunteer board.

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