IABC seeks to leave controversy behind as world conference opens

Leaders emphasize the year’s reforms and changes, despite departure of controversial executive director.

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This year, the organization is seeking to move beyond the controversy left in the wake of his resignation.

The 15,000-member organization hopes its four-day event in New York City beginning Sunday, June 23, will put a close to year of turmoil and layoffs—and inform members about a new direction that volunteer leaders believe will strengthen the organization.

“It’s been an interesting year of change,” outgoing Chair Kerby Meyers told the members in a general session Sunday evening.

But he emphasized strategic changes that involved a revamp of IABC’s Gold Quill Awards and Accredited Business Communicator credential, more relevant content, and a move to digital publication.

The past year saw Sorek’s hiring, the layoff of half its 32 staffers, communications that many members have criticized as botched, and Sorek’s resignation less than a year into the job.

Aaron Heinrich, IABC’s director of communication, said the mood here has been mixed but that most members are excited about learning from the experts and mingling with colleagues.

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