Earning a Seat at the Table

June 7

11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Queens University

Sykes Building, Room 320

Earning a Seat at the Table

In the rapidly changing world, leaders need to respond quickly—sometimes under less than ideal conditions. Communication is often cited as the critical missing link that leads to poor decision-making, misaligned actions, and failed change efforts. In this interactive session, we will explore ways to build your influence as a communicator by developing skills to be a trusted advisor.

Charlotte IABC June 2017Our speaker will be John Bennett, Ph.D., the Wayland H. Cato, Jr. Chair of Leadership, associate professor, and director of graduate programs for the McColl School of Business, Queens University of Charlotte. Dr. Bennett also is a consultant and executive coach helping individuals, team, and organizations prepare for, excel through, and improve from change. He has numerous articles and three books published. His most recent book is Coaching for Change (2014, Routledge). For fun he travels, keeps bees (yes!), and cooks.


Event Sponsor 

Leland On Location logo


Park in the North Parking Deck. (map)

To get there, turn off Wellesley into the Queens driveway immediately west of the Levine Center for athletics (the opposite side of the building from the big lion guarding the lawn). Once through the first stop sign at the entrance of the student parking deck, follow the driveway to the entrance to the next deck. The code to raise the security barrier is 5797#.


Sykes Bldg., Room 320

Once you have parked, exit the parking deck on the lawn side of the building.  Walk down the stairs to your right, then turn left, following the path to the parking lot. Cross the parking lot. Just past the Lion’s Den grill, jog left between the buildings and turn right into the academic quad.  The round structure that dominates the quad is the Sykes rotunda. 

Enter the Sykes rotunda. You will find the elevator on your right and stairs on your left.  Head for the third floor. Follow the room numbers around the hall until you come to Room 320.


May – Special Evening Event – The Value of a Brand

6:30 PM, Wednesday, May 3, 2017

hosted by Wray Ward
900 Baxter Street
Charlotte, NC  28204


A single Letter, color or symb@l can evoke a nearly universal emotional response.

Join us for IABC Charlotte’s May 3 meeting and, together, we’ll prove the value of a brand.

Kent Panther, Wray WardOur guest speaker, Wray Ward Vice President Kent Panther, will look at fact-based ways to build and protect your organization’s brand. This interactive presentation will provide even long-time marketing professionals with new challenges and solutions to consider, and promises to be a compelling look at the branding process for everyone attending, regardless of industry.

Kent Panther serves as Vice President, Director of Business Development at Wray Ward – https://www.wrayward.com/ – one of Charlotte’s top marketing and communications firms. Kent previously was the firm’s head of strategic planning. His client experience includes work with Duke Energy, Hunter Douglas Window Designs, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Mohawk Flooring, Rheem Gas Furnaces, Springmaid Home Fashions, Sunbrella and VELUX Skylights. Before joining the agency, Kent worked on brands including Michelin, Mr. Coffee, McDonald’s Restaurants and Coca-Cola. Originally from Louisville, KY, Kent is a graduate of Miami University in Ohio where he earned a B.S. degree in business with a major in marketing.


Using Communications to Craft an Inclusive Culture

April 5 Professional Development

11:30 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.

Panel Discussion

Diversity. Inclusion.

These are not buzzwords. Good communicators understand and adopt the mindset that comes from an awareness of our differences, and act intentionally to create a culture of inclusion within a diverse organization. Not because it’s the ‘right’ thing to do, but because a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture produce a stronger organization, one that is innovative, productive, and competitive.

As communicators, our job is to help our colleagues or our clients understand this business imperative and bring about the necessary cultural and language changes. Words matter.

How do you achieve change?

Learn at IABC Charlotte’s April 5 meeting.


Wednesday, April 5, learn how two diversity experts here in Charlotte approach their jobs within large organizations, and how their professional communicators help them achieve the goal of creating inclusive organizations.  

Diverse Employee Group Meeting

Guest Speakers 

Our speakers are Lisa Toppin, vice president, chief diversity officer/talent management at LPL Financial, and Rod Garvin, vice president, talent development and economic growth, Charlotte Chamber of Commerce. 

Lisa Toppin LPL FinancialMs. Toppin leads the diversity and inclusion program at LPL Financial and corporate talent development programs. Together these programs helped propel the company in 2016 to a perfect 100% score in the The Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index and recognition as one the “Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality.”



Rod Garvin Charlotte ChamberMr. Garvin advances diversity and inclusion, guides talent development and manages member engagement for the Charlotte Chamber. Previously, he worked as a Community Director for a social entrepreneurial venture that empowered young people of diverse backgrounds to become active citizens in our democracy. As Education Outreach Manager for Levine Museum of the New South, he developed multicultural programs for youth and adults.


Come prepared with your questions for our two diversity and inclusion experts. You will learn not only what they have done, but why they have taken the steps they have, the successes and failures along the way, and a view of the road ahead. You will leave with a deeper understanding of the inclusion imperative, practical tips, and best practices, that you can reference as you work within your own organization, no matter your current culture.  







Piedmont Natural Gas, 4720 Piedmont Row Dr, Charlotte