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 – – 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


Now is the Time to Join IABC

Join IABC or reinstate your IABC membership during March and we’ll give you 10% off international dues AND waive the US$40 application fee. You’ll also be entered to win a VIP World Conference prize package including:

  • 1 Full Conference Registration to World Conference
  • 3 nights hotel accommodations at the Washington Hilton Hotel
  • Car service from the airport to hotel
  • Welcome basket in hotel upon arrival including $100 Visa gift card and more
  • Reserved VIP seating for 4 at all keynote sessions

Not only will you be able to connect to communicators globally, you will have the support of local Charlotte communicators dedicated to professionalism and ethical communication. Join today and visit our next meeting April 5