Directors at Large

Janis Forman
University of California, Los Angeles
Term: 2013-2017

Janis FormanDr. Forman is founder/Director, UCLA Anderson’s Management Communication Program in which she teaches communication strategy and practices and train a staff of TAs; Founding Faculty, UCLA’s award-winning Global Access Program, focused on development of business plans and presentations, on strategy and storytelling. She is founder and Director, Advanced Strategic Management Program for European-based corporate communication professionals. Visiting Professor, Dartmouth’s Tuck School, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, the University of Lugano, and UC San Diego’s Rady School of Business. She is author of multiple publications on collaborative writing, translation, corporate communication and storytelling, including several for IJBC and BPCQ. Member of the editorial boards, IJBC and BPCQ. ABC Researcher-of-the-Year and Distinguished Publication awards. Newly published book: Storytelling in Business: The Authentic and Fluent Organization (Stanford UP).


Jeanette Heidewald
Indiana University
Term: 2013-2017

Jeanette HeidewaldJeanette Heidewald teaches Business Communication courses in the highly ranked Kelley School of Business at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. With over 15 years of undergraduate teaching experience, she emphasizes argumentation, persuasion, business writing, presentations, visual argument, and team development. I excel in curriculum development designed for specific client needs and contexts. As a member of the Honors faculty at IU, Dr. Heidewald is responsible for developing the skills of Kelley's most accomplished, motivated, and competitive undergraduate students. In the classroom, She seeks to engage and educate students with hands-on activities, relevant examples, multiple opportunities for practice, and one-on-one personal feedback and goal setting. Her experience in corporate training complements my curriculum development and communication consulting practices, most recently realized in a 2-week intensive course in New York City in collaboration with the University of Cologne, Germany. Outside of teaching, She travels extensively to build intercultural knowledge and skills and to network around the globe. Most recently, has visited India, China, and several countries in Europe, including Hungary, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and of course, Germany. Dr. Heidewald considers Schwaebisch Hall, Germany where she lived from 1987-1990 to be her home away from home.


Brigitte Planken
Nimegen University
Term: 2013-2017

Brigitte PlankenBrigitte Planken (PhD in Applied Linguistics, 2002) is an Associate Professor in the department of Communication and Information Sciences at Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands. She teaches specialization communication and research courses at Bachelor and Master levels, and is coordinator of the International Business Communication Master’s degree program.. She frequently collaborates with international colleagues in her research and publications, and is a founding member of LIBRI (Linguists for Business Research Initiative), a growing European network of (applied) linguists working in business communication at universities in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland and the Netherlands. LIBRI aims to further cross-institutional, international partnership research on intercultural communication and (foreign) language issues in business. Brigitte’s current research interests include multilingual advertising, CSR communications, English as a business lingua franca and language policy in multinationals.

Brigitte has been actively involved in ABC for a number of years, serving on its Publication Board between 2008 and 2010. Since 2000, she has presented papers at ABC conferences on a variety of topics, including intercultural communication, CSR communications and business communication pedagogy. She was a plenary speaker at the ABC Europe Convention in 2007 (Istanbul) and at the Joint ABC Europe and GABC Convention in 2010 (Antwerp). At ABC’s Annual Convention in Lake Tahoe (2008), she and co-authors Francesca Bargiela-Chiappini and Catherine Nickerson received ABC’s prize for Distinguished Publication on Business Communication for Business Discourse (2007). In 2012, she co-organized ABC’s European Conference, hosted by Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands.


Valerie Creelman
Saint Mary's University
Term: 2017

Creelman.jpgValerie Creelman, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Communications in the Department of Marketing at Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.  As a former associate dean at the Sobey School of Business, she will use her leadership experience to help advance our Strategic Plan’s priorities and continue to strengthen ABC’s profile as a scholarly organization of talented, dedicated researchers, teachers, and practitioners in the professional writing and business communication field.

 In 2015, she received the Full-time Professor of the Year Award for Teaching Excellence from the Sobey School of Business Students’ Commerce Society.  In 2013, she was awarded the Dr. Geraldine Thomas Educational Leadership Award, in recognition of her long-term commitment to developing and promoting the quality of teaching and learning across the university. She helped established, and now administers, a Teaching and Innovation fund to support faculty exploring new technologies and teaching strategies in the classroom.  To date, she has taught courses in technical communication, business communication, government communication, academic writing, and public speaking.  She has also developed various communications modules for executive education programs.

A graduate of the University of Waterloo’s PhD Program, Dr. Creelman’s academic background is in rhetoric, discourse analysis, sociolinguistics, and professional writing.  Her latest research projects focus on digital discourse, online web care, and impression management.  She received an International Student Success grant to study international students’ experiences with academic and genre-based writing in the business communication course at her university. Her publications have appeared in journals like Business and Professional Communication Quarterly, and she is a contributing author to Digital Business Discourse (Ed. Erika Darics, Palgrave, 2015). She has reviewed countless business communication textbooks, manuscript proposals, articles, book chapters, and conference papers.  

A member of ABC since 2007, she regularly presents her work at the annual ABC conference and participates in the ABC Research Committee and Rhetoric Special Interest Group.  She recently served ABC as conference co-chair for the 80th annual conference in Seattle and now looks forward to working with the ABC Board and its membership as a Director at Large. 


Barbara Shwom
Northwestern University
Term: 2014-2018

Barbara ShwomDr. Barbara Shwom, Northwestern University, holds joint appointments in the Kellogg School of Management, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, and McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science. For more than 30 years, she has designed and taught a wide variety of communication courses at Northwestern, including Writing in Organizations (Kellogg), Communicating Complex Data (McCormick), and Professional Business Communication (Weinberg). She also serves as a communication coach for graduate and undergraduate project teams in McCormick’s Segal Design Institute, where she helps students prepare design presentations for both corporate and entrepreneurial clients. Professor Shwom’s teaching at Northwestern has been recognized by both an outstanding teacher award and an appointment as a fellow of Northwestern’s Searle Center for Teaching Excellence.

Dr. Shwom is also managing principal of Communication Partners and has consulted for organizations from a range of industries, including biotechnology, high tech research and development, pharmaceuticals, management consulting, market research, financial services, and engineering, and IT. Companies include Amgen, Eli Lilly, Bristol Myers Squibb, Medtronic, Kronos, Price Waterhouse, ZS Associates, Thomson Reuters, HSBC, and Viacom. In her work with these companies, she has focused on helping managers and executives communicate strategically; make strong, data-based business arguments; visually communicate complex data; and design effective presentations.

Dr. Shwom has served as president for both the Association for Business Communication and the Association of Professional Communication Consultants. In addition, she has co-authored two textbooks on managerial and business communication: Graphics and Visual Communication for Managers (2009), published by Cengage and Business Communication: Polishing Your Professional Presence (2011 and 2013) published by Pearson.


Amy Newman
Cornell University
Term: 2014-2018

Amy NewmanAmy Newman is a senior lecturer of management communication at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. She teaches core classes on business writing and persuasive communication skills and a corporate communication elective that focuses on crisis communication and communication technologies. Amy is author of the textbook Business Communication: In Person, In Print, Online (Cengage, 9e). Amy has won grants to develop technology-based learning solutions and awards for teaching excellence and student advising.

As an active member of ABC, Amy presents annually at ABC conferences, has presented at ABC Europe, and was the lunchtime guest speaker at the ABC Southwestern conference in 2012. Amy also serves on the Teaching with Technology SIG and delivered part of a panel presentation in 2012.

Prior to joining Cornell, Amy held corporate positions in Fortune 1000 companies, most recently as the director of employee development for Reuters North and South America and, as an external consultant, director of training and development for Scholastic Inc. She earned a B.S. from Cornell University and an M.S. from Milano, The New School for Management and Urban Policy in New York City. Amy maintains a blog, BizCom in the News (, and has chronicled more than 500 news stories related to business communication.
Sana Reynolds
Baruch College, City University of New York
Term: 2014-2018

Sana ReynoldsDr. Sana Reynolds, formerly an Associate Professor at New York University, Stern School of Business, and currently on the Communication Studies faculty at Baruch College, City University of New York, has over 25 years of extensive multinational experience as a consultant in the United States and overseas. She has successfully completed assignments for British, Chinese, Indonesian, Japanese, Middle Eastern, Russian and Swiss companies. Dr. Reynolds has a proven track record developing programs in cross-cultural communication and organizational communication, and coaching executives for promotion. In addition to native fluency in English, French, Ukrainian, and eight years' living and working experience in Western Europe and in Asia, she has a Ph.D. from Tulane University, a Doctorat d'universite from the Sorbonne, and a M.A. from Middlebury.
Sana has been a member of the Association of Business Communication for over a decade. Her commitment to the organization is demonstrated by faithful attendance and presentations at annual meetings both in the US and in Europe and her service as Chair of the Intercultural SIG. Of note are two areas where her efforts are particularly useful to ABC:

  • Her presentations focus on bridging the gap between academe and industry. Her books — Guide to Cross-Cultural Communication and Guide for Internationals: Culture, Language and ESL — amply demonstrate her ability to bridge the gap and are widely used both in universities and in business.   
  • Her efforts to expand SIG meetings to include symposia where panels of experts present thought-provoking and often controversial topics of interest to members.


Maryann Wysor
Georgia State University
Term: 2014-2018

Maryann WysorMaryann Wysor, M.B.A., Georgia State University, joined the Georgia State University faculty in the J. Mack Robinson College of Business in September 1990. She is an instructor for Business Communication Programs in the Department of Marketing, teaching business communication for undergraduates. She also designed a course for international graduate students to improve their fluency in written and spoken English. For the past 13 years she has been a Co-Director of the Annual Women’s Leadership Forum, which features keynote speakers and panelists addressing the challenges faced by women in today's business environment. Previously, she had also been the Co-Director of a Women's Mentor Program, which matched women business professionals with women graduate students. She enjoyed the opportunity of teaching mid-level business managers in Egypt as part of a certificate program.
She attended classes at the Ecole Superieure de Commerce Exterieure in Paris, France, and is APICS Certified (American Production and Inventory Control Society) with experience in manufacturing operations. Prior to coming to Georgia State, Maryann was a planner-scheduler with KitchenAid Inc. and a production control supervisor with WCI Incorporated. She also maintains a South Carolina Realtor License.

She won top honors with Ron Weiser for the Innovative Teaching Award from the Southern Business Administration Association in 1998 for teaching excellence on the HomeStretch project. 

As an active member of the Association for Business Communication, Maryann has been a consistent presenter as the regional and international conferences for this association since 1996, Co-Chair of the International Issues Committee, and former Chair of the Convention Procedures Committee. She received the Francis W. Weeks Award of Merit from ABC. Maryann chaired the 65th Annual Convention in Atlanta, GA in October 2000, the 68th Annual Convention in Albuquerque, NM in October 2003, and the 79th Annual Convention in Philadelphia.


Jennifer Veltsos
Minnesota State University, Mankato
Term: 2015-2019


Dr. Jennifer Veltsos is the Director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Minnesota State University, Mankato. She is also an Associate Professor and Director of the Technical Communication Program in the Department of English. Her research interests include data visualization, visual rhetoric, and organizational rhetoric. She regularly teaches courses in business communication, visual communication, research methods, instructional design, and proposals. She has also taught professional communication for the M.B.A. program and special topics courses in marketing communication and organizational rhetoric. Jennifer has extensive experience teaching online in both synchronous and asynchronous formats. She earned her Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Professional Communication from Iowa State University, a M.A. in Technical Communication from Minnesota State University, Mankato, and an M.B.A. and a B.S. in Marketing from University of Louisiana Lafayette.

In addition to teaching, Jennifer freelances as a marketing and technical writer. Prior to her career in higher education, she was the community relations manager at Barnes and Noble Bookstore Mankato and a communications specialist for the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation, and Tourism.

A member of the Association for Business Communication since 2006, Jennifer is a member of the Research Committee and the Rhetoric Special Interest Group. She was the program co-chair of the 2013 Association for Business Communication International Conference and the 2014 ABC-Midwest U.S. Regional Conference in Minneapolis, and she formerly served on the Convention Procedures Committee. Being a member of ABC has given Jennifer a sense of community, expanded her professional network, and exposed her to new ideas and pedagogies through the journals and the annual conferences. She is delighted to have the opportunity to serve the organization as a member of its Board of Directors.


D. Joel Whalen
DePaul University
Term: 2015-2019

Joel WhalenJoel Whalen is an associate professor of marketing and director of curriculum at DePaul University’s Center for Sales Leadership.

DePaul's 4,700 undergraduate business students take his Effective Business Communication class. He teaches business communication online at

He has received several business and teaching awards and is the author of Professional Communications Toolkit (Sage, 2006) and 4-Second PowerPoint Slides (Spenser & McGee, 2015).




Marsha Bayless
Stephen F. Austin State University
Term: 2016-2020

Bayless.jpgMarsha L. Bayless is a Professor in the Department of Business Communication and Legal Studies in the Nelson Rusche College of Business at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas.  She was on the ABC Board from 1998 to 2007 and served as the Vice President for the Southwestern United States and held officer roles including ABC President.  She was president at the conference held in San Antonio (2006).

Marsha is interested In returning to the ABC Board at this time to continue to support the association, to offer ideas for the future, and to provide an additional voice for business communication faculty in Colleges of Business.

Marsha’s research focuses on pedagogical issues such as online teaching, team interaction, and use of technology.  She has presented at all ABC conferences since 1990 (except for the first one in Hawaii!).  Her regional involvement has been with the Association for Business Communication Southwestern United States where she served as program chair and president.  She has won the Outstanding Scholar Award for the region and the Outstanding Educator Award.

Marsha has received a number of ABC awards including the Meada Gibbs Outstanding Teaching Award, The Fellow of ABC, the Francis W. Weeks Award of Merit, and the Distinguished Member Award. 


Sam DeKay
BNY Mellon Corporation, NYC
Term: 2016-2020

DeKay.jpgI have been a member of ABC since 2005. That year, I attended my first conference—the Southeastern Conference in Greensboro, NC—and then, in October, the Annual Convention in Irvine, CA.  Any qualms that I may have had about the organization—I am a bizcom practitioner, rather than a teacher—were fully put to rest. The research being presented seemed relevant to practitioners, and the members were warmly accepting of newcomers.

I have served as Chair of the Business Practices Committee since 2008. In that capacity, I have attempted to provide a voice for ABC members who have had, or continue to have, experience within non-academic workplaces.  The Committee’s Focus on Business Practices themed sections in Business and Professional Communication Quarterly continue to serve as a means of informing all ABC members concerning the communicative goings-on of those workplaces where our students will soon be employed. According to Sage, these are well-read articles.

At the 2015 Annual Conference in Philadelphia, I was recipient of the Francis W. Weeks Award of Merit.

As a candidate for at-large member of the ABC Board of Directors, I strongly feel that we need more two-way conversation between practitioners in the workplace and teachers in bizcom classrooms. The members of ABC have useful research to convey to communications professionals; conversely, those professionals have much of value for teachers concerning communicative practices outside the classroom. The Focus on Business Practices themed section can contribute to this conversation, but, truthfully, it is not enough. We are, it seems, in need of specific methods to narrow the gap between academic and non-academic perspectives on business communication. I hope to assist with narrowing that gap.