Outgoing Presidential Address

2018 ABC Conference - Miami, Florida

October 25, 2018


by Lisa Gueldenzoph Snyder

It has been my honor and privilege to serve as your 2018 President of the Association for Business Communication. We have had a GREAT year due to the many, many talented and dedicated ABC members who volunteer their time and expertise.


I could say that “many hands make light work,” but there has been a LOT of “heavy lifting” this year – by a LOT of people! As you will note below, it takes not only a village, as they say, but an entire organization of committed members to move forward the work of ABC.


  • Thank you to our Executive Director who has a wealth of institutional knowledge and a driven vision to ensure the growing success of ABC.


  • Thank you to our Office Manager who works tirelessly to respond to every question, concern, and issue both quickly and thoroughly.


  • Thank you to the ever-present and collaborative Executive Committee who dedicates themselves to monthly meetings and weekly emails throughout the year. Each year, your Executive Committee is slightly different in that it includes the Immediate Past President, President, First Vice President, Second Vice President, and Executive Director. These dedicated ABC members also run your annual Board meetings.


  • Thank you to our Regional Vice Presidents (RVPs) who support our members across the globe through conferences and grass-roots efforts to increase ABC’s reach. We have nine ABC regions that cover the globe. The RVPs are elected from the members in their region, and each RVP serves a four-year term.


  • Thank you to our Board of Directors who provide invaluable input on our operational guidelines, financial status, new initiatives, and strategic planning during marathon meetings before each conference and through forum discussions year-round.  In addition to the Executive Committee (5 people) and the RVPs (9 people), the Board includes 12 Directors  At Large who represent the membership. Collectively, the 26 people who serve on the ABC Board provide oversight and guidance that chart ABC’s future.


  • Thank you to our Technology Coordinators who support multiple communication mediums to ensure our members are well informed and have ready access to our many membership benefits throughout the year.


  • Thank you to our journal editors and proceedings editors for overseeing our discipline’s intellectual contributions, and to their associate editors and review boards for their time and effort to ensure the quality of our publications, and to the authors and co-authors who submit manuscripts for review.


  • Thank you to our regional and national conference coordinators for the seemingly never-ending work they do to create top-quality professional development experiences, and to the many volunteers who help them keep things running smoothly, and to everyone who presented at an ABC or affiliate conference.


  • Thank you to our newsletter editor for keeping members well-informed and for taking on the added responsibility of the new position of ABC Historian to maintain the archives of the organization.


  • Thank you to our new Coordinator position to improve ABC’s diversity and inclusion efforts – our D&I Committee has worked long and hard on many issues, but with the new Coordinator position as a liaison with the Board, we hope to do even more.


  • Thank you to our committee chairs and co-chairs of our many standing committees, ad hoc committees, and special interest groups who work to fulfill the goals of organization, often in very creative and forward-thinking ways.


I could write several paragraphs about the many accomplishments that ABC has achieved in the last year, so given the constraints of time and space, I apologize for listing them all. I can only skim the surface by mentioning that...


  • not just one but BOTH of our journals are now included in the Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), which significantly increases both the visibility and value of our organization’s publications;


  • we now have an ABC SIG as part of the Four C’s – the Conference on College Composition and Communication – a significant accomplishment spearheaded by a subgroup of our Marketing and Membership Committee;


  • we have developed a teaching-centered mentoring program to connect new colleagues in our discipline with experienced members, many who have won teaching awards – this effort is headed by a sub-group of our Teaching Committee;


  • our “My Favorite Assignment” resources are available to members on our ABC website, with many more interesting member benefits yet to come;


  • and with this conference, we are launching an ambassador program that supports new members and first-time attendees as they navigate our conference and membership benefits.


We also have as several exciting initiatives in progress, such as...


  • a proposed ABC-sponsored certificate program in business communication to offer instructional credentialing,


  • an institutional membership category to promote increased access to potential members, and


  • a database archive of diversity and inclusion resources based on the D&I Lightning Round sessions.


These are just a few of the many, many things that ABC does to promote the teaching, research, and practice of business communication. Words do not express my sincere gratitude and appreciation for everything that our staff, officers, directors, coordinators, committee chairs, SIGS, ad hoc groups, and all our “actively active” members are doing for ABC.

To put the work we do in context, at our recent meeting in Miami, the Board received a packet of more than 300 pages of combined reports documenting the organization’s work in the last 12 months – 300 pages – single spaced! – from ABC members who volunteer their time and energy because they are committed to our organization’s success.

I am grateful – so very grateful – to have had the opportunity to serve ABC in many roles over the years, but especially this past year as your president. I am confident that with your continued support, we will continue to do great things long into the future to support ABC’s vision and mission.