Upcoming Meetings

Board of Directors

President
Jay Thomas
1973
  Bio:

Jay has been a member of IABC for 16 years. Since relocating to Colorado in 2013,he has served in multiple leadership roles in the chapter including Vice President, Communication, Administration and President-Elect. Professionally, Jay leads the advertising function on behalf of a nationwide network of nonprofit agencies that provide service and product solutions to federal and commercial customers. During his tenure, he has launched and managed a yearlong campaign on behalf of a federal program for people with disabilities and branded and launched a national electronics recycling network. Jay’s work has won awards from the IABC and PRSA Washington, DC chapters and from printing, school public relations and municipal government industry associations. He has experience in media relations, marketing and brand communications, advertising, internal and external change management, speechwriting, and graphic and multimedia design. Jay also spent nearly 10 years with Maryland-based Melwood, where he oversaw communication, marketing and fund development for one of the nation’s largest non-profits employing people with disabilities. Jay earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communication and minor in human services from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/jaymthomas1

 

President Elect
Melanie Rice
Crux Strategic Communications
  Bio:

The founder of Crux Strategic Communications, Melanie is an employee engagement geek, marketing communication maven, entrepreneur and obsessed Oregon Duck football fan. In addition to serving as Vice President of Membership for IABC Colorado since 2015, Melanie served as creative director and led the marketing team for the IABC Southern Region Conference in Denver, October 15-17, 2015. She also is an active member of PRSA. Melanie has directed communications teams for over 25 years at industry-leading Fortune 500 companies, including Molson Coors Brewing Company, Newmont Mining Corporation, H-P, Compaq and Tandem Computers. This breadth of experience enables her to excel strategically, creatively and tactically in a broad range of communication disciplines. With the perfect balance of right-brain/left-brain thinking, Melanie Rice earned a B.S. in Quantitative Analysis from University of Oregon and a M.B.A. in Marketing from Golden Gate University, San Francisco, Calif. 
https://www.linkedin.com/in/melrice

 

Vice President Finance
Linh Truong
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
 

Vice President Administration
Jo Solonika
CoBank
  Bio:

Jo is a corporate communications and marketing professional with success in developing and implementing game-changing strategies and programs that drive bottom-line results. She is a proactive, strategic business partner known for improving business results and driving brand awareness through effective corporate communications and marketing. Jo currently serves as vice president-corporate communications at CoBank, a national cooperative bank serving vital industries across rural America. Previously she led corporate communications and content marketing at IHS Markit, the leading source of information and insight in critical areas that shape today's business landscape. Prior to that, she served in similar roles for other large organizations. Jo previously served on the IABC Colorado board in various roles, including chapter president. She is a passionate proponent of her profession and also greatly enjoys her work. Jo presents seminars on topics including corporate communication, the benefits of an inclusive workforce, leadership and personal career development. She also serves on the board of the Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking (www.lcht.com). Jo holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Minot State University, Minot, North Dakota, and attended postgraduate studies in history at George Washington University, Washington, D.C. She invites you to be involved within the communications profession and to connect with her on Twitter (@josolonika) and LinkedIn (in/josolonika).

 

Co-Vice President Membership
Cathy Beuten
CU
  Bio:

Cathy is a career-long communicator, starting as a clerk at the Rocky Mountain News, moving on to writing and editing for small newspapers, then returning to the Rocky as content editor and writer. She shifted to university communications in 2004, joining the University of Colorado Denver as communications specialist. She is now multimedia editor in University Relations for the CU Office of the President, where her responsibilities include managing the cu.edu website content, producing the monthly president's newsletter, posting compelling information about CU on social media sites, monitoring and responding to queries and concerns via email and on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, keeping up with tech and social trends, writing features and news stories and producing podcasts, video and photos. She is a big fan of family, friends, dogs, gardening and heavy metal music. 
https://www.linkedin.com/in/catherine-beuten-8a8a2212/

 

Co-Vice President Membership
Deanna Geldens
Geldens Communication
  Bio:

Deanna Geldens is a senior marketing communications consultant with more than 30 years' experience in higher education, health care and nonprofit communications. She manages marketing and social campaigns for the Association of Surgical Technologists and other external communications projects for clients such as the Boettcher Foundation, Art Gym Denver, Ruffalo Noel Levitz and the University of Colorado Denver. Geldens previously served on the IABC Colorado board in the positions of vice president of finance and vice president of professional development. She holds a master's in communications from the University of Denver and a bachelor's in business from William Jewell College.

 

Senior Delegate and Past President
Alannah Smith
Craig Hospital
  Bio:

Alannah is an experienced communications professional specializing in the health care and wellness sectors. With a passion for sustainability, creativity and a dedication to data-driven solutions, Alannah provides innovative and forward-thinking strategies to address the unique communication needs for internal and external challenges in a health care environment. Prior to relocating to Colorado where she is now leading marketing and communications strategy at Craig Hospital, Alannah had a successful career in the health care sector in Toronto, Ontario, working in Corporate Communications at a large community hospital in the high-tech capital of Canada. Alannah has been involved with IABC since 2010 and has served on various committees at the Toronto and Colorado chapters including serving as a director on the Professional Development committee (Toronto) and Membership Committee (Colorado) prior to serving as Co-VP of Professional Development on IABC Colorado’s 2016-2017 Board of Directors and as President-Elect on the 2017-2018 Board. Alannah earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from The University of Western Ontario and completed graduate studies in Corporate Communications at Seneca College of Art and Design at York University in Toronto, Ontario. Alannah looks forward to continuing to grow with IABC Colorado and is proud to be serving as President of the 2018-2019 Board of Directors.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/alannah-smith-25172219

 

Vice President Communications
Sabrina Hall
Arcadis
  Bio:

Sabrina is an experienced communications professional with 20 years of experience in content marketing and corporate communications. Her specialties include content strategy, communications planning and internal communications. Sabrina currently serves as senior content marketing manager for Arcadis, a global design and consultancy firm for natural and built assets, where she is responsible for all aspects of developing and implementing North American marketing campaigns. Prior to joining Arcadis, Sabrina spent 10 years as manager of organizational communications for Denver Water, where she managed the utility's internal communications program and was a leadership member of the brand journalism team. Before joining Denver Water, Sabrina had communication leadership roles in corporate, government and agency organizations. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Colorado State University and a master’s degree in applied communications from the University of Denver. Sabrina has been an active IABC member since 2013.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinahall/

 

Vice President Professional Development
Benjamin Kmetz
Kaiser Permanente
  Bio:

Ben is an experienced communications professional with a focus on internal and executive communications, employee engagement, and change management. He currently serves as a Communications Consultant for Kaiser Permanente and is based in Greenwood Village, CO. Ben has been a member of IABC for more than seven years in various locations, including San Francisco and Silicon Valley in California. He moved to Denver in the summer of 2017 and immediately became a member of the IABC Colorado chapter. Since that time, Ben has attended many events and assisted with a variety membership projects. Prior to employment with Kaiser Permanente, Ben has worked for eBay, Bank of the West, and Pacific Gas and Electric. He also has communications experience in the credit union and legal industries. Ben received his BA in Psychology and Communications from Saint John's University (MN) and is also a member of PRSA, ACMP, Toastmasters, and more than one book club.