Friday, November 1, 2013


Topic: “Virginia Lottery's 25 Years of Contributions to the Commonwealth”
Date: Thursday, December 5
Speaker: Paula Otto, Executive Director, Virginia Lottery
Time: 11:45 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Cost: $25 for members and full-time students; $30 for non-members
Location: Owens & Minor, 9120 Lockwood Blvd. Mechanicsville, VA 23116
About Our Speaker
Paula Otto was part of the Virginia Lottery long before the first ticket was sold in 1988. She was a member of the original group of people who worked to build the Lottery from scratch. As the Lottery’s first Director of Public Affairs, she was instrumental in shaping and protecting the Lottery’s public image.

In 1997 she left the Lottery to accept a faculty position at Virginia Commonwealth University, eventually rising to the position of Associate Director of the School of Mass Communications. Eleven years later she was tapped to lead the Lottery as Executive Director in its 20th birthday year – and beyond. Otto was reappointed by Governor Bob McDonnell in 2010.

With the unique experience of having been there at the start, Ms. Otto understands how the Lottery occupies a place in Virginia’s infrastructure that straddles a line between government and business. Since taking over as Executive Director, she has fostered strategic planning and the use of technology to optimize the amount of revenue the Lottery raises for Virginia’s K-12 public schools. She and the Lottery’s 260 full-time employees take great pride in maintaining the Lottery’s reputation for integrity, innovation and fun.

Ms. Otto grew up in Arlington, Virginia. She graduated with a degree in journalism from West Virginia University and earned a master’s degree in public communication from American University. She worked as a television news reporter and anchor in West Virginia and later with WTVR-TV in Richmond before joining the Lottery.

Otto is active with several community groups including the boards of the Virginia Voice radio reading service and the Girl Scouts of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Otto also volunteers with Bon Secours Hospitals. She and her husband live in Hanover.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

November Program, Luncheon and Tour

Topic: "The Challenges of Marketing a Best Kept Secret"

Date: Thursday, November 7

Anita Waters, Director of Public Relations and Marketing of the Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen

11:45 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Cost: $25 for members and full-time students; $30 for non-members

Location: PLEASE NOTE THE CHANGE IN LOCATION FOR THIS EVENT: Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen, 2880 Mountain Road, Glen Allen, VA 23060

Register: Register at by Tuesday, November 5


“The Challenges of Marketing a Best Kept Secret”
Join us at the beautiful Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen for our November Program which will include a tour, lunch anda presentation by Anta Waters, Director of Public Relations and Marketing of The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen.
About Our Speaker

Anita Waters has been the Director of Public Relations and Marketing of The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen since April 2004. Prior to serving in this position, Anita served on the board of Directors.

Prior to coming to The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen, Anita worked as Marketing Manager at S&K Famous Brands Menswear Corporate Headquarters and at Eskimo Pie Corporation where she managed product packaging design.

Anita graduated from Bridgewater College with a B.A. in Fine Arts, and she earned an M.B.A. from the University of Richmond.

In her free time, Anita enjoys running and biking as well as volunteering as an assistant coach for Sports Backers Marathon Training Team.

Anita also enjoys building and decorating dollhouses. Several of her dollhouses have been displayed at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens
during the GardenFest of Lights.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Topic: “Live From New York: Lessons Learned from the 2013 IABC World Conference”

Date: Thursday, October 3

Speaker: Larand Lancaster, Vice President of Communications, IABC/Richmond

Time: 11:45 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Cost: $25 for members and full-time students; $30 for non-members

Location: Owens & Minor, 9120 Lockwood Blvd. Mechanicsville, VA 23116

Register at by Tuesday, October 1

“Live from New York: Lessons Learned from the 2013 IABC World Conference”

It was summer, it was IABC, and it was New York!

IABC offers a number of professional development opportunities to communicators from all over the globe throughout the year, and for Larand Lancaster, the 2013 IABC World Conference was one such opportunity that became one of the most memorable experiences of her career.

Join us as Larand shares her experiences from the conference - the people she met, the advice she got from the taxi driver, the celebrities she saw and the knowledge she gained from the sessions at the 2013 IABC World Conference in New York City.

About Our Speaker
Larand Lancaster is a native of Richmond, Virginia. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Communications and a bachelor’s degree in Theatre Arts from Virginia Tech.

Larand also has completed graduate coursework in Digital Media and earned a certification in Strategic Communication Management.

Larand Lancaster has been a member of IABC/Richmond for nearly four years and currently is the Vice President of Communications for the chapter. Larand’s primary role is to create communication campaigns to promote IABC/Richmond activities and events through e-mail, the IABC/Richmond web site, local media and social media and through developing relationships with other professional organizations. During her time on the IABC/Richmond board, Larand served as a judge on a Silver Quill Award judging committee.

During her career, Larand has worked in the marketing, public relations and human resources departments of organizations in various industries, including non-profit, the arts, the private sector and public agencies to develop communication products that maximize the use of technology.
Larand has experience in strategic communication, print publication management, web site management, branding and identity campaigns and graphic design for internal and external audiences.

Currently, Larand works at a state government agency where she is responsible for employee communication, the intranet and digital signage.

In her free time, Larand enjoys creative writing, all things media (movies, television, etc.), trying new restaurants, keeping up with new technology and relaxing with family and friends.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Topic: "Growing Your Personal Brand and Protecting Your Reputation"
Date: Thursday, September 12
Speaker: Robin Russell McCasland
Time: 11:45 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Cost: $25 for members and full-time students; $30 for non-members
Location: Owens & Minor, 9120 Lockwood Blvd. Mechanicsville, VA 23116
Register: Register by Tuesday, September 10

About Our Program

Growing Your Personal Brand and Protecting Your Reputation
Personal branding is a popular catch phrase currently, and there’s plenty of information online about developing, growing and protecting your brand.

What makes up your personal brand? There are the skills and experience you bring to a role. You also possess unique qualities and traits that set you apart and make you more desirable as a communication professional. Reputation is another critically important ingredient of your personal brand. In the age of social media, checking up periodically on your virtual presence will help ensure you continue to be perceived among peers, clients and employers as the top-notch professional you are.

Come learn from 2013-2014 IABC Chair Robin McCasland as she shares with you how to recognize the intangible qualities that enhance your personal brands and make you more valuable and marketable as a communication professional. You’ll also learn why it’s worthwhile to go “ego surfing” online to ensure your reputation is solid.

About Our Speaker

Robin Russell McCasland
Robin is the 2013-2014 chair of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). She is an accomplished communication professional, recognized among her clients and colleagues for creative approaches to internal communication, with specializations in employee engagement strategies and internal branding.

Robin is serving currently as the Employee Engagement and Internal Communication Leader for the Services division of Dell Inc., in the Dallas area. Before joining Dell, she owned her own communication consulting practice. Previously, Robin was a director in the communication practice of Buck Consultants, a Xerox Company.

Earlier in her career, Robin spent several years in internal communication, marketing and public relations roles with Texas Instruments and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad.

Robin is a past chair of the IABC Research Foundation and has also served on the IABC Southern Region board. She has been president of the Dallas and Fort Worth IABC chapters and was honored as an IABC Dallas Communicator of the Year.

She has received an IABC Gold Quill, Silver Quill and several Bronze Quill awards over the past two decades. She has earned several Communicator Awards for her work on clients’ recruiting and benefits communication projects.

Robin served previously on the boards of Keep Texas Beautiful, Inc., and the Dallas Zoological Society. She is also a Leadership Texas alumnus, and received her bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communication from the University of Texas at Austin.

Robin enjoys traveling, gardening, painting and writing short stories. She also enjoys spending time with her husband, Mitch, and their two dogs, Sheba and Oscar.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Topic: “Richmond 2015: It’s Not (Really) About the Races”

Speaker: Lee Kallman, Marketing and Communications Director for Richmond 2015

Date: Thursday, June 6

Time: 11:45 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

$25 for members and full-time students; $30 for non-members

Location: Owens & Minor, 9120 Lockwood Blvd. Mechanicsville, VA 23116


About Our Program
UCI Road World Cycling Championships will race through the Richmond Region in September of 2015.

The race is estimated to have 450,000 on-site spectators, 1,000 world class athletes from over 75 countries competing in 12 World Championship races. This is sure to be a once in a lifetime opportunity for our region.

All that said, racing may be at the core of the 2015 initiative, but it's not what defines the effort.

Join us to learn more about the 2015 Road World Championships and how the organizers are challenged to communicate the broader message of why this means more to Richmond than just world-class racing.
About Our Speaker
Lee Kallman is the Marketing and Communications Director for Richmond 2015, the non-profit corporation responsible for the organization, management and promotion of the 2015 UCI Road World Cycling Championships.
Lee Kallman is a dynamic marketer with more than 16 years of agency and corporate experience across technology, sports and service industries.

Kallman began his career in 1995 working with EDS on the launch of the US Cycling Team’s “SuperBike” as well as the company’s sponsorship of the team through the 1996 Olympic Games. In 1997, Kallman shifted his focus to technology marketing with Alexander Communications, one of the premier, technology-marketing firms in the country.

In 1999, Alexander Communications was acquired by Ogilvy, where as a Vice President, Kallman lead a team focused on marketing and communications strategy and program implementation for companies such as Telstra, Cisco, Lucent Technologies as well as several hot start-ups.

In 2002, Kallman assumed the lead of the marketing department for the Atlanta Beat, Women’s Professional Soccer team. Over the next two years Kallman drove the strategy and successful implementation of grassroots, new media and traditional programs that lead to significant year-over-year growth in sponsorship and ticket sales.

Kallman transitioned to the corporate side of sports marketing in 2004 with Velocity Sports Performance, where he lead the company’s national marketing efforts while establishing successful partnerships with companies including Nike and Gatorade.

In 2006, he moved back to his hometown of Richmond, VA, to become the Managing Partner in Happy Face Photography, a local children’s photography company. Over the next four years Kallman expanded the operations throughout three states, doubled revenue and then sold the business to Lifetouch National School Studios.

Lee lives in Richmond’s West End with his wife, Faith, and two children, Ali and Sander. Lee can often be found bicycling throughout the rural roads of the Richmond region.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Topic: "Better Communications Across All Generations"
Date: Thursday, May 2
Speaker: Matt Thornhill, Founder and President of The Boomer Project
Time: 11:45 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Cost: $25 for members and full-time students; $30 for non-members
Location: Owens & Minor, 9120 Lockwood Blvd. Mechanicsville, VA 23116
Register: Register
by Tuesday, April 30

Based on proprietary research, this provocative, engaging and entertaining presentation will open your eyes and mind on how to better design effective communications to reach all generations in both the workplace and marketplace.

During our May program, Matt Thornhill, Founder and President of the Boomer Project, will share specific strategies, tactics and approaches to more effectively connect with Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials.

About our speaker
In the last ten years, Matt Thornhill has successfully built the Boomer Project into the nation's leading authority on marketing to today's Boomer Consumer.

The Boomer Project clients include Walmart, Google, AARP and Lowe's Home Improvement. More recently, the Boomer Project as developed a new training program designed to raise awareness about generational diversity in the workplace called GenerationsMatter.

Matt is routinely featured in stories about generations and Boomers in The Wall Street Journal, TIME Magazine, USA Today, CBS Evening News and NPR's Morning Edition. He co-wrote, Boomer Consumer, an award-winning business book, and he writes the Viva the Vital op/ed column for The Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

April Program and Luncheon

Topic: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Content Writers
Date: Thursday, April 4
Speaker: Kris Spisak
Time: 11:45 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Cost: $25 for members and full-time students; $30 for non-members
: Owens & Minor, 9120 Lockwood Blvd. Mechanicsville, VA 23116

Register: Register at by Tuesday, April 2

Creating strong content on the web is a must, but ensuring that content is seen should also be of the highest priority. What was once a service of programmers has shifted to the hands of content writers. Proper keyword placement, embedded links, and other SEO techniques can enhance any site's traffic. Applying these methods while keeping a focus on strong writing is often where marketing departments fall short. Search Engine Optimization combined with fluid, well-written communications is key.

About our speaker
Kris Spisak is the President of Petrofy, a web development company specializing in eCommerce and content management systems, and the C.E.O. of K. S. Writing, a communications company with a mission to bolster the literary arts community by connecting professional creative writers with businesses in need of their communication skills.

With a B.A. from the College of William & Mary and a M.L.A. from the University of Richmond, Kris began her career as a college writing instructor. She taught at Virginia Commonwealth University, the University of Richmond, and two central Virginia community colleges before shifting her focus away from the classroom.Her business publications range from local press releases to eCommerce copy for international retailers, and her personal publications include short fiction in Dark Sky Magazine, a former column in R Home, and academic research within the archives of the Richmond History Center. She is a member of the International Association of Business Communicators and on the James River Writers Board of Directors.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

February Program and Luncheon

Topic: “What We Learn from Mistakes in the Media”
Speaker: Elaine Mandaleris-Preddy
Date: Thursday, February 7
Time: 11:45 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Cost: $25 for members and full-time students; $30 for non-members
Location: Owens & Minor, 9120 Lockwood Blvd. Mechanicsville, VA 23116

Standards for language change over time, but which changes are acceptable for your workplace? 

Do you notice errors on signage, business Web posts, magazines, etc., or are they becoming so commonplace that you ignore them or are not even sure when you’re seeing or hearing them?

In our hurry-up world, carefully crafted communication seems to have gone by the wayside at times. We’re bombarded by 24-7 information from anyone who has the technology. How does that influence our standards for business communication?

Come to our February meeting to find out:
  • how to ensure that your staff members use appropriate wording for a business setting
  • how to simplify conventional rules for standard business English
  • when to make style changes in your workplace—how quickly or often
  • how to avoid mistakes in your own communication
About our speaker:
For much of her 28 years at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Elaine Mandaleris-Preddy edited publications that ranged from academic journals to magazines to the annual report to brochures and newsletters (in print and online).

She enjoyed working with authors to ensure their writing was clear and appropriate for their audience. Eventually, others around the Fed asked her to review documents and coach them on writing. So in 2007, she began conducting writing workshops that were tailored to the needs of each group.
With her logical, grammar-made-easy approach—using YouTube and other media sources for examples—she helped employees learn what they may have missed if they slept through high school English class.
Since retiring from the Fed in 2010, Elaine has been offering services as a freelancer in writing, editing, and communications coaching. She also has been pursuing another interest—voiceover work. Six months of voiceover training, lifelong experience in choral singing that includes 18 years with the Richmond Symphony Chorus and a stint as a college radio personality helped prepare her for this endeavor.
Elaine began her communications career in advertising. After graduating with a B.A. in English from the University of Virginia, Elaine worked at the Martin Agency, among other agencies.
Elaine has served in various board positions with IABC/Richmond.