Thomas C. Keefe, ABC, Receives 2014 Karen Utterback Award for IABC Volunteerism

Jun 05, 2014, 08:00 ET from IABC/Chicago

CHICAGO, June 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The 2013-14 IABC/Chicago Executive Committee selected Thomas C. Keefe, ABC, as the recipient of the 2014 Karen Utterback Award for Volunteerism. Keefe received the award at the IABC/Chicago Bronze Quill Awards Celebration June 4 at Nacional 27 in downtown Chicago.

The Karen Utterback Award honors a senior-level communications professional who consistently demonstrates excellence in communication practice, while donating their time and effort to the betterment of the Chicago chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). The award commemorates former IABC/Chicago president Karen Utterback, ABC, a dedicated IABC/Chicago leader who helped build the chapter as the premier networking and educational organization for professional business communicators in the Chicago area. Utterback died of natural causes in 2009 while serving as chapter president. The award honors her memory and tremendous contributions to IABC/Chicago.

"We are proud to announce Tom as this year's Karen Utterback Award recipient. His leadership and dedication to excellence moved the chapter forward during the years after Karen's unexpected death. He consistently gives back to the community, represents excellence in communication practice, and leads with unparalleled integrity," said Justin Brunner, past president of IABC/Chicago. "He has donated countless hours to IABC. We're proud of Tom's work and thrilled to award him the chapter's highest honor."

For more than 30 years Keefe has used his writing, presentation and production skills within both public and private U.S. based companies. He currently serves as a communication specialist within VW Credit, Inc., the financial services subsidiary of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., where he has been for the past decade.

Keefe joined IABC in April 2000 and earned the association's Accredited Business Communicator (ABC) designation in 2005. Shortly after, he was invited to join a small group of bloggers who contributed to the IABC Cafe, the official IABC blog. In April 2008, he joined the Social Responsibility Subcommittee of the IABC Executive Board. That subcommittee created a website focused on social responsibility communications and began to promote the "Gift of Communication" program nationwide.

Keefe joined the IABC/Chicago Board of Directors in 2009 as co-director of marketing. He focused on developing the chapter's social media presence and digital communications. After the unexpected death of Karen Utterback in August of that year, Keefe volunteered as president-elect and became chapter president in July 2010.

In 2011, he chaired the IABC World Conference Hospitality Committee in Chicago. That committee created conference marketing and publicity material, planned and organized numerous social activities, and recruited chapter volunteers to serve during the 2012 IABC World Conference. He has been a speaker and panelist at local, regional and international IABC conferences, and at workshops and conferences organized by other communication associations.

About IABC/Chicago:

The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) is a global network of communication professionals committed to improving organizational effectiveness through strategic communication. Established in 1970, IABC serves more than 16,000 members in 70 countries with a multi-disciplinary approach to corporate communication, public relations, employee communication, marketing communication, media relations, community relations, public affairs, financial communications and government relations. IABC/Chicago ( is the oldest and the second largest IABC chapter in the U.S. with more than 500 members in the Chicago area.