Where We’ve Been
A little history for the newcomers… The mission of WCA is as follows:
- To promote the advancement of women in all fields of communications
- To work for the First Amendment rights and responsibilities of communicators
- To recognize distinguished professional achievements
- To promote high professional standards throughout the communications industry
This purpose still guides us today. At its peak, the organization had over 50 chapters across the nation and 13,000 members. However, in March 2013, leaders of the Austin chapter felt members would best be served by an independent organization, and the affiliation between what had been the Austin chapter of Association of Women in Communications and the national organization was discontinued, and Women Communicators of Austin (WCA) was born.
WCA is guided by 15 volunteer board members who serve from June 1st to May 31st the following year.
The board nominating committee, composed of Erin Huddleston (past president), Julie Wickert (past board member), Sandra Kleinsasser (member) and Lani Rosales (members), proposed 2020-2021 Board of Directors Slate and shared with the membership by email.
At this meeting, we took a voice vote of professional members in good standing to approve the proposed 2020-2021 Board of Directors Slate:
President: Andrea Exter
President-Elect: Ellen Decareau
Past President: Jenny Magic
Treasurer: Jenevieve Andersen
Secretary & VP Operations: Gina Helfrich
VP Communications: Kristen Hicks
VP Membership: Emlea Chanslor
VP Development: Julie Garcia
VP Career Services: Monique Carreon
VP Programs: Anne Lasseigne Tiedt
VP Professional Development: Kim Barnes
VP Special Programs: Jacqueline Sinex
VP Freelance Programming: Kara Myers
VP Philanthropy: Jennifer Stayton
VP Engagement: Tiffany Hammond
The membership unanimously approved the above slate and they will take office June 1, 2020.
Year In Review
MEMBERSHIP: This time last year we had 241 members. (For reference, when I sat on the board in 2011 that number was 200). As of today, we have 262 paying members, a net increase of almost 10%! Of those, 120 are new members (new to WCA), which means that one thing we need to work on in the coming year is retaining our beloved existing members.
PROGRAMS: In 2018 our Get Smart attendance was down 25%, Banner Brunch was down 35%, and we struggled to just break even on our monthly programs. This year
- Get Smart Sold Out – Attendance up 25%
- Banner Brunch attendance up 10%, and made extra $1,000 on the silent auction and raffle – all without a VP of Special Programs to run the event! (Thanks to the board and tons of volunteers who made it a success).
- We brought back Leader Lunch and sold out every one, and we had more attendees at our WCA@Lunch events than we’ve had in ages.
- Both locations of Careers Over Coffee are full every month and we’re considering adding additional locations to serve different neighborhoods.
- The Peer Mentor Program served over 60 mentees and added 5 new mentors
- Freelance Austin continues to thrive; programming and location will stay pretty much the same as well.
VOLUNTEERS: In the last 12 months, we’ve had more volunteers, more board applications, and every incoming VP has at least one person ready to shadow them and learn the role for future board recruiting and support.
FINANCES: We stuck to our zero-based budgeting: wIth the exception of the holiday party which is a recruiting and retention expense, every single event made money. A transition to a non-profit account with Quickbooks will save over $800 EVERY YEAR
Last year I told you we would keep the things that are working and fix what’s not. This meant tighter budgets, more focused programming, and recommitment to the programs that are seeing success. I am so proud of how far we’ve come!
Late in 2019 the Freelance Austin committee approached the WCA board with a request to update the Freelance Austin logo. They felt the existing logo was outdated and the symbols didn’t mean much.
The WCA board agreed that it was time for an update, but we also discussed that we should use this opportunity to more closely align the two logos. Longtime Freelance Austin committee member Gail Gonzales of Greater Good Graphic Design stepped up and hours of her time later, we arrived at these light refreshes of the two logos:
The directive was to create a more modern, bolder look that isn’t a complete rebrand. We stayed with the same basic colors and the similar fonts to tie the two logos together in a clear way. The addition of the dark navy unifies the logos and adds contrast. The green accent color will be used heavily as part of both branding strategies, for example in this tagline usage:
We’re excited to refresh these logos to meet the needs of the organization, and look forward to hearing your what you think! Watch for these updates to begin rolling out in the coming weeks.