Will Cleveland's Kelly Blazek Keep Her IABC Award? The Answer Is ...

Blazek returns the award following nasty email backlash

IABCIABC award winner Kelly Blazek returned the honor.

In 2013 Cleveland's IABC chapter honored local marketing pro and Cleveland Job Bank founder, Kelly Blazek, with its prestigious "Communicator of the Year" Award. Now, mere months later, the venerable organization has found itself at the center of a communications buzzsaw, as Blazek's nasty emails to jobseekers went viral last week via social media. See the original story here, and the follow-ups here and here.

The difficult decision was just announced a few minutes ago.

The IABC Cleveland Chapter board of directors and Kelly Blazek have mutually agreed that she will return the chapter's 2013 Communicator of the Year award. The decision was made in the best interest of IABC, its members, and its mission.

Ms. Blazek, who is not an IABC member, agrees she will not use the Communicator of the Year designation in any way going forward, and apologizes to the members of the Cleveland chapter.

IABC remains committed to providing professional communicators with the very best in content, community, and professional-development opportunities.

The 2013 award announcement page is gone. The organization posted this statement on February 28:

The IABC Cleveland chapter Board of Directors is very much aware of and is actively reviewing the current situation with Ms. Kelly Blazek. The award of Communicator of the Year is not given lightly and any decision about her award will be made mindfully. We are in that process. While some might want a very quick decision, we will react only after thoroughly considering all aspects.

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Sarah Browne

Sarah Browne


Sarah Browne is a consumer insights strategist, writer, and expert advisor on trends, innovation and emerging cultural change, especially in the workplace. A serial entrepreneur and specialist in angel investing, she loves to be in-the-trenches, taking seed stage products from concept to commercialization.

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