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Kirsty Bowen has been named as the new volunteer IoIC Central director, and will lead the implementation of events and activities across the entire central region. 

A long-serving member of the regional team, having set up the successful Coventry and Warwickshire hubs, Kirsty succeeds Rich Baker, who is stepping aside to focus on his board director role at IoIC. 
“I’ve always enjoyed being part of the team,” says Kirsty, internal communications manager for Coventry Building Society. “The regional hubs are a brilliant way for IoIC to show its value as a professional body in supporting people in their careers, and the experience I’ve gained from running them has led to me wanting to contribute more broadly.”
Continuing the region’s sharp growth

The Central Region has seen fantastic membership growth over the past three years – and Kirsty is keen to bring together more people from different IC backgrounds and with different experiences.
“In our region we have a lot of big companies, with practitioners who have knowledge of the latest tools and trends,” she says. “But there is also a large number of smaller companies, where people have budgetary or technology challenges that restrict what they can do.
“What we all have in common is our passion for internal communication. Everyone has something to share about how to make the most of different opportunities, to take the profession further.”
Personal development and goals
Kirsty acknowledges Rich’s huge contribution on both a regional and national level, and says, through her own involvement, she has benefited from building her professional network.
She has also grown her confidence in identifying hot topics and speakers, and pulling it all together into impactful, member-led events. Bringing practitioners together to share their challenges and hear others’ ideas on how to tackle them has made a difference to people on an everyday basis.
Now Kirsty hopes to extend the reach of the community, and keep in touch regularly with members to see where the group is hitting the mark and what gaps need to be addressed.
“It would be great to mirror the success we’ve had in some Central areas across the whole region, and I’m keen to find people to join the team who can help us do that,” says Kirsty.
"And I’d like to look at other ways to connect people, such as through LinkedIn or private groups, as it’s not always easy for everyone to meet face to face.”
Valuable contribution of all members

Rich believes the success of the region is due largely to the work of members and volunteers who have contributed to the gatherings and conversations.
“My focus over the past two years has been to grow regional presence to accelerate growth in membership – and I’m pleased to say that strategy has worked,” says Rich. “I’m particularly proud of the growth we’ve seen in regional membership, and the work we’ve done with our Northern colleagues in making the Central and North Awards such a phenomenal success.”
In his continuing role as an IoIC board member, Rich will retain regions as a key focus, supporting all region directors, including Kirsty, in building community, consistency and quality for members.
Kirsty says she is excited about making a difference in a profession that has evolved greatly.
“Internal communication is now more about coaching and advising, and building others’ confidence and skills so that they can communicate more effectively,” she reflects. “I still like to deliver communications, but I love to see other people developing their skills. That’s where we can add more value and, increasingly, organisations are recognising that.
“IoIC exists to contribute to the evolution,  champion the profession and support experts. We’re at a turning point in our profession and it’s a great time to be involved.”
If you work in internal communications and are based in or work in the Central Region and would like to get involved in the Central Region, contact Kirsty at [email protected]
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