Keynote Speakers Announced for 2019 IABC Heritage Region

A slate of top-notch marketing and communication professionals will headline this year’s International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Heritage Region “Drive the Future” Communication Conference, taking place Sept. 22-24 at the Greektown Casino-Hotel in Detroit, Michigan.

“Our ‘Drive the Future’ conference packs the most compelling communication speakers, case studies, best practices and interactive sessions into a dynamic two-and-a-half-day program,” said Nancy Sarpolis, co-chair, 2019 Heritage Region conference. “We’re focusing on strategies communicators need to know now to be successful in the future.”

Keynote speakers announced today include:

  • Aaron Foley, chief storyteller, City of Detroit – “Seeing Detroit as Detroiters See It”
  • Alison Davis, founder and CEO, Davis & Company – “Becoming a Superstar Communicator”
  • Andy Hetzel, vice president of Corporate Communications, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan – “Managing Your Brand Reputation in a Fragmented, Omnichannel Media World”
  • Paula Silver, vice president of Communications, DTE Energy – “Engaging Employees and Stakeholders During Fundamental Company and Industry Transitions”
  • Brad Heureux, Founder and CEO, Zing Media Group — “Consumers in Control: The New Reality for Marketing and Communications”

A full list of conference sessions and speakers will be announced in May and posted on the conference website. The Heritage Region conference draws nearly 200 communicators annually from throughout the Northeastern, Midwestern and Mid-Atlantic United States, as well as Canada.

“Whether you are a senior communicator or new to the industry, you’ll learn value-added skills from national and regional professional communication leaders on a wide range of topics, including employee communication, skills development, strategy, and the latest in technology,” said Debra Salem, co-chair, 2019 Heritage Region conference.

Conference participants will:

  • Learn from the best and improve communication knowledge and skills during nearly 30 professional development sessions, including keynote, breakout and extended sessions
  • Celebrate successes at the Silver Quill Awards luncheon
  • Make new friends and expand networks to include colleagues in the Heritage Region’s 17 states
  • Savor the sights, sounds, and tastes of the nation’s top rising urban hot spot, at the popular Dine-Around event
  • Enjoy a first-rate conference at the AAA Four Diamond Greektown Casino Hotel in the heart of the Greektown district
  • Save money, by paying just a fraction of the cost of other top conferences

Early-bird full conference registration is $699 for members and $799 for non-members for payments made by July 30, 2019. Registration after July 30 is $799 for members and $899 for non-members. Student rates, as well as one-day and keynote only rates, are also available. Dine-around event is optional with participants paying separately. To be eligible for special conference hotel room pricing, reservations must be made using this link.

IABC Detroit and the Heritage Region thank the following event sponsors for their generous support: Davis & Company, DTE Energy, Barton Malow, Oakland Community College, Igloo Software and Linx Consulting LLC. Conference sponsorship packages are also available.

Contact Pat Frey, ABC, at or Deb Salem at for more information on sponsorships.

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