How Far We’ve Come


The Dallas chapter of IABC had its genesis in the Southwestern Association of Industrial Editors (SAIE). This organization held its first meeting in 1938 in Stillwater, Okla. on the campus of Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State University). For a time this was the closest thing that existed in the nature of a national industrial editors organization.

A Dallas chapter was organized in 1940, and it affiliated with SAIE in 1941. In May 1942, the first luncheon meeting of the Dallas chapter, held at the YMCA, was covered by The Dallas Morning News.

The National Council of Industrial Editors Associations (NCIEA) held its first meeting in October 1941 with SAIE as a charter member. In June 1944, Alta Ewalt Evans, of Southern Union Gas, was elected president of NCIEA at its third annual meeting in Cleveland. She was also president of SAIE at the time. Evans is considered to be the first president of what would eventually become IABC Dallas.

NCIEA changed its name to National Council of Industrial Editors in 1945 and expanded to become the International Council of Industrial Editors (ICIE) a year later when a Canadian chapter was formed. In October 1948, the Southwestern Association of Industrial Editors changed its name to the Society of Associated Industrial Editors. SAIE dissolved in late 1956, and the Dallas Industrial Editors Association was formed and affiliated with ICIE in January 1957.

Dallas ICIE enjoyed a successful 13-year stretch with local communications leaders such as Pat Zahrt, Mayfair McCaulay, Liz Oliphant, Connie Eckard and Joe Curtis at its helm.

As business leaders across the globe came to more widely recognize the value of effective communications, the role of the “editor” gradually expanded to that of “communicator.” In keeping with that, ICIE and the American Association of Industrial Editors (AAIE) amalgamated to form the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) in 1970. And thus, the Dallas chapter of ICIE became Dallas/IABC in 1971, and has been operating successfully as an IABC chapter since then.

In 2008, the board voted to officially rename the chapter “IABC Dallas” to better reflect the organization’s affiliation with the International organization, whose global member chapters aligned with this particular convention.