Rising Star Award winners

The Rising Star Award honors professionals in the first 10 years of their careers who demonstrate leadership, professionalism and strong ethics; continue to learn more about the industry and grow professionally; and serve as a role model for other youthful communicators.

2015 Winner
Leanne Breiby, Director of Communications

As director of educational relations for the 2014-2015 board, Leanne Breiby serves as an excellent role-model for youthful communicators. She stepped into the role mid-year and did a tremendous job renewing and strengthening relationships with students and faculty. She not only makes a positive impact on KC/IABC, but also on the non-profit organization that she represents. As the communications guru for the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, she has gained the respect and admiration of those around her, including Debbie Wilkerson, the president and chief executive officer. Debbie shared, “I am amazed by the energy and passion she has for her work. She does not work in a communications silo. She is always at the table thinking and solving with her colleagues. Leanne keeps us fresh and current, and sets a pace for this organization that keeps projects moving through quickly and efficiently. We all know how lucky we are to work with her.”

2014 Winner
Mandy Stark,
Brand Director
Our 2014 Rising Star, Mandy Stark, just joined the board in 2013, and she has hit the ground running. You probably havenít attended an IABC event this year where she hasnít been present to photograph us or do some other quietly supportive work. She is a web whiz and has taken us forward quickly in improving the chapter website ñ remaining ever patient in the truly complex web of site outages from international, multiple, mysterious programming partners and arcane architectures. Mandy has a can-do smile and proactive approach to each challenge. You can tell she’s going somewhere!

2013 Winner
Sami Carter, Integrated Communications Specialist
Just six years into her career, Sami Carter is already a well-known and award-winning communicator. Her skills command the respect and admiration of her colleagues of all ages. We are fortunate to have this young leader on our board, and I’m excited that she’s taking steps to lead our chapter in near future. Please join me in congratulating and thanking this year’s Rising Star, Samantha Carter of Midwest Dairy Association.

All Rising Star Winners

  • 2015 – Leanne Breiby
  • 2014 – Mandy Stark
  • 2013 – Sami Carter
  • 2012 – Rachel DeShazo Brower
  • 2011 – Anna Lewis
  • 2010 – Matt Dunn
  • 2009 – Amy Stewart
  • 2008 – Sara Miller
  • 2006 – Ryan Hembree
  • 2005 – Lisa Heeke
  • 2004 – Colleen LeCount