RCC 2017 Convention

2017 Convention: Virtually Here, There and Everywhere: Faith Communications and Presence


March 30 - April 1, 2017


Chicago, IL

Venue: Crowne Plaza Hotel Chicago O’Hare, 5440 North River Rd., Rosemont, IL 60018

  • Please make your own hotel reservations; use block code RCC.
  • Special RCC group rates at the Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare are $112 plus 14% tax.
  • Group rate deadline is March 15, 2017.



  • Full registration is $395 and includes all presentations, workshops, scheduled meals, DeRose-Hinkhouse and Wilbur Awards banquets.
  • Bring a spouse or partner for only $295.
  • Students can attend for $200 (Student ID required.)
  • Individual event tickets will be available.
  • Online registration
  • Printable registration form

Co-Chairs of RCC 2017 Steering Committee

William (Bill) Aiken

William (Bill) Aiken, Director of Public Affairs, Soka Gakkai International - USA, Washington, DC. Contact Bill

Bud Heckman

Bud Heckman, Convenor, Interfaith Funders Group, New York, New York. Contact Bud

Jenn Meadows

Jenn Meadows, Director of Communications, General Commission on the Status and Role of Women of The United Methodist Church, Chicago. Contact Jenn

Workshop Previews

News from the frontlines: Defeating anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant movements

Kalia AbiadeKalia Abiade is the advocacy director at the Center for New Community (CNC), a research and advocacy organization that tracks organized racist movements in the United States. She leads CNC's work to equip and mobilize grassroots organizations and national coalitions to challenge racial discrimination in public discourse, practice, and policy.

Kalia brings to her work more than a decade of experience as a newspaper editor and reporter, and she taught high school students in Southwest Virginia with the Upward Bound/TRIO program.

Her analysis has been cited in The Washington Post, The Nation, The Associated Press, The Hill, and NPR, among other outlets. She currently serves as an adviser for the Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative.

She lives with her husband and their children in Chicago.

Advancing ministry through Accreditation in Public Relations

Doug CannonAs one benefit of membership, RCC members may seek Accreditation in Public Relations. The voluntary APR designation is recognized across many fields. RCC is one of nine communication organizations participating in the APR credentialing process. Communicators with APR after their names show they have demonstrated broad knowledge, experience, and professional judgment in planning and managing public relations activities. For RCC members those activities relate directly to advancing the mission and ministry of their faith group. This workshop will discuss the value of APR; explain the accreditation process; review the knowledge, skills and abilities that APR candidates must master; and help religion communicators plan how to earn accreditation.

Douglas F. Cannon, Ph.D., APR+M, Fellow PRSA, represents RCC on the Universal Accreditation Board. That board is the credentialing agency for members of nine professional communication/public relations organizations and public affairs practitioners in the Department of Defense. Cannon is a former RCC president and United Methodist communicator. He now teaches public relations at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Crisis communications: not “if,” but “when”

Katherine KerrEvery organization experiences crises. How serious they are, how much attention they get outside of your organization and how your agency’s leaders respond can determine the future well-being of your organization. Faith-based agencies are held to a higher standard and the spotlight is especially bright when a crisis happens in the religious realm. This presentation will provide you with the outline of a plan for your organization, prompt you to think about how to protect the future of your organization’s reputation and operations and include an interactive exercise to get you thinking about how to respond when, not if, a crisis happens.

Katherine Kerr is a recovering journalist who covered numerous crises and disasters as a reporter for daily newspapers. As a reporter for 11 years, she covered the police and criminal court beats, as well as general assignments. Disasters/crises include the Challenger explosion, two Delta crashes, the kidnapping and murder of a UT student by narcosatanicos in Matamoros, Mexico, numerous floods, fires, tornadoes, hurricanes, murders, suicides, car accidents. In the nonprofit sector, she has had to deal with client, volunteer and staff deaths and inappropriate behavior; layoffs, sales and shut downs of services, hurricanes, tornadoes, fires. So she has seen it and worked it from both sides and gets what works and what doesn’t.

She brings a practical and realistic approach to non-profit communications. Katherine began working in the non-profit sector in 1991 and her employers have included Concordia University in Austin,  Lutheran Social Services of the South and Texas CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). She is the former president of the RCC’s Central Texas chapter and is the treasurer for the RCC’s national Board of Governors. She earned the Accredited in Public Relations (APR) designation. She and her husband, Tim Kubatzky, founded Polaris Non-Profit Solutions, LLC, which offers communications, marketing, and fundraising consulting services to non-profits.

Three keys to reaching people through Facebook – Beautiful, Now, and Personal

Francis HoffmanRev. Francis J. Hoffman (“Father Rocky”) will share effective, proven strategies on how to communicate about religious faith through Facebook, apps, and other social media.

According to Father Hoffman, his three keys to reaching audiences on Facebook are “Beautiful,” “Now,” and “Personal.” In his workshop, he will discuss these ideas, his experiences of what works and doesn’t work on social media, and how to adapt to the latest changes on the Facebook platform.

Father Hoffman is the executive director of Relevant Radio, a Catholic radio network which broadcasts on 65 stations in 29 states. His “Father Rocky” Facebook page has 3 million likes and reaches 30 million unique persons monthly.

Convention Logos

Use these logos on your own web site and in your publications.

Portrait style

RCC 2017 Convention


RCC 2017 Convention


Previous RCC Conventions

powered by MemberClicks