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Meet the Board: Juanita Onochie

Meet Juanita Onochie, IABC Maritime’s Vice President of Professional Development & Events.


Juanita has built a career in a variety of roles and industries with a focus on internal engagement, employee relations and events. She is strongly committed to finding the best communications tools to foster connections within any organization she’s connected with – because she understands it’s not enough to simply say you care, your actions also have to be reflective. Juanita’s keen attention to detail and dedication to efficient service aids her experience in building web-based communication products, training facilitations, and planning medium to large-scale events.


An alumna of the American University of Nigeria, Centennial College, and Mount Saint Vincent University, Juanita is Member Services Coordinator at CPA Nova Scotia.


What inspired you to get involved with IABC?

I heard about IABC while wrapping up my post-graduate program in Toronto and signed up. I was fascinated by the fact that it is international, which means regardless of where my career takes me, I will always be able to connect with other communications professionals with vast backgrounds and experiences. For me, joining an association that allows you to connect with others on that level is the sort of learning and networking you cannot get anywhere else. The IABC Hub is my go-to and what I recommend for solutions and ideas.


So, when I moved to Halifax and settled down, I figured what better time than now to push myself out of my comfort zone, start trying to make connections in person rather than on-line, build my portfolio and in a little way give back to the community that inspires and teaches me.


What’s your favourite part of your work?

Hands-down, it is events. I am shy and a planner, so behind the scenes is where I thrive the most. I love everything about planning my work events from conception to game day. The engagement part of corporate communications has always been the focal part of my career journey, it is the goal I am constantly building and chasing. So, the fact that there is this portion (events) out there that allows me to create moments that others can use to engage with my organization and colleagues is a job bonus.


What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?

Relaxing at home with a good drink and a book or movie or listening to music – my down time whenever I can get it is very important to me. I am also very sentimental about movies and music I watched or listened to with my dad when I was younger, so DVDs like Father of the Bride, Airforce One or Pretty Woman are always on standby for instant re-plays. I should not get into the CDs I have on standby either – yes, I still own CDs! What can I say, I am a sentimental collector.


What's something you geek out about?

Food! My love for good food is out of this world – which is quite weird because I am a picky eater. When I travel to a new city or country, I am always down to leave the trip open for adventure and see where the wind takes me, but I always have my reservations lined up for places I am going to eat or try out. Those, I never leave open (it drives my friends crazy) – I am the person who has food network on mute while working and compiles research on what’s good to eat when I want to travel.


What’s something about you that sounds made up but is 100% true?

I am an acquired taste! First impressions do not always go as intended, I am very quiet and apparently with me, RBF (in professional terms, the meaner version of a straight face) is a thing. However, I am one of the friendliest people you will ever meet and once I am in your corner, I don’t leave. I am the girl you go to parties with, stay up with eating junk and maybe bury the bodies with. I would typically say, do not tell anyone this – but since this is going public, guess the secret is out – I am a HOOT!

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