Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA) has been recognized by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Toronto chapter with an Ovation Award of Merit in the category of COVID-19 Response & Recovery Management and Communications.

This is the first year that IABC has included an award for this category – to acknowledge the integral role communications plays in keeping people informed, safe and connected during the pandemic.

“What is special about this award is that it recognizes the efforts of the entirety of our department with internal- and external-facing tactics coming from the Communications team, the Stakeholder Relations team and the Policy team ,” says Heather Grondin, WDBA’s Vice President of Communications and Stakeholder Relations. “I am proud that our team has been recognized for the outstanding work it delivers to WDBA and the Gordie Howe International Bridge project.”

The IABC judges acknowledged the sound research behind WDBA’s efforts to understand the needs of key audiences, the use of tailored messages as well as the professional and creative initiatives that have been delivered to staff, residents, stakeholders, and politicians. The judges also highlighted WDBA’s management of technology challenges while maintaining a commitment to transparency and public engagement.

WDBA moved its community meetings online in order to follow the pandemic protocols ordered by the governments of Ontario, Canada, Michigan and the United States. Seven public meetings were held virtually and streamed on Facebook during the pandemic and have been viewed by thousands of people in both Canada and the US. 

WDBA’s initiatives included a Pandemic Response Plan as well as an Employee Engagement and Communication Strategy to keep staff connected while working remotely. 

“Throughout this unprecedented time with unique challenges and shifting strategies, our goals and objectives remained consistent and were delivered on because of the continuous hard work and adaptability of each team member,” adds Grondin. 

This is not the first IABC award won by WDBA’s Communications and Stakeholder Relations team for work highlighting the $5.7 billion Gordie Howe International Bridge infrastructure project. 

The team was recognized with the 2019 Renaissance Award of Excellence from IABC Detroit as well as the 2019 Award of Merit from IABC Toronto, both in the category of Government Communications. 

WDBA formally accepted the award on May 26, 2021 at the 2021 IABC/Toronto OVATION Awards online celebration.

A full list of winners recognized by IABC can be found here.