Candidate for Director
Charles’ career as a technical communicator began when he landed a job as an editorial assistant while still in college. Shortly after graduating with his BA in English from Virginia Tech, he began writing user manuals and online help for software systems. In the early 1990s, he joined STC, and he has been a member ever since.
His volunteer involvement with STC started with managing the job bank for the STC Washington, DC, chapter. In the pre-Internet days, the job bank was "published" as one very long answering machine greeting. Charles upgraded this system to an interactive telephone response system that made navigating and listening to the job listings easier for job seekers. He then became a member of the chapter leadership team, which led to serving as president of the chapter the year that the STC Annual Conference was held in Washington, DC. Charles was a frequent speaker at STC annual and regional conferences, and he also served as a judge for the chapter’s annual publications and art competition.
After serving at the chapter level, Charles served in various capacities at the international level of STC. He served as stem manager for several annual conferences, and then he served as the Technical Program Manager for the 49th Annual Conference. He also served as a judge for the international level of the annual publications competition for many years, and he managed the international level of the annual STC International Student Technical Writing Competition. He has served on the STC Conference Advisory Committee and the STC Certification Task Force. When STC launched the Certified Professional Technical Communicator certification, Charles served as a board member and treasurer for the STC Certification Commission.
Charles has worked as a technical writer in the software industry for most of his career. He was promoted to manager of a team of technical writers and doubled the size of the team to meet growing demand. He also attended graduate school while working and earned his MA in Professional Writing and Editing from George Mason University. After earning his MA, he began teaching courses in technical communication and business communication for the University of Maryland University College, the University of Phoenix Online, George Mason University, and Virginia Tech.
After many years of working in the Washington, DC, area, Charles and his family moved to Roanoke, VA, to be closer to relatives. Today, Charles works as the program manager for an international software company, managing the efforts of a global documentation team. He also recently earned his Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. He is currently working with other leadership team members to define and implement an agile software development process that includes technical writers as part of the development team.
I am running for a position as an STC Board Member because I want to work with the membership—and members of the technical communication field at large—to ensure we’re delivering value to current members, future members, and the profession at large. I’m a living product of how valuable STC offerings can be to a person’s career. I want to make sure we continue to identify and meet the needs of current members, as well as identify ways to connect with new members and grow both the profession and the Society. I feel that I have a good mix of experience and leadership to help ensure we deliver that value.