By Aiessa Moyna | STC President
This column marks my last as STC President. The past year has been one of the most rewarding and memorable of my career. As a long-time Society member—I joined over 25 years ago during my first year at New Mexico Tech—I was thrilled to mark the 70th platinum anniversary of our organization. I enjoyed working more closely with our Board of Directors and staff. I was impressed with the work led by our Committee Chairs to move key programs forward and recognize excellence in our profession. I was delighted to attend our first in-person Summit in three years, meeting many first-timers and seeing long-time friends.
The past year also came with challenges. One of the most important responsibilities of the President is working with the Board, staff, and all members to ensure the ongoing financial viability of the Society. Traditionally, membership, education, and the annual Technical Communication Summit have been the largest sources of revenue for STC—and that still is the case today. However, the pandemic took a heavy financial toll on many non-profit associations over the past three years, and this came into sharp focus for our Society this past year. While we successfully retooled the Summit from an in-person to a virtual experience for two years, the virtual events generated less revenue than in the past. While we returned to an in-person event in 2022, when compared to 2019, attendance was down significantly due to reduced business travel and training budgets, lingering concerns about COVID-19, and other factors. While participation in our certification program has grown year over year, participation in our educational program was down last year, despite the addition of new offerings. Membership—historically STC’s largest source of revenue—continues to decline on an annual basis. And in the area of business development and industry relations, STC’s management partner was unable to secure the budged advertisers and sponsors outside of the Summit, depriving the Society of much-needed revenue for the past two years. Finally, over the past 12 months, tech industry layoffs, inflation, market fluctuations, and global economic uncertainty put increasing financial pressures on members, which were magnified at the Society level.
Unfortunately, the combination of all these factors led to a significant increase in our net deficit during the fiscal year that ended on 31 December. While STC already was reconsidering our membership dues model, community structure, and certain operating activities in light of the pandemic, we now are in the position of having to make some difficult choices about programs and services that our members have come to rely upon. For example, we have suspended publication of the 2022-2023 Salary Database, although we intend to bring back this valuable resource once we are able to secure a sponsor to fund the research and publication.
In the coming months, you’ll hear about more changes to ensure we’re delivering what members and technical communicators both need and want, while stabilizing and strengthening our financial position. You’ll also have opportunities to share your opinions on the future direction of our Society. In fact, you can start today by sending your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the Annual Business Meeting in late-April, I hand the gavel to Vice President Timothy Esposito, who will begin his term as President. I have known and worked with Tim as an STC colleague for more than a decade, and he has always impressed me as one of the Society’s most dedicated, conscientious, and consistent leaders. I know that STC will be in capable hands with Tim!
In the meantime, I want to extend my deepest gratitude to the 2022-2023 Board, Committee Chairs and their teams, and staff members Liz Pohland and Erin Gallalee for their support over the past year. To our members, thank you for the honor and privilege of serving you as President. I appreciate the trust you placed in me, and I look forward to continuing to serve our Society in the future.
AIESSA MOYNA (email@example.com) is the 2022-2023 President of STC. Her recurring column provided updates and insights on Board activities and solicited member feedback to guide ongoing decision-making.