May/June 2024 Society Pages

President’s Letter

By Liz Herman, Ph.D., Fellow

The only thing constant is change. As technical communicators, we likely shy away from the use of clichés. While it’s convenient to use them, we understand that words matter and we strive to communicate clearly without the use of clichés, idioms, etc. Change, however, is on my mind this month and darn if that cliché doesn’t seem to fit.

Because I am thinking about change, I’ve also been singing “Changes” by David Bowie and “A Change is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke. Maybe instead of writing about kings and robot overlords (see Tim Esposito’s previous President’s Letter columns), I will include some song references in future letters. You might expect a lot of 80s music references.

This is my first STC President’s Letter. See? Already something is different in this column. I would like to thank Tim Esposito, outgoing Board President and current Immediate Past President, for a remarkable year. His leadership, guidance, humility, and sense of humor fostered a smooth transition from Chief Executive Officer Liz Pohland to Tim Shaw and enabled the Board to accomplish several updates that I will highlight later in this letter. I also want to thank Aiessa Moyna, outgoing Immediate Past President, for her service to the Board. Her work as Chair of the Nominating Committee in a year where we revised bylaws that had a direct affect on the process was exemplary, and I appreciate her careful attention to the details.

Change is difficult. It can be amazing, alarming, upsetting, or uplifting. It can be viewed positively or negatively. Sometimes both depending on perspective. But to change is to grow and evolve and that is what we must do as a Society. To sustain our professional association, the STC staff and Board must seek transformations that continue to provide value while stabilizing and optimizing our financial footprint. There will be adjustments during my term as President. I cannot predict what those may be but know that the Board and the STC staff are committed to the Society and will work diligently to make meaningful and purposeful transformation for its betterment and longevity.

Regarding recent bylaw revisions, I hope you have all had a chance to read the February 1 STC Notebook blog post where Tim Shaw discussed the revisions that were made regarding updating Board member eligibility requirements, including how officers are elected; growing member representation by expanding the size of the Board; and updating the duties, qualifications, and term limits of officers and directors. You can find a current copy of our bylaws on our website: As we make future revisions, we will summarize those and communicate said summary to our members. While you are always welcome to read through the entire bylaws document, we will strive to call attention to the specific revisions that were made.

During my term as President, I am going to explore with the Board and with the STC staff, and with feedback from our members, the optimal processes and best tools that we can implement and use to continue to make STC your professional home. This inevitably means that there will be change. Probably not as much as I think there will be when I reflect on my term, because change, good change, takes time. Don’t stop believin’.

Liz Herman, PhD, is a knowledge management practitioner and is certified in project management and technical communication.