Meet the Candidates – James Bousquet

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This entry is being posted on behalf of James Bousquet, candidate for Treasurer in the 2017 STC election. More information about James can be found on his STC election page.

My name is James Bousquet, and I am a candidate for STC Treasurer. I am asking for your vote in the 2017 Society election.

Thorough and analytical

After 14 years in software engineering, I took up technical communication 10 years ago as a technical writer, and I have been a customer trainer for almost four years. Prior to becoming a professional engineer, I was the administrator of a medical research facility, where my job included not only managing the facility’s finances, but also tracking and reporting on the research grant funds of four professors.

Values continuing education

I have wide-ranging interests and am a strong proponent of lifelong learning, regardless of whether for its own intrinsic rewards or to sharpen work skills. I followed up my biology degree with an honors program in physiology, and later earned another degree in systems design engineering. Since then I have continued to study various topics (from programming languages to human relations to accounting and, yes, technical communication) to address ongoing work needs as well as my own interests.

Experienced with STC service, not-for-profit, financial roles

I have been a member of the STC from the time I decided to become a technical writer. Currently, I serve at the Society level on the 2017 Community Budget Review Committee and on the SIG Outreach Team, part of the Community Affairs Committee (CAC). I am in my third year as Treasurer of the Instructional Design and Learning (IDL) SIG. I am also the Immediate Past President of the Southwestern Ontario Chapter, having been the chapter President for two terms and the chapter Treasurer for four years before that. With prior experience in not-for-profit incorporation, as a board member and president of a community band, and in making successful applications for government funding, I was instrumental in the legal incorporation of my local STC chapter and in the drafting of its bylaws.

Understands financials

The Treasurer role requires a good comfort level with interpreting spreadsheets and bookkeeping, and involves liaising with STC staff and reporting back to the rest of the Board. I am not afraid to ask questions until everyone understands, myself included. Your Treasurer should be someone who contributes to the dialog collegially and respectfully, who is open to suggestions and points of view, but who can raise financial issues and does not shy away from pushing back when appropriate.

Key priorities

Memberships bring in over half of the Society’s annual revenue. This is an exciting time for technical communication, as various specializations continue to change and move forward. The STC has to move with them to attract, engage, and provide value to members, for whom the Society exists, and to help foster our profession. Practitioners need a dependable source for continued professional development in order to stay current and to progress in their careers as they take on more senior work roles and move into management. Providing access to exceptional, relevant educational opportunities that enable members to bolster their professional worth is key.

The STC’s future depends not only keeping existing members, but also on attracting new ones. In particular, we need to identify and address challenges for recent graduates. For example, our successful mentoring program could benefit from further promotion, and highlighting volunteer roles in STC communities could be a way to create leadership opportunities for young practitioners.

Communities provide much of the value of STC membership through education events and by providing local networking opportunities. Communities have an obligation to support their members, and the Society in turn needs to support communities.

I see my involvement in the STC as a means to help others succeed, and would welcome the opportunity to continue to serve the Society as Treasurer. Thank you for your consideration and for your support of the STC.