Image of 2023 STC Summit logo and people applauding, with a close up of a woman's hands.
By Judy Glick-Smith

Editor's note: The STC Summit committee is pleased to announce that Judy Glick-Smith will be the speaker during the Honors Events and Lunch during the 2023 STC Summit on 16 May 2023.

I started my technical writing consulting firm in 1987 and was in serious networking mode when I joined STC. My original motivations were three-fold:
  1. Learn more about the profession of technical communication;
  2. Expand the business by networking; and
  3. Give back through service to the profession.
What resulted from my engagement far surpassed all my expectations.

When I attended my first Summit, I was president of the Lone Star Chapter. I participated in all the Society-level leadership events as well as the educational sessions to learn more about the craft of technical communication.

I discovered that I was interested in presenting, and, possibly, helping to plan the conference. I let the Society leadership know that I was willing to serve in any capacity, and they took me up on it. My first assignment was to serve on a committee to determine if our organizational structure as a 501(c)(3) was appropriate for the time. That same year, I volunteered to be on the planning committee for the 1993 Dallas conference.

I talked to everyone I could about the profession and about how to advance. Lottie Applewhite (mentor to so many!) included me on a panel of experts about the profession—long before I had the confidence to think of myself as an expert; I was the youngest panel member. Mentors are plentiful in STC.

After my first Honors Banquet, I knew that my ultimate goal was to be a Fellow of the Society. JoAnn Hackos, who was president of the Society at the time, graciously met with me to tell me how to achieve this honor. She told me there were two tracks:
  1. contribute to the Summit through planning and presenting and
  2. volunteer to be on my Chapter Administrative Council and later run for office on the international Board of Directors.
I decided to hedge my bets and go down both tracks, ultimately, becoming president of the Society.

I became an STC Fellow in 2006. While this honor was wonderful, I realized it was the journey that was even more amazing. The people I met along the way are still my best friends in all the world.

My advice to you is to soak up all the learning you can at the Summit. Our profession is changing and expanding at an exponential rate. The Summit will help you stay current and relevant. Share your stories with each other both in formal sessions and in the hallway between sessions. Develop deep friendships with your colleagues. These will last a lifetime and provide you with support. Show your commitment to the Society, as well as your commitment and dedication to the profession. Take advantage of the folks who are willing to mentor you and become a mentor yourself. Volunteer to be a leader in your local chapter. Let the international leadership know that you would like to serve in some capacity. You have an opportunity to learn leadership skills in STC that can translate to your everyday work environment.

Learning, networking, and service are what the STC Summit is all about.

I can’t wait to see you in Atlanta.

Do you want to start crafting your tech comm flow? Register to join us at the 2023 STC Summit!

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Two STC President’s Awards presented for 2023

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