By Timothy Esposito | STC
Published in Intercom magazine | January/February 2024
As we move from the holiday season to the almost certainly more exciting Season of STC Elections, you may be wondering: How do the STC elections and board of directors work? Well, it could be something like this:
WOMAN: Well, how did you become King, then?
ARTHUR: The Lady of the Lake, her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite, held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water signifying by Divine Providence that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur. That is why I am your king!
Unfortunately, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony. So, STC had to abandon that form of leadership selection ages ago.
In order to forestall reverting to ruling via the Divine Right of Kings, STC created the Nominating Committee. The role of this committee is to find and interview potential leadership candidates. They screen for leadership experience and may recommend potential candidates for a certain role, like Secretary. For example, after being a chapter treasurer for a year, I applied to the Nomination Committee to run for STC Treasurer. They wisely recommended I get some more experience and apply again in a couple of years. Once they have a potential election slate, they bring it to the board for approval.
After the board approves the slate, the general candidates are announced to the members. Then any of the members can ask questions of the candidates on Slack. Typical questions include, “What sort of changes would you like to see the Society make in order to improve our membership experience?” and “What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?”. When the election commences, every member who has paid their dues is sent a private email to vote in the election. It is very important that you have maintained your membership and provided a valid email address to smoothly participate in the election process. Following the announcement of the election results, the new board of directors takes office during the Annual Business Meeting, held in the spring. It will be that new board who will greet you at the next Summit.
While that summarizes the selection of board and nominating committee members, there is of course more to be done by the board. The election is just the starting off point on the STC leadership journey. The board is a busy group and we are always working on something, ranging from improving member engagement, assisting member committees, helping communities, or even finding a shrubbery so you get the two-level effect with a little path running down the middle. Regardless of what the board is working on, it is always with the intention of making STC the best experience for you.
If you can help the board on its quest for the technical communication holy grail, let us know by sending a swallow carrying a coconut to email@example.com.
Timothy Esposito (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the 2023-24 president of STC. His ongoing column will keep you updated on STC’s direction and be filled with dated cultural references such as Monty Python and the Holy Grail, which he watched way too many times in college and has only once visited the castle in Scotland where it was filmed. Pro tip: they do provide coconut shells for you at the gate.
The President's Column, written by STC's board president, is published in Intercom, STC's magazine for members. Email email@example.com to connect with STC.