By Adriane Hunt | STC 2016-2017 President
The past year has flown by! As the STC staff, board, and conference committee prepare for the 2017 Summit at the Gaylord Resort in National Harbor, MD, I’d like to reflect on STC happenings during the year.
After several years of service to STC, Executive Director Chris Lyons decided to move on to a new career. STC Director of Communications and Intercom Editor Liz Pohland stepped up to the board’s challenge to take on the role of Interim CEO, while STC Director of Corporate and Member Engagement Stacey O’Donnell also took on additional work as our Interim COO. The CEO Search Committee, led by Vice President Alyssa Fox, went straight to work interviewing many qualified candidates. The committee’s final recommendation was Liz Pohland and the board agreed. Liz is now our new CEO and Stacey our COO—both women deserve our sincere thanks for their remarkable efforts and dedication to STC’s continued excellence. Congratulations to them both!
Since May 2016, the board met monthly to discuss topics such as the next phase of the Certified Professional Technical Communicator (CPTC) certification program and the work being done by volunteer committees, task forces, and communities. To learn more about the meeting topics and outcomes, look for the board meeting summaries on the STC website at https://www.stc.org/wiki/governance/board-meeting-summaries/.
In November, the board and staff met in Virginia for a two-day “big room planning” session. Our goal was to develop a multi-year, forward-looking strategy to ensure that STC continues to serve you and our profession in the fast-paced, always-changing world of technology. Through a card-sorting exercise, the board decided on the following words to embody the true spirit of the Society: Trusted, High-Quality, Technological, Customer-Focused, Proactive, Progressive. With these words in mind, the board reviewed every aspect of the Society, its programs, and member benefits, including our publications, education offerings, communities and SIGs, the academic database, Society honors and awards, the certification program, and more. We examined every topic in depth and had candid discussions about what is working, what is not working, and what needs to change. Most importantly, we developed a strategic vision of STC’s future including owners, action items, and targeted completion dates for each major focus area to ensure that STC provides you unparalleled value both today and in the future. As I prepare to pass the gavel in May, I know that this board is proud of the work we did together planning a foundation for STC’s future, and we look forward to the strategic work continuing as Alyssa Fox becomes our 2017-2018 STC President.
In January, U.S. News and World Report released its 2017 Best Job Rankings and included the role of Technical Writer for the first time ever! This press helped put STC in the spotlight and helped our profession get well-deserved attention and recognition.
The CPTC certification program has been running strong, with a three-tiered structure (Foundation, Practitioner, and Expert) to certify technical communicators who want to be recognized in their field as Certified Professional Technical Communicators. The Foundation level of the program has been very successful; the Practitioner level program launch is anticipated within a year, with the Expert level program to follow.
The efforts of the STC staff should not be forgotten! Without their support, every single day, we wouldn’t be the Society we are. When you combine staff efforts with the many hours of work done by member volunteers, the result is a strong and growing Society.
Looking ahead, the Summit is in National Harbor, MD, in May this year, close to Washington, DC. The Summit promises to be an educational, fun, and social event with many opportunities to meet and network with other technical communicators and make new friends.
Thank you for supporting our Society and the field of technical communication. The year ahead is promising, and STC is well-prepared for a vibrant future serving you, our members. Thank you for being a part of STC!