Meet the Candidates – Alisa Bonsignore

This entry is being posted on behalf of Alisa Bonsignore, candidate for Director in the 2016 STC election. More information about Alisa can be found on her STC election page.

Hello STC members! I’d like to take a few moments to introduce myself as your candidate for Director for STC, where I will focus on the two issues that I believe are critical to our profession: education and professional development.

I am an independent contractor, having forged my own path for nearly a decade. My business name is Clarifying Complex Ideas, which is what all technical communicators do, day in and day out.

The majority of my career has been spent working with network security and healthcare companies, and with the rise of HIPAA, I discovered a new niche — healthcare IT. I see medical writing work as an area of specialization in the larger discipline of technical communication.

The role of technical communication is changing. When arrived in Silicon Valley 17 years ago, the communicators and content strategists (before such a thing had a name) were invisible cogs in the wheel, literally hidden away on separate floors or in separate buildings. But as the competitive landscape evolved, we have increasing opportunities to help our organizations realize that content is a valuable asset and not simply a cost center.

  • Where we once thought only of communicating with the customer/user, we now need to think about “selling” in the organization — advocating for the value of our departments, our work and ourselves.
  • New modes of content delivery require us to spread our professional wings, make strategic changes and try new approaches.
  • We need to create content that is accessible to all, clearly and concisely meeting the needs of both domestic clients and foreign markets.
  • And of course, we need to do it all faster and more efficiently than we did last year.

Education is very important to me. For the past two years, I have been Chair of the STC Education Advisory Panel, and I have served on the STC Conference Committee in preparation for the 2016 Summit in Anaheim. Prior to my service with STC, I chaired the New Educational Products committee for the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA).

Each year, I speak at a variety of professional conferences, including the STC Summit. Because I speak on topics that are important to independent communicators, I hear many personal stories in the Q&A or in the hallway after my session. As an increasing number of communicators shift to independent or small business arrangements, many find that their travel and education budgets are shrinking. I believe that it is critical to make distance learning opportunities or regional educational opportunities available to those who may not be able to afford the time or cost associated with annual conferences.

I want to be part of the STC board to increase the educational offerings for technical communicators near and far, new and experienced, and corporate and independent. I want to create opportunities that enhance the perception of our profession, as well as our value as individuals.

It would be my honor to represent you on the STC board. Thank you very much for your consideration, and I look forward to seeing you in Anaheim!

Voting for STC election starts 29 February and ends 9 March. Only members who have renewed their membership for 2016 by 1 February will be eligible to vote in this election. Click here to renew. Check out more about election candidates on the STC election site, or ask a question on the election forum.