Meet the Candidates: Nicky Bleiel, Candidate for Vice President

Each of the candidates for the upcoming STC election were invited to submit a blog post to STC’s Notebook in support of their candidacy. Below is the post submitted by Nicky Bleiel, candidate for Vice President. Click on her name to take you to her election page, or visit the main STC election page for information about all candidates.

Why I am Running

I joined STC the same week I learned there was an STC. I immediately knew that I had found my professional home, as well as a group of like-minded professionals. One of the reasons I am running for STC Vice President is because I want everyone who discovers STC to feel the same way.

I’m qualified for the position of Vice President because I have Board experience, and I’m an advocate for our profession.

From my current experience as an STC Director ― as well as an STC Chapter leader ― I know the members, the Society, and the issues. From my 17 years of experience as a practicing technical communicator, I know the profession and the challenges our members face every day.

I want to take my years of management, leadership, tech comm, and STC Board experience, and use them to move STC and the profession forward, and to continually improve member value. The growth of our profession is dependent on a robust, active, and vibrant STC, and I want to help lead the way.

My Plan

STC advances the profession, and serves its members while doing so. STC has tackled some big initiatives in the past few years (including a new website, the “MySTC” social network, work with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, partnerships with other international tech comm organizations, and certification), while still providing important core services such as publications, the Summit, educational opportunities, a job bank, and recognitions.

I plan to build on that foundation, and champion some new ideas, such as holding virtual “summits” with industry leaders, producing YouTube videos to educate the public and potential students about our profession, and creating STC apps and content for mobile devices.  I am currently conducting a survey project to assess how software development managers view technical communicators. The data will help STC formulate a strategy to promote our profession and its professionals—as well as STC—to these managers.

Professional, Management, and Leadership Experience

In addition to my 17 years of professional experience, I am an accomplished manager, and successful leader at both the Society and Community levels.

  • Professional experience ― My professional experience includes writing and developing information for software products in a variety of industries. I have presented talks at the STC Summit, WritersUA, tcworld, CIDM, and LavaCon on many topics. I have been published in STC’s Intercom, Tieline, STC conference proceedings, tcworld magazine, TechCom Manager Newsletter, and the WritersUA and the Content Wrangler websites. I also teach Technical Writing at the Community College of Allegheny County.
  • Management experience — I have managed work teams and volunteer teams. See my YouTube video to learn more.
  • Society leadership ― I currently serve as an STC Director. I am the Board Chair for Recognitions, and a member of the Audit committee. I have served on the STC Strategic Program Assessment Committee, as an STC International Student Technical Communication Competition judge, and as a reviewer for the STC Summit and the Technical Communication journal.
    • See Service to STC for a list of my service and awards.
    • I have mentored chapter and SIG leaders, plus I have visited many chapters personally (and plan to visit more). See my Google Map for details.
    • I have been endorsed by a number of STC Members, including prominent Tech Comm professionals, Past Presidents, and STC Chapter Leaders. See Endorsements from STC Members

A Favorite Quotation and a Request

Albert Einstein said “All that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development accorded the individual.” STC is about opportunity, pure and simple. There are opportunities to lead, teach, learn, mentor, write, serve, judge and win awards, and interact with other professionals. Every technical communicator should want to be a member, because STC is a rich source of opportunity. And that is why I am running for Vice President, because I want to keep those opportunities coming, and to help develop even more.

I kindly request your vote. Polls open 2 March. (Reminder: you must renew your membership by 29 February to be eligible to vote.)

Additional Information

YouTube video:
Twitter: @nickybleiel
MySTC: (login required)

Here are just a few of the endorsements I’ve received from members (more on my Endorsements page):

“Nicky Bleiel is a leader with practical know how and good sense. As the STC moves forward it will be important to draw on the leadership of talented individuals who can not only work well in teams, but who can also enlist the trust of the membership. Nicky has a track record of making the value of STC more visible in the professional lives of its members. She is prepared to take on new challenges and devise new strategies for making the STC even more responsive to its membership. I urge you to vote for Nicky Bleiel for STC Vice President!”
Karen Schriver, PhD
President, KSA Communication Design & Research
STC Fellow and Recipient, STC Ken Rainey Award for Excellence in Research

“I have known Nicky Bleiel for many years, both on and off the STC Board of Directors. I know that she is passionate about doing the right thing for STC and that she follows through on her promises. She is a great team player and is just as wonderful as a team leader. I give my endorsement to her as STC VP. I know that she will continue working at her usual high level as she approaches and then embraces the STC presidency”
Linda Oestreich
STC Fellow and Past President

“In Nicky’s numerous leadership roles in STC, she has consistently exhibited the common sense and dedication needed to guide the organization into the future. After two terms as a Director, she is well qualified for her run for Vice President. I encourage you to vote for her in the upcoming election.”
Scott Prentice
President, Leximation, Inc.
STC NorthBay Chapter – Webmaster

“STC needs Nicky at the helm to see it through these times of rapid change, financial challenge, and redefinition of our field. She has shown her dedication, giving freely of her time and energy to the tasks of directorship, and I’ve seen her openness to listen to new ideas. She brings the fairness and assertiveness that we need to get past inevitable disagreements and misunderstandings. And Nicky is grounded in that critical capacity, a strong sense of humor, which defuses hostility and wins good will.”
Mary Connor
Documentation Architect, Advanced Solutions International
STC Senior Member