MaryKay’s passion for writing started in high school when she wrote a weekly column in the local suburban newspaper. The column was about issues and activities at her high school. In college, she pursued a dual degree of computer science and journalism and was introduced to the concept of technical writing. She has been hooked on technical communication ever since. Her first job out of college was as a technical writer and 34 years later, she continues as a technical writer and editor and has ten years of management experience. To round out her education, she earned a Master’s degree in communications and is a Certified Professional Technical Communicator.
MK joined STC in 1995. She started getting hands-on in 2007 when she was asked to run for the position of secretary for STC Chicago. Working her way up through various Administrative Council roles, she became president of the chapter in 2010 and is currently the chapter’s vice president. MK has served multiple years as manager of a number of committees for STC Chicago, including Programs, Sponsorship, and Competition.
In addition to her service to her local STC community, MK has been active in STC at the society level for the past seven years on a number of committees. She was part of the CAA/Pacesetter Awards Committee (CAAEC) for four years, two of which she served as committee chair. She was a member of the CAA Revamp Task Force. She served on the Summit Competition committee as judge for seven years and also as a team lead for four years. She is currently an editor for the TCBOK. She was conferred as an STC Associate Fellow in 2015. MK is running for the STC Nominating Committee as another way to give back to the society.
She believes in the importance of communication in every facet of life and enjoys helping to demystify technical things. Her most interesting and unique experience as a technical communicator was when she was selected as part of an SAP corporate social sabbatical initiative, where she went to Porto Alegre, Brazil, for one month to provide recommendations for sustainable improvements. While there, her three-person team worked pro-bono with the City Hall of Porto Alegre to redefine and improve communications with their citizens. She currently works at SAP as a Senior User Assistance Developer, is lead for the SAP User Assistance Developer Ambassador group, and is on the Editorial Board for global user assistance.