I have over 15 years of experience as a senior-level Technical Writer, documentation specialist, and Technical Communication department manager. My background includes graphic design and layout, editing, marketing communication, process and procedures, and software development documentation. I have worked as a lone writer during much of my career (department of one) and worn many hats, leading various projects that intersect and serve a variety of ‘customer’ needs and audiences. For the past 5 years, I have remotely managed a remote team of technical writers that prepare and publish software release documentation. For formal education, I have a Master of Technical and Scientific Communication degree.
I am an active Associate Fellow of the Society for Technical Communication and have held various chapter-level leadership positions, including 2 years as President of the Philadelphia Metro Chapter (receiving Distinguished Chapter Service Award in 2014). I am a regular presenter at regional STC Conferences (including Philadelphia, Rochester, and New England) and have also presented at STC Summit. My most recent STC leadership experience was as Chair of the 2016 and 2017 internal STC Summit conferences, where I was responsible for building and managing the volunteer team that produces and supports the education program (such as theme, topics, speakers, and sessions).
It is a privilege to be on the ballot as a candidate for STC Director. As a longtime volunteer and leader in the organization, I can speak first-hand to the opportunities and value STC affords its diverse members. Being elected as a representative for the Society would be huge honor and opportunity to give back for the support, encouragement, and experience I’ve gained through service to the community.
Specifically, as Director I would represent STC members with the following goals in mind:
Organizations that employ STC members are getting the best of the best when they hire us, which is a message that I believe STC can more widely promote. STC members invest in their career; we’re the most qualified, educated, and ethical professionals in the field. STC should spread that word with the recruiters, companies, and organizations who are looking to place or hire us so that they recognize STC members as the people to look for first. STC has a deep platform and wide reach it can leverage to share member successes and accomplishments to a wider audience.
Community and Volunteer Support
Supporting STC communities is a lot of work! We should continue the service provided to our geographic chapters and SIG communities and find ways to assist the volunteers who put a lot of effort into bringing members together and putting programs together. We can look to invest and implement shared systems, centralize administrative functions, share best practices, and assist with joint live and virtual programs (shared across communities and geographies) – with a focus on reducing cost and overhead. One example would be using a standard virtual meeting or education platform across all STC communities, resulting in a more consistent user experience.
Collaboration and Partnership
STC should continue to look for opportunities to partner with other member organizations that our members also belong to or events they attend (such as UX, Content Strategy or Marketing, Leadership, Academics, Editing, and so on). These partnerships or collaborations might afford more discounts, joint meetings, or expanded education offerings for both STC and partner organizations.
Engagement and Communication
As an STC Director, I would push to increase the transparency of what is happening with STC so that members better understand the challenges and opportunities the Society faces. I also feel it is important for STC leaders to actively engage and solicit the input of its members. Towards this end, I would champion better reporting of STC Board activity, conduct regular virtual town hall meetings (with Board members), and make it easier to gather member input, suggestions, and commentary in a forum that is more accessible and visible than it is today.
STC should continue to recruit and expand internationally and reach out to younger audiences and students. Focused initiatives, trial packages, open houses, or special promotions could attract these audiences to give STC a try. As people check out STC, we can engage the new participants and encourage them to join the communities that best suit them (whether it’s a geographic chapter or virtual SIG group).
Please take a few moments in the next few weeks to review the choice of candidates in this year’s election and exercise your right to vote. It’s your opportunity to influence the direction of the Society and choose who will represent you in STC. Cheers and thank you for your consideration.