From The Editor’s Desk

Hello everyone!

I am excited to be taking on the position as editor for the Memo 2 Members newsletter.  I have learned so much already following the detailed instructions given to me by our former editor and new Treasurer, Alex Garcia.  I am thankful for is help.  He has made it so much easier for me to learn what it will take to put Memo 2 Members together.  Terra Jarvis will also be involved and I look forward to working with her as well.  This experience will be invaluable to me as a technical writer and as a member of the STC.  I look forward to seeing what this next year will bring for us in the Orlando chapter.


R.D. Sharninghouse
Editor, Memo 2 Members Newsletter

President’s Corner

The President’s Corner

By Debra Johnson
Orlando Central Florida Chapter STC

Hello all! It is with great excitement that I write my first message as your Chapter President. My feelings are many, as I am excited for the future, but nervous about my capacity to measure up to those who have come before me….    It’s such a notable list…

I’ve watched some of the best Dalton Hooper, Kelli Pharo, and before that Erika Higgins, lead our chapter so competently and with such dedication. They welcomed me years ago with open arms and took me under their wings to show me what the possibilities were.  They were true positive examples of volunteerism and dedication…  But most of all, I want to thank Karen Lane, our immediate past president… she is someone who for me is straight-forward, honest, and funny… she is an inspiration to me…. I can honestly say it’s been a privilege and enormous pleasure to work with her and learn from her. I am so glad she is still around.  She is an amazing source of knowledge about STC, the chapter, and its long history.  And finally, I want to thank all of you…. you were confident enough in me to accept me as your leader.  It is all of us as a group, a collection, an assemblage, a throng … who make the Orlando Central Florida STC Chapter what it is.!

The last three and a half years as VP have been very gratifying for me…it got really comfortable…maybe a bit too comfortable… I have twinges of angst in turning over the responsibility of the “Programs” chair to Sarah Baca even though she is more than capable… Sorry Sarah, I will learn to let go….

Looking to the future… I am so excited for what is coming…

Due to some logistical issues at Wyndham, we moved the retreat this year to the Wood Grill and Buffet on International Drive just south of Sea World. Thanks to RD and Mary… I am using some of their notes to recap the day…

Our Leadership Retreat program  was so jammed packed that time just flew by…  we discussed so much that we could have had a two day event and not covered it all.  We had our usual AdCo meeting; our Membership update, we heard Sarah’s plan for future meetings. We talked briefly about Washlines XIX coming on August 22. Alyssa Fox is speaking on Agile Scrum in Sept. and Paul Mueller will present in October.  We still have several openings for 2014 meetings, and we came up with some great ideas to fill them…  We talked about our mentorship program.  Challenge: keeping up our strong rate of retaining and transitioning student members to regular members.

We played a great game of “Who Am I,” where we used our skills of investigation to garner clues to our “identity” taped to our backs. Laughter was prevalent as some of us had an easier time than others… You know who I am talking about…  “Cinderella” and “Chuck Norris”.

We discussed the chapter achievement award application and activities that might give us an edge, such as updating the Web site, hosting more regional networking events, the Ocoee high school collaboration, and online meetings and presentations.

After watching  the “Golden Circle Presentation” a talk by Simon Sinek TED talks, we talked about “What exactly is our chapter’s “WHY”.  — “People don’t buy what you do; people buy why you do it.” Some of our thoughts:  It’s about passion for what we do, furthering the profession, creating a safe place to learn leadership, making a difference, a sense of identity.

We enjoyed a live online presentation on “Entraining Volunteers” by Ben Woelk (Rochester STC).

Finally we started a spirited discussion on Web site redesign review. Using a basic wireframe, we brainstormed richer content and fewer clicks. We were given some very valuable information that we have to further investigate that could really help us move forward on enhancing our web presence from Michelle Ladner, president of the SunCoast chapter, who we were lucky enough to have in attendance.

We talked about having a Social Media team, persons who would post live, as we hold our meetings.  Whew!!!! I am out of breath just thinking about all we covered.

Thank you to all attended… It was exciting and very filling (LOTS OF FOOD).  I am so encouraged and confident that we can continue moving forward with some of the wonderful ideas from such a bright bunch!  Thank you to all and see you at Washlines XIX August 22.

Till Then!

A View From Number Two

Sarah Baca

By Sarah Baca
Vice President
Orlando Central Florida Chapter STC

I am so excited about the upcoming STC Orlando CFL Chapter year. Because of our membership survey, we have great information about what our members are interested in and what they would like to learn more about. We will be learning about new trends such as Agile Scrum Methodology in documentation, as well as conducting our regional mixers to connect with our fellow technical communicator friends.

This year we are being led by some of the most talented folks in our profession. I feel tremendously fortunate to be working with such great leaders. Our new president, Debra Johnson, has some great ideas about how to help our chapter be even more current and valuable to our members. The rest of the Executive Council is also ready for another great year. I can’t wait to see the friends I have made over the last few years and to make new ones.

I am looking forward to seeing many of you for our annual Washlines meeting in August. I hope you are as excited about the upcoming year as I am.

Sarah Baca

If You Missed The Last Two Meetings…

Mary Burns

By Mary Burns
Orlando Central Florida Chapter STC

If you missed the last two meetings…

End-of-year banquet

On June 20, we celebrated a busy and productive year with dinner at Louie and Maria’s Italian Restaurant. President Karen Lane was unable to attend, but she was “present” in her state of the chapter address, presented by Vice President Debra Johnson.

The outgoing officers were commended and the new officers were introduced. Service and leadership awards were presented.

David Coverston unveiled this year’s Active Member Shirt, an event that was hotly anticipated. Active members received an attractive and comfy yellow shirt with black trim. Erika Higgins reminded everyone of the remedy for any color letdown: “earn [a shirt] this coming year—it’ll change!”

As incoming President, Debra Johnson pledged to work with the new officers to build on the year’s achievements, with a focus on increasing chapter visibility, educational opportunities, and engagement with younger chapter members (they make us cool!).

Debra led the chapter in kudos to Karen, now immediate past President, on the theme of “Karen is a gem.” Some compared Karen to a diamond: tough, sharp, sparkly, multifaceted, not to mention formed under pressure! We got a sneak peek at the service trophy to be presented to Karen at the Washlines meeting.

This event was tops for food, fellowship, and fun.

Leadership Day

On July 22, our annual Leadership Day was held in the Wood Grill Buffet’s banquet room. Also called the Leadership Retreat, this event was as spirited as an old-fashioned revival!  The following highlights, accompanied by delicious food from the buffet, inspired the officers and other attendees about the coming year:

  • Advisory Council meeting.
  • Membership update.
  • Brainstorming for upcoming chapter meetings. Washlines is heating up for August. In September, Alyssa Fox is speaking on Agile Scrum, and Paul Mueller will present in October. Several 2014 meeting speaker spots are still open. Let the officers know if you would like to share your expertise with the chapter, or if there’s a meeting topic you would be especially interested in.
  • Student and mentorship report.  Challenge: keeping up our strong rate of retaining and transitioning student members to regular members.
  • Fun and games. In a round of “Who Am I,” we gathered clues from each other regarding the names of personages taped to our backs. No problem for people used to querying subject matter experts! Laughter ensued as we successfully guessed names from Cinderella to Chuck Norris.
  • Discussion of chapter achievement award application. Activities that may give us an edge:  Web site update, regional networking events, high school collaboration, and online meetings and presentations.
  • “What’s our chapter ‘why’?” session, primed by “The Golden Circle,” a talk by Simon Sinek— “People don’t buy what you do; people buy why you do it.” Some of our responses: passion for what we do, furthering the profession, creating a safe place to learn leadership, making a difference, a sense of identity.
  • Live online presentation on “Entraining Volunteers” by Ben Woelk (Rochester STC).
  • Web site redesign review. Using a basic wireframe, we brainstormed richer content and fewer clicks. Ideas are welcome—send them to Debra Johnson.

A welcome guest was Suncoast STC President Michele Ladner.

What’ll Ya Have?

Dan Voss



What’ll Ya Have?
Get Ready for Action … We’re Bringing “The Varsity” for Washlines XIX!

By Dan Voss
Tribal Elder



What'll Ya Have_Image 1Set to the theme of the famous multi-level Atlanta drive-in “The Varsity,” Washlines XIX promises to be every bit as entertaining and informative as the 18 preceding editions of this venerable chapter tradition, now well into its third decade.

The curtain (well, screen) goes up at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, August 22, at INSERT LOCATION.  We’re not promising miniskirt-clad Varsity servers on roller skates, but who knows, anything can happen at Washlines … and usually does!

Don’t miss it!

Per holy writ from the tribal elders, the August Washlines meeting is an opportunity for chapter members fortunate enough to have attended the international STC conference in the spring to share what they learned there with fellow chapter members and visitors.
Have it Your Way at Washlines XIX!

Set in progression format (three rotations with six venues, five of which are open for each rotation), Washlines is a cross between a mini-conference and a street festival.

Mini-conference because six chapter members, including special guest and dynamic speaker Jack Molisari all the way from Jacksonville, will offer summaries of about 15 presentations from the conference, covering a wide range of topics within technical communication. There will be something for everyone.

Jack will actually be offering highlights of the two presentations he did in Atlanta, so at his venue, you’ll be getting a slice of the conference “live.”

Street festival because the venues are identified with colored balloons, each venue has an Atlanta-based theme, the hosts dress to match the theme, and they also compete like snake-oil salespersons for audience by hawking the titillating topics, thought-triggering themes, traditional tawdry trinkets, and tantalizingly tasty tidbits they are tendering at their tables.*

Washlines because, as always, colorful signs broadcasting the topics at the venues will be hung from a clothesline strung across the room.

Watch for details, including all the topics, the venue themes, and the rotations, in the upcoming second August Memo to Members—the “Washlines Special”—which should hit a cyber-newsstand near you on or about August 19. *Please note new all-time Southeast Regional STC record for alliterations, at 17.

What'll Ya Have_Image 2 What'll Ya Have_Image 3

Learn how to write and edit for translation and for non-native-English speaking audiences. These are just two of the many topics that will be served up at “The Varsity” during Washlines XIX August 22.

From the Editor’s Desk

Alex Garcia

Alex Garcia

Welcome to another edition of Orlando Central Florida STC’s Memo to Members. Another award-winning chapter year comes to a close on Thursday, June 20th as we initiate new officers and wind down for the summer. But fret not–your new officers (myself included) will be hard at work over the next two months planning exciting programs for the 2013-2014 chapter year. Our leadership retreat is coming up in late July and all are welcome to attend.

This issue is all about transitions, as President Karen Lane’s steps into the President’s Corner one last time, before handing the gavel and corner to Vice President Debra Johnson. Also, Vice President-elect Sarah Baca documents last month’s chapter meeting as she prepares to hand over the Treasury to this Editor. Times, they are a’changing!

On that note, I am still looking for a chapter member to take over as Editor of Memo to Members. Please let me know if you are interested, at

Hope to see you at the End of Year Banquet!

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Do YOU have an article you’d like to submit for Memo to Members? Don’t be shy… email me at You will get 0.5 an Active Member point for your submission.

Until next time,

Alex Garcia
Memo to Members Newsletter
Orlando Central Florida Chapter STC

President’s Corner


Karen Lane

By Karen Lane
Orlando Central Florida Chapter STC

Friends, it is with mixed feelings that I write this, my last President’s Message. The feelings are mixed because while it’s always good to be able to pass along a responsibility to another person, one who is as qualified as Debra Johnson is, it’s also a bit sad, too, since I’ve really enjoyed being super involved in the chapter governance for two years. The last two years have been very rewarding ones as I’ve learned firsthand what goes into leading a chapter of committed and talented professionals and students. You have all taught me so much about dedication and commitment. But most of all, you’ve displayed outstanding collegiality. I can honestly say it’s been my privilege and pleasure to work with you all. It is all of you who make the Orlando Central Florida STC Chapter possible. Thanks are so insufficient, but THANK YOU!

Over the last two years, it’s been so exciting to see so many of our most active student members transition from sideline supporters to full-fledged chapter members, and some of them have stepped up into leadership roles even while they were still students. I would like to particularly honor Bethany Bowles, Candace Du Lac, Richard Ries, and RD Sharninghouse. These are by no means our only active students; they are just the ones whose ongoing roles in the chapter have distinguished them most recently. In addition to these students, I would like to single out a few more who were active during my two-year presidency and have moved on in their careers either to leave our geographic area or move into other professional arenas: Rachael Blankenbecklor, Patricia Cruz, and Jennifer Dalhoven. Thank you to these outstanding former students.

I was thinking about whom I would like to thank for all their hard work and spirited contributions to the chapter over the last two years. But now I’m thinking that it is really impossible to mention individuals without guaranteeing that I’m leaving out others whose chapter activities were valuable but perhaps unrecognized by official position. So I say thank you to everyone who ever attended a chapter meeting and helped with setup or cleanup, everyone who shared ideas and questions, everyone who offered to search for information or whose questions inspired others to think in new directions about common practices and generally accepted knowledge.

If you are a chapter member, thank you for your continued support of the chapter, support that enables Orlando Central Florida STC Chapter to provide services to the community of technical communicators in our local area and even world-wide. If you are not a chapter member but you attend our meetings, thank you for providing us with an audience for our programs.

Your Executive Board consists of the officers and directors of the chapter, and it is these members who direct the running of the chapter through their lively discussions and enlightened opinions, which translate into votes for and against initiatives considered each month not only at our Administrative Council (AdCo) meetings but also during the intervening weeks as we consider various topics of chapter governance via our online discussion list. The members of the board are Debra Johnson (vice president and president elect), Mary Burns (secretary and hospitality chair), Sarah Baca (treasurer), David Coverston (director, membership manager, and recognitions manager), W.C. Wiese (director, nominating chair, and active member chair), and Erika Higgins (immediate past president, communications manager, Rising Stars chair, and Jaffe Award chair). Thank you to all of you who have served so capably and well.

In addition to these positions, we have a few other committee heads and managers who deserve our appreciation. Thank you to Bethany Bowles (mentoring program student manager),  Candace Du Lac (Community Achievement Awards Chair), Alex Garcia (Memo to Members editor), Jon Kessler (webmaster), Loretta Lott (employment manager), Richard Ries (publicity chair), RD Sharninghouse (AdCo minutes taker), and Dan Voss (Education Chair and mentoring program manager).

At our June end-of-year banquet, we will be reviewing our accomplishments and celebrating our successes. And it is at that meeting that we pass the gavel to our new president, Debra Johnson, and welcome our new officers to their 2013–2014 positions. As we transition to our new chapter year, I hope you will join me in wishing them well: Debra Johnson (president), Sarah Baca (vice president), Mary Burns (secretary), Alex Garcia (treasurer), David Coverston (director), and Mark Wray (director).

I offer a sincere and heartfelt thank you to all have served the chapter, and I wish our incoming officeholders all success as they lead our chapter to even greater heights.

Thank you all!


A View from Number Two

Debra Jonhson

By Debra Johnson
Orlando Central Florida Chapter STC

It’s June and time for our End of the Year Celebration!   


I have so many questions now that the year has ended.

…hmmm…am I getting an Active Member shirt and what color is it??? Will it go with my hair? Will I be a good President? Should I bring my mom? I mean, this time last year I was at the hospital with her suffering a heart attack on our way to the banquet in Sanford.  Can I even come close to filling Karen’s or any of our other past presidents shoes? What am I going to eat? Am I ready for this? Do I have to bang the gavel to make it official?

I have so much to think about, so much to plan for, so much to do….  I AM excited though.

It’s been a great three years as your #2.  I have learned from the best…, Karen, Dalton, Kelli, Erika…As VP, I have attended four Summits, presented at three Washlines (#4  is coming), organized approx 26 monthly programs/gatherings. I have met tons of incredible people and made lifelong friends from all areas of the country and world.  I can only hope I have met your expectations as VP.

The unknown for me is all of the history and protocol that comes with “years of service” like Karen, W.C. Wiest, Erika Higgins, and Dan Voss have.  I am so glad they will be around for me to tap into their knowledge and experience. 

I am also really excited for our youth this year… coming into a leadership roles…

So I am ready…to Celebrate… to reflect…and to honor those who have served the chapter, the society, and its members this year! Bring it on!

REGISTER/RSVP is required at

PROGRAM: Thursday June 20, 2013
Dinner starts at 6:30pm
Program starts promptly at 7:00pm.

LOCATION:  Louie and Maria’s Italian Restaurant  9728 E Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL 32817

For questions, email –

Louie & Maria's Italian Restaurant 9728 East Colonial Drive Orlando, FL 32817

Louie & Maria's Italian Restaurant
9728 E Colonial Dr
Orlando, FL 32817

If You Missed Last Meeting…

Sarah Baca

By Sarah Baca
Orlando Chapter STC

The May meeting of the Orlando Central Florida chapter included an honor to Melissa Pellegrin as well as an entertaining and informative presentation by Helen Tipton, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM.

Two Melissa Pellegrin scholarships were awarded this year. The recipients of the 2013 scholarships are Cory Bullinger and Candace Du Lac. Both of these students have demonstrated the excellence in Technical Communication that has been commemorated for years in honor of Melissa Pellegrin. We are excited to see the future these students will enjoy as they further the memory of Melissa Pellegrin.

The 31st and 32nd recipients of the Melissa Pellegrin Memorial Scholarship,  undergraduate Candace Du Lac (left) and UCF grad student Cory Bullinger epitomize the commitment to excellence in technical communication which the award—now in its 17th year—represents.

The 31st and 32nd recipients of the Melissa Pellegrin Memorial Scholarship, undergraduate Candace Du Lac (left) and UCF grad student Cory Bullinger epitomize the commitment to excellence in technical communication which the award—now in its 17th year—represents.

Helen spoke about how technical communicators can work with project managers to create excellence within their companies.

Helen first explained what project managers do: they coordinate, remove obstacles, and facilitate communication. Helen made it clear that there is a natural synergy between technical documentation and project management because of the nature of our work.

Technical writers who work closely with project managers can ensure that proper documentation occurs through every phase of the project. A project manager who works closely with the technical writers on her team can ensure that they have everything they need to write world-class documentation.

Helen explained that project managers define many project parameters, such as:
·        The concept or scope of the work
·        The benefits, cost, and ROI (return on investment)
·        The resource planning for a project

She challenged us to ask, “What’s the cost of not doing it?” and to evaluate the PM triangle. When given the choice of price, speed, or quality you can only have two of the three things that you want. For example, you can have the project done quickly at high quality, but the price will be high. You can have the project at a low price and quickly, but the quality will be low.

The project constraints triangle shows that as quality increases so do scope, cost, and time. Helen briefly described how these factors work together for any project.


Everyone who attended the meeting left with a deeper understanding of what project managers do and how we, as technical communicators, can work together to bring excellence to any enterprise.

Upcoming STC Webinars

Cost: Members $59 each; Not Yet Members $149 each; Student Member $29 each. Note: Cost is transferable but is not refundable. Registration closes the day prior to each webinar.

Please add to your address book to ensure receipt of registration emails.

Doc Sprints: The Ultimate in Collaborative Doc Development
Sarah Maddox
Thursday, 20 June | 4:00–5:00 PM EDT (GMT-4)

Many technical writers find themselves in agile environments, where time is at a premium and it can be difficult to pry the developers and other subject matter experts away from their day-to-day deadlines. This session shows how you can walk the agile walk, talk the agile talk, and at the same time have fun developing the tutorials and documents your customers need.

Introduction to Quality Document Translation
Asher Abraham
Tuesday, 25 June | 10:00–11:00 AM EDT (GMT-4)

In this presentation Asher Abraham will introduce the professional process for document localization based on the quality standards set by the EN 15038:2006 quality standard and Net-Translators’ years of experience delivering quality technical translation to its clients. This localization process is specifically designed to produce high-quality translation and ready-to-market localized documentation, while ensuring maximum efficiency and minimum turnaround time.

Defining and Evaluating Success: Metrics for Information Architects
Alyson Riley and Andrea Ames
Thursday, 27 June | 4:00–5:00 PM EDT (GMT-4)

Demonstrate your impact on your customers and business! Make better design decisions! Discuss and learn to define metrics, evaluate, and articulate the value of your strategic architecture and content initiatives.