From the Editor’s Desk

Emily Wells

Technical Communicators of Florida and Beyond,

The holiday season is officially upon us, and I’m here to bring you glad tidings along with a mega newsletter! Read on to learn more about our amazing holiday social or visit our Meetup page for more information.

Next, President Bethany Aguad provides our chapter’s 2018 year in review for her final President’s Corner article of the year, as well as providing a recap of last month’s meeting.

In addition, STC Fellows Dan Voss and Mike Murray provide an update on two changes announced earlier this year, the kick-off of the Leadership Development Program (LDP), as well as STC Florida’s new Values, Vision, and Mission Statements.

That’s all from me for now. I hope to see you at the social!

Catch you on the flip side,

Emily Wells
Communications Chair
Editor, Memo To Members

President’s Corner

Bethany Aguad

By: Bethany Aguad
Florida Chapter, STC

Members and Friends of the STC Florida Chapter,

2018 has been a year of exciting opportunities and challenges for the Florida chapter!

From updating our branding to hosting the 2018 Summit, treasured memories abound. Looking back to my first President’s Corner in August, we have accomplished so much since then:

  • Sharing four educational programs in person and online from nationally recognized presenters (Meetups)
  • Conducting five virtual networking meetings connecting with technical communicators across Florida
  • Hosting our first hybrid panel with face-to-face and virtual panelists (How to Make Subject Matter Experts Your Tech Comm Allies)
  • Formalizing our chapter’s commitment to inclusivity (Our Values)

You all worked hard, dedicating your time and energy to the chapter, and I cannot thank you enough! I especially want to thank David Coe and Riptide for graciously providing meeting space this year. We have had several fantastic programs in their conference room while connecting with our online attendees. We are now truly connected statewide, and I have enjoyed the chance to get to know so many of you this year.

Going into next year, I know we have opportunities to build on this year’s achievements. Volunteers are the fuel that powers our chapter’s success! We are seeking members who want to get involved from short-term projects to ongoing committee roles. If you are interested in getting involved, please reach out to me, since I know we all have talents to share.

Happy holidays and have a wonderful new year!

Get Hyped for this Month’s Meeting!

Emily Wells

By: Emily Wells
Newsletter Editor and Communications Committee Chair
Florida Chapter, STC

Happy holidays!

I know you’ve already heard once from me this month, but since I’m super excited about our holiday social, I wanted to invite you once more to join STC Florida at our Holiday Social 2018!

We invite all Technical Communicators, Alumni, and Guests to join us at Bahama Breeze near Waterford Lakes, where we will be gathering to celebrate 2018 and look forward to 2019.

We always have a good time at our holiday social, and it’s a great chance to meet new people and network in a stress-free environment while also sharing some holiday cheer.

For more information or to RSVP, please visit our Meetup page. I hope to see you there!

Values, Vision, and Mission Statements Ratified by Administrative Council

Our Values Provide the Vision to Achieve our Mission

By: Dan Voss and Mike Murray, STC Fellows

Our lighthouse is shining.

Culminating a year-long initiative spearheaded by STC Fellow and chapter historian Mike Murray, the Administrative Council formally approved the chapter’s Values, Vision, and Mission Statements at its December meeting.

The beacon in our community’s lighthouse is fueled by our seven core values:

Our values guide us to safe harbor for all.

  • Caring
  • Education
  • Excellence
  • Inclusivity
  • Teamwork
  • Vision
  • Volunteerism

Collectively, these values guide us safely through the perilous shoals of discord, disunity, and dysfunctionality that can sink any community.

Our summary Values Statement is as follows:

The Florida STC Chapter operates upon seven shared core values: caring for each other and for others, with inclusivity for all, a passion for education, a commitment to excellencethe vision to build for tomorrow, and the teamwork and volunteerism to achieve things today.

A detailed Values Statement with a definition of each core value and an explanation of how it guides our community, along with our Vision and Mission Statements, are provided on our website.

Just like a lighthouse, our Values give us the Vision to safely pursue and achieve our Mission.

Our Vision Statement is:

To develop and enhance the practice of technical communication in Florida by exploring and implementing emerging technologies while still stressing critical core skills—and, in the process, creating and sustaining a cohesive statewide technical communication community.

Our Mission Statement is:

To advance the statewide exchange and application of technical communication expertise through diverse channels, and to demonstrate the business value professional practitioners offer with their core skills and their mastery of emerging communication technologies.

Inclusivity targets diversity in technical communication.

Leadership Development Program Charts Course for the Chapter Year

Kickoff Meeting Builds on Success at Summit 2018

By: Dan Voss and Mike Murray, STC Fellows

The STC Florida Chapter’s innovative Leadership Development Program (LDP), entitled Passing the Torch, kicked off the 2018-2019 chapter year with an organizational meeting at the home of the LDP manager, Mike Murray.

The LDP is a natural extension of our flourishing student mentoring program with tech comm students at the University of Central Florida, co-sponsored by the STC Florida Chapter and the Future Technical Communicators (FTC) student club at UCF.

The Concept

Originally conceived by then chapter president Alex Garcia in 2017, the LDP came to fruition this year under the guidance of STC Fellows Mike Murray and Dan Voss. As detailed in the article “Passing the Torch: Mentorship Program Expands to Include a Creative Leadership Development Program” in the April 2018 MtM, the LDP focused initially on preparation for the 2018 Summit last May, where the four LDP Rising Stars worked with their LDP Coaches to develop and deliver two outstanding presentations and accompanying round-table take-away talks at the Summit.

In fact, chapter Vice President Nick Ducharme made an engaging and informative as one of ten innovative chapter initiatives the Rising Stars presented at Leadership Day at the Summit.

The Basis

The LDP centers on 18 key leadership skills. To pair the Coaches and Rising Stars, Mike and Dan asked the Rising Stars and Coaches to rate themselves on these 18 skills, dividing the skills into three groups of six (areas of strength, areas of satisfactory performance, and areas for growth). They then made the pairings by aligning the Rising Stars’ self-identified leadership growth areas with the Coaches’ strongest leadership skills.

 The Pairings

The LDP pairings for the 2018-2019 pair four of the chapter’s officers with veteran STC community leaders, as follows:

  • President Bethany Aguad is paired with Treasurer and STC Fellow W.C. Wiese
  • Vice President Nick Ducharme is paired with past chapter president and Director-at-Large Debra Johnson.
  • Immediate Past President Alex Garcia is paired with Director-at-Large and STC Fellow Karen Lane.
  • Secretary Crystal Brezina is paired with former Education Committee manager and STC Fellow Dan Voss.

All four Rising Stars are former UCF student members of our chapter and “graduates” of the chapter’s student mentoring program co-sponsored with FTC.

The Kickoff Meeting

At the LDP kickoff meeting for the 2018-19 chapter year, host Mike Murray made the actual “kickoff” with a brief pep talk, including some of the many valuable leadership concepts he set forth in his eye-opening and inspirational Fast-Start Leader’s Guide, published in March and widely disseminated at the 2018 Summit.

“Leaders come in many forms with many styles.” STC Fellow and LDP manager Mike Murray welcomes the LDP Rising Stars and their Coaches to a “kickoff” meeting for the 2018–2019 chapter year.

The Guide is, of course, “required reading” in the LDP—and it has been extremely well received as a resource for STC community leaders nation-wide. If you haven’t read this  valuable work, you will find it both engaging and enlightening. It is posted on our chapter website as part of the extensive community-building electronic resources the Rising Stars made available to all STC communities at their Leadership Day presentation at the Summit.

Following some “light refreshments” that turned into a sumptuous “pot-luck” repast, the four LDP pairs met privately to establish their goals for the Rising Stars’ leadership growth this year in their responsibilities as chapter officers and as young technical communication professionals in the workforce. Over the course of the evening, Mike circulated among the four pairs to offer his guidance and suggestions.

I thought this was going to be ‘light refreshments.” True to form, the LDP Rising Stars and Coaches “over-achieved” as all contributed to a sumptuous pot-luck spread hosted by Mike’s wife Kay.

The Road Ahead

Throughout the year, the Coaches and Rising Stars will communicate regularly via face-to-face meetings, email, texts, telephone, and other media to track the Rising Stars’ progress in achieving the identified leadership growth objectives.

November Meeting Recap

Bethany Aguad

By: Bethany Aguad
Florida Chapter, STC

“Fast, Accessible, Accurate: Choose one!”

Last month, the talented Li-At Rathbun presented “Our Level Best,” where she covered technical editing from levels of edits to how we tackle projects. You have probably seen Li-At’s name before since she teaches the society’s “Technical Editing Foundations” STC online course and is an STC Associate Fellow.

Li-At emphasized how to adapt the levels of edits to meet the needs of your different projects. She also explained the role of technical editors as tech support for writers and advocates for users.

Join us in thanking Li-At for her outstanding presentation!

Our Level Best.

A wonderful turnout, both in person and on-line!