From the Editor’s Desk

Emily Wells

Technical Communicators of Florida and Beyond,

Welcome to our new chapter year! We have a lot going on this month as we kick off our new year, and I’m here to give you a sneak preview of what’s to come.

To start, this month, we are partnering with the wonderful folks of the North Texas Lone Star Chapter to hold our first joint chapter meeting! For more information or to RSVP, read on or visit the RSVP page.

Next, I’d like to welcome a new writer to MtM, Bernard King, as he provides his takeaways from the 2019 leadership retreat held earlier this month.

And last, but certainly not least, Florida Chapter Treasurer W.C. Wiese shares how you can earn a coveted Florida Chapter active member shirt as well as a contest to win an awesome STC-related prize (I want to win it x1000). Read on to learn more!

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

Catch you on the flip side,

Emily Wells
Communications Chair
Editor, Memo To Members

Get Hyped for this Month’s Meeting!

Lightning Talk: Tech Writing Skills in Nontraditional Fields

Emily Wells

By: Emily Wells
Communications Chair
Florida Chapter, STC

A first for our chapter, this month, we are partnering with the North Texas Lone Star Chapter to join their live meeting Lightning Talk: Tech Writing Skills in Nontraditional Fields virtually. We will have three speakers who are professionals with a background in technical writing that are currently in job roles unrelated to tech writing. This is to encourage tech writers to look at careers and jobs with titles that are not strictly “tech writer” or “technical communicator.”

So what’s a lightning talk, you ask? A lightning talk is a very short presentation lasting only a few minutes. Several lightning talks will usually be delivered by different speakers in a single session.

Our three speakers will share how their tech writing experiences prepared them for their careers, and what advice they have for someone looking to join their career field from a tech writing background. There will be plenty of time for Q&A, so bring your questions and come meet these amazing professionals and learn about new career opportunities.

8:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. – Lightning talk, presentations, and Q&A.

Please RSVP using this link.

About the Presenters:

Maurice Moss – Product Manager at Axxess

Laurel Beason – Lecturer and Director of Corporate Relations at Univ. of North TX

Kyle Rollins – Technical Writer/Scrum Master

2019 Leadership Retreat Recap

By: Bernard King
Florida Chapter, STC

The STC Florida Chapter Leadership Retreat, held on August 10, 2019, was my first time attending an STC event in-person. My goals for attending the meeting were to engage with the members of the Florida chapter, as well as gain a better understanding as to what was expected of me as a member and how meeting these expectations could benefit my career as an up-and-coming Technical Communicator.

Alex Garcia opened the meeting by focusing on attendee introductions, expectations for the meeting, and distribution of active member awards and t-shirts. I found this part of the meeting to be the most inspiring. Those attendees who were recognized seemed very proud of their contributions to both the organization and the technical communication industry as a whole.

The subject then shifted to the importance of the 2019-2020 volunteer initiative and how the encouragement of active participation is vital to STC’s overall goal of encouraging professional training and development. Karen Lane explained how tasks are offered to members based on experience. It was revealed that there are various short-term and long-term positions within the organization that are yet to be filled, several of which various members volunteered for. This inspired me to contribute this article to Memo to Members.

The next part of the meeting addressed the mentoring program and the benefits of being an STC student member. Among the subjects discussed were the decline in physical meetings due to increased online student enrollment, the increased cost of student membership, the mentorship program, and various scholarship programs. Also discussed were possible methods of reaching out to high school students interested in careers in the field of technical communication.

The meeting shifted its focus to the importance of preserving the Chapter’s history. I was surprised to find out that only one STC chapter has a detailed archive. Dan Voss put forth an idea to have a chapter history page on the STC Florida website. Dan pointed out that the research being conducted for this chapter history could result in the most detailed history archive of any chapter as well as potential Pacesetter Recognition.

The retreat then wrapped after a brief discussion on future meetings and programs for the 2019-2020 year. Many different topics were discussed and voted on. Among them were programs focusing on document design, project management, help guides, and job hunting.

After the meeting had adjourned, I walked away assured that volunteering for this organization would yield results that will provide a promising start to my career.

Will You Earn a 2020 Active Member Shirt? Here’s How!

By: W.C. Wiese
Florida Chapter, STC

Want to stand out in our profession? Want to show the boss you’re serious about your job? This’ll do it.

Another chapter year, another distinctive Active Member shirt for helping to make the  Florida Chapter successful!

For almost 20 years, the Florida Chapter has recognized and rewarded the members who are essential to our chapter’s success with unique active member shirts. Our distinctive leadership shirts aren’t sold, only earned. They set our membership apart at meetings, STC conferences, and in the workplace. In fact, after years of envy, several other chapters have contacted us and started their own active membership programs.

The shirts let members celebrate chapter pride whenever they wear them at work. It sends a positive message to employers, clients, and co-workers:  I am committed to technical communication and self-development. I am a member of STC!

Now that our chapter meetings are regularly networked statewide, recent changes to the active membership program ensure that virtual attendees aren’t overlooked and that multiple contributions to the chapter’s publicity efforts are credited. As the table shows, members earn points for every monthly meeting attended, whenever they put on a program, attend an Administrative Council (AdCo) meeting, or serve as a judge, mentor, or chairman/officer. Another great way to earn points is by helping Communications Chair Emily Wells with articles, photography, and production of Memo to Members.

Based on past campaigns, the most active 15 percent of our membership ordinarily receive shirts. So we’ll see you at the next meeting!

Jumpstart Your Active Membership by Winning Our New Member Campaign!

By: W.C. Wiese
Florida Chapter, STC

An often-overlooked active membership opportunity is sponsoring a new member! The Florida Chapter is always looking to grow and needs your help. That’s why our active membership program awards two points for each new chapter member you sponsor.

It’s not hard to do. Do you have a co-worker who needs a nudge? Bring them with you to the next meeting or participate together online – just help them act on that frequent desire to see what STC is all about and help them appreciate the professional growth they’ve been missing. When they join STC and become a chapter member, you get points for having been their contact and host.

Talk about feeling good! You’ll feel really good about yourself, you’ll get two Active Member points for each new member, and you’ll maybe win a contest. Sponsor the most new members by the end of 2019, and you’ll be the winner of a great pair of technical communication socks from the 2018 STC Summit.

The well-dressed active member doesn’t stop with a Florida Chapter shirt. Add these limited-edition STC socks if you’re our new member campaign winner!