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.