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.