From The Editor’s Desk: Special Edition

I have enjoyed creating this newsletter for the past year or so, but due to the ups and downs of my current job I have been unable to publish the newsletter in time.  The position of editor-in-chief will be handed over to Nick Ducharme.  He will take over for the February issue.

It has been a great experience and this transition will allow me to focus on my other position as secretary for the Orlando chapter STC.

Thank you for this wonderful opportunity!

In the meantime, here are some live webinars you can attend from January through March…


Ben Woelk, Rochester Institute of Technology

Wednesday, 21 January 2015 | 2:00–3:00 PM EST (GMT-5)

Many of us would agree that Western society lauds extroverted leaders and their accomplishments. However, introverts have made great contributions as well and can be effective leaders in their own right. Have you wondered how to empower yourself and leverage your innate skills to become a leader? Join Ben Woelk as he shares his personal insights and path to leadership with you.


Anita Horsley, CALEX Learning Consultants, LLC

Wednesday, 28 January 2015 | 2:00–3:00 PM EST (GMT-5)

If you need to show a quick lesson on your computer, using Adobe Captivate’s Video Mode is one of the fastest and most compelling ways to create eLearning. You can insert assets such as images and text captions, as well as easily take advantage of other cool features such as pan/zoom and transitions. Not only that, but you can make your eLearning demos interactive by developing it right inside a regular Captivate project. In this workshop, get ready to learn how to create rapid, professional, engaging video demos within your Adobe Captivate eLearning course.


Elisa R. Sawyer, Independent Consultant

Wednesday, 4 February 2015 | 2:00–3:00 PM EST (GMT-5)

Do classes in creative writing improve our skills as communicators in technical fields? The presenter says yes! Even for writing reference material, the use of story craft as taught in creative writing affords us a set of skills that are uniquely valuable. Learn what is taught in master classes on story and how using these skills can improve what we offer to our audiences as technical writers.


Sarah Maddox, Google

Wednesday, 11 February 2015 | 2:00–3:00 PM EST (GMT-5)

Have you ever wondered what API technical writers do and how they go about it? Perhaps you’d like to move into developer-focused documentation yourself and just need some tips on getting started. Join Sarah Maddox as she discusses what an API is and demonstrates some easy-to-use APIs that you can play with later yourself. Examine examples of API documentation and gather some ideas on getting started in this field. It’s an exciting and rewarding area of technical communication!


Toni Ressaire, Publisher, Route 11 Publications

Wednesday, 18 February 2015 | 2:00–3:00 PM EST (GMT-5)

Your users are buying tablets and e-readers, and they are reading electronic documents easily on portable devices with reading apps, on computers or e-readers. A January 2014 Pew study reported that over 50 percent of Americans have a tablet or reading device and that 32 percent have a dedicated reading device. Whether you want to leverage this document format for users, clients, or to write your own tech book, this webinar will introduce you to the tools and processes for creating ebooks for reading on portable devices.


Ed Marshall, Marshall Documentation Consulting

Wednesday, 25 February 2015 | 2:00–3:00 PM EST (GMT-5)

Want to increase your technical communicator pay by 30 to 40%? You can by documenting application programming interfaces (APIs) and software development kits (SDKs). This market has a demand that constantly exceeds the supply of writers who have the required skills. In this webinar, Ed Marshall introduces you to the world of API/SDK documentation and the two most common tools you need to know to be successful: Doxygen and Javadoc.


Joe Malin, EXO U USA, Inc.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015 | 2:00–3:00 PM EDT (GMT-4)

Even if you don’t know how to code, you can deliver effective code samples to your readers, and even improve how your SMEs write code. Effective code samples are clear, concise, easy to follow, and easy to read, so as a writer, you know more about writing good code samples than some engineers. Tune in to this webinar to learn how you can apply what you already know to delivering good code samples.


Thea Teich, Owner and Principal, Teich Technical and Marketing Communications

Wednesday, 25 March 2015 | 2:00–3:00 PM EDT (GMT-4)

After her first 20 years as a technical communicator with nonprofits, government agencies, and corporations, Thea Teich “went out on her own,” working as an independent. In 2015, she will have worked 20 years this way. This webinar describes her myriad experiences: why and how clients came and went; how to deal with inconsistent workloads, work flows, and payments; how to handle the hassles that take much more time than they should, and why you should embrace the fact that cats will get on the keyboard—among other things. Despite all this, Thea has no desire to ever be a “captive employee” again. Come to this session if you think you might like to work this way.

Please take advantage of these great webinars.


R.D. Sharninghouse
Secretary and Editor, Memo 2 Members Newsletter

A View From Number Two

Mary Burns

By Mary Burns
Vice President
Orlando Central Florida Chapter STC



The View from Number 2

Last year I signed up for a month-long “wellness” challenge called Healthy Brain Habits.  I received the promise of extra bucks in my health savings account and a list of memory-boosting activities I was to choose from five days a week.

I enjoyed checking off stress management exercises, “adequate rest” occurrences (rarer than I like to admit), and the Sunday crossword as a “mind challenge.”  I became aware that many of my everyday tasks as a technical communicator could have qualified as brain-healthy. Analyzing dozens of specifications for a release and editing documentation based on them is surely the equivalent of “read an informative book.”

“Learning a new skill” is also something I do regularly in my job, as is sharing facts with others, which benefits memory. Best of all, according to the activities sheet, a study found that using writing skills to make every word count can help ward off Alzheimer’s: “The more ideas you can pack into your written sentences, the lower your risk.”

So as 2015 brings a new year of working in or aspiring to a profession with a built-in brain fitness factor, it’s a good time to consider career fitness! I hope you will join us for Jack Molisani’s presentation “Be the Captain of Your Career.”

If You Missed The Last Meeting…


Karen Lane

By Karen Lane
Orlando Central Florida Chapter STC






Chapter Honors New Associate Fellow

By Karen Lane

The Orlando Central Florida STC Chapter is fortunate—and unusual—in having several current members who over the years have attained honorary ranks in the Society. You may be surprised to learn that of the 67 technical communicators and retired technical communicators who are members of our chapter, two are Associate Fellows of the Society and seven are Fellows.

Our newest Associate Fellow, nominated in 2013 and confirmed by the Society Board in 2014, is Mike Murray. Many of you know Mike as Education Committee member (1998–2007), mentor (2003–2007), chapter vice president (2001–2002), president (2002–2005), and Director on the Board of Directors of the Society for Technical Communication (2006–2008). Actually, his list of accomplishments for STC, his impressive work record,  and his countless hours volunteering in the community all add up to a lifetime of service. Indeed, the list of his activities and credentials spans 25 pages.  Some of you may also remember that on May 20, 2014, Mike was awarded his Associate Fellow certificate at a ceremony during the Honors Banquet at the Technical Communication Summit in Phoenix, Arizona.

What didn’t happen at the Honors Banquet was the awarding of the Associate Fellow plaque. Members of the Orlando Central Florida STC Chapter decided to honor Mike at the December 11 Holiday Reunion at the Lake Mary Marriott. Chapter members David Coverston, Debra Johnson, Dan Jones, Karen Lane, WC Wiese, and Dan Voss  collaborated on acquiring the official Associate Fellow plaque for Mike to display in his home as a reminder of the esteem and appreciation of his colleagues and friends.

The plaque citation reads “For clarity of vision, strength of purpose, power of communication, and creativity in leadership that has gracefully guided and deeply enriched the profession, the Society, the Central Florida community, and all who call him friend.”

Associate Fellows

Lori Gillen

Mike Murray


Mark Hanigan

Dan Jones

Karen Lane

Jack Molisani

Gloria Reece

WC Wiese

Dan Voss

Active Member Program

The Year’s Half Gone. Will You Be an Active Member?

By W.C. Wiese

2015_1_AM Program Pic

Our chapter year is half over, which means you should already have earned 7 active member points if you want to receive a coveted Orlando Central Florida Chapter Active Member shirt.

Since 2001, the Orlando Central Florida Chapter has recognized members who are consistent in their attendance and help make the chapter a success. These distinctive leadership shirts cannot be bought, only earned. They set our membership apart at STC conferences and in the workplace. (After years of envy, several other chapters have copied us and begun their own active membership programs in the past 5 years.)

As the table shows, members earn points every month they attend a meeting, put on a program, attend an Administrative Council meeting, or serve as a judge or mentor.

Activity Point Value
Attend Chapter Meeting 1
Chairman/Officer 0.5/month for office0.5 for each AdCo
Present a Program 2
Visit a Class or Another Chapter 1
Serve as a Mentor/Month 1
Serve as a Judge/Month 1
Sponsor a New Member 2
Write Articles for the Newsletter 0.5

You’ll need to earn 14 points to receive a 2015 Active Member shirt. But it will be worth it!

The shirts let our members celebrate chapter pride in the workplace whenever they choose to wear them. They send a positive message to employers, clients, and co-workers: I am committed to my profession and committed to self-development. I am a member of STC!