From the Editor’s Desk

Nick Ducharme

Nick Ducharme

Welcome back, dear communicators.

Welcome to a new year of STC Orlando Central Florida and its newsletter, Memo to Members.

Welcome to the same tight-knit professional family that many have known and loved, with some exciting twists that are sure to draw fresh faces.

Welcome to a burgeoning partnership between STC Orlando Central Florida and a certain other entity, which we are sure will bring even more new event content to an even wider audience.

If you’ve been thinking of joining/rejoining the Society for Technical Communication, or even just learning what we are all about…

Now is the time.

OhAnd by “now,” I mean this Thursday evening, August 20th.
Chapter Year Kickoff, 2015.

The IHOP on University Boulevard.
Conveniently located near UCF.
Back room, booked just for us.
Breakfast options at dinner time.
Need I say more? Believe me: I can.

Attendance costs?! Zero! (Just plan on ordering a meal so we can keep the restaurant happy!)

The point:
What can STC Orlando Central Florida do for YOU? There’s only one way to find out!

Click here and RSVP now!

And, as always, enjoy the newsletter.
Nick Ducharme
Editor, Memo to Members

The President’s Corner

Debra Johnson

Debra Johnson

By: Debra Johnson
Orlando Central Florida Chapter, STC

Well… It finally happened… I had been sensing something for a few months or so… You know, obvious avoidance, no communication, no interest in TechComm or in what I do… it was only a matter of time.

On Wed August 5, 2015 at 9:15am, as I walked into the office and was nearly to my desk, I got a text message from my supervisor… “Are you coming into work today or working from home?”

“I am already in the office,” I responded. She IM’d me back, “Please come down to Interview Room B as soon as you can.”

There it was… the message I had been expecting, but hoping wouldn’t come. As my “Spidey-senses” began to tingle, I knew immediately what was about to happen. I just didn’t think it would go down this way…ambushed… kicked out of the popular kid’s party…

I had hoped maybe they would speak to me about my position being eliminated and allow me to leave with dignity, giving me a send-off acknowledging my contribution…for my six years of service. Boy, was I off…way off!!!
Oh Well, it is what it is…and it was a great run… I am so proud of what I was able to accomplish with literally no leadership, no direction, and no support from my leadership team…

Looking back:
• I was able to establish the TechComm discipline; setting it up the right way to be efficient in every way.
• I was able to implement true Enterprise topic-based authoring in the cloud, set up for expansion.
• I instituted TC workflows for creating/updating/retiring, cataloging, and curating content.
• I established a TC development lifecycle that continually operated at maximum efficiency.
• I hired amazing people who bought in to my vision. They were a daily inspiration to me and critical in making things happen; making it a joy to show up each day.
• I was able to collaborate, mentor, and coach other departments, so they could realize their own footprint in TechComm.
• I made lifelong friends.
• I enjoyed some of the most productive years in my 21-year career.

Within one hour of getting the news, and as I packed my desk under the watchful gaze of my director, my friends within STC were blowing up my phone with best wishes, contacts, suggestions on jobs, notifications that they submitted my name for jobs, and doing whatever they could to support me… Wow.

It meant so much to me. I am so blessed to be a part of this organization!!!!

So what’s next for me…? A Contract position? Permanent? …or maybe a totally new direction. Who knows…???

Stay tuned! I’ll keep you posted.

Oh BTW, STC Orlando Central Florida… thank you for your support and for caring!


If You Missed the Last Meeting(s)

By: R.D. Sharninghouse
Orlando Central Florida Chapter, STC

Now the break is over, here are a couple of things that you may have missed…
In June, the Orlando Central Florida Chapter STC held its award ceremony at Sam Sneads in Maitland.


Our chapter received, for the ninth time, the Chapter of Distinction award, and also received the Pace Setter Award. The commemorative cake was not only beautiful, but delicious!



Tavia Record and Nick Ducharme received their first STC Active Member shirts! A very proud moment indeed!



Jon Kessler received an Active Member shirt but with a special edition “Webmaster” title included on the shirt! Congratulations to all of our active members on receiving your shirts and thank you for your participation and continued membership with the Orlando Central Florida STC!




Associate Fellow and former president of the Orlando Central Florida chapter, Mike Murray received a certificate of appreciation for his dedication as a member of the STC. Congratulations Mike Murray!




It was a wonderful night filled with camaraderie, another great moment in our chapter’s history book.
And then:


In July, the Orlando Central Florida chapter STC held its Leadership Day at the Golden Corral on International Drive. We also had members from the Sun Coast chapter, Kathleen D’ Adamo and Alexandra Cata-Ross, join us for the day.


We spent most of the time in the first half of the day talking about the future of the chapter and how to make it more appealing for non-members and current members. Meeting attendance has been up, but we need to focus on quality programs for our meetings to increase/maintain attendance. We have had better member retention due to a decrease in the loss of inactive members.


Many thoughts and ideas were tossed around while we enjoyed the wonderful buffet.


The second half of the day was mainly spent discussing the new CAA guidelines. As the nine-time Chapter of Distinction winner, the members of the Orlando Central Florida chapter STC have quite a challenge this time around.

Fun With Numb3rs

Alex Garcia

By: Alex Garcia
Orlando Central Florida Chapter, STC

Hi everyone! As you know, I’ve been your Treasurer for the past two years, so let’s have some Fun with Numb3rs! This space will be the forum for all subjects monetary. If you have any questions, send them my way at

This month I would like to talk FUNDRAISING! As you know, we are a non-profit and without donations from our members and friends like YOU, we would not be able to bring you exciting technical presentations and professional development programs. How can you help? I’m glad you asked! Associates Program

Since 2003, your Chapter has participated in the Associates Program. We place a banner on our home page, and on Memo to Members, that contains our personalized landing page to If you use our banner to get to and complete a transaction, your Chapter gets a cut of the proceeds, with no added cost to you. No coupons to clip, no codes to put in — it is automatic.

Here is the OCF Chapter’s Amazon Link so you can bookmark it (and don’t forget to use it after you bookmark it!):*Version*=1&*entries*=0&link_code=hom&tag=orlandochapte-20

The banner is at the bottom right corner of your Chapter’s website,, and is pictured below.

Look and use our link on

Look and use our link on



There are several ways you can donate directly to the chapter:

  • Eventbrite: will always contain a “Donations Appreciated” line, as shown here. Credit and Debit accepted. However, Eventbrite does take a nominal fee.
Eventbrite is one of several ways to donate to the chapter.

Eventbrite is one of several ways to donate to the chapter.

  • Snail-Mail: No Fees, the old-fashioned way. Please send your checks or money orders to:
    The Orlando Central Florida Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication
    Post Office Box 540444
    Orlando, FL 32854-0444
  • At a chapter meeting in person:
    • Square: Find me at a Chapter meeting and I can swipe your credit or debit card. For the next few months, Square has waived transaction fees. Thank you Square!
    • Cash or Check

This is Your Year to Get Active, Get Recognized, and Sharpen Your Wardrobe!

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

Sam Sneads_055 (Active Membership, 08/2015)They come in yellow, black, and camel. They have come in forest green and artillery red. And there are maybe 300 in the whole wide world. What are they? Highly sought after Active Member shirts earned by Orlando Central Florida Chapter members!

At our end-of-the-chapter-year awards dinner in June, Membership Chairman David Coverston recognized 13 Active Members at the year-end banquet. Each received a tan polo shirt that helps us stand out in crowds.

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
Serve as a Chair/Officer 0.5 per month for position
0.5 per each Administrative Council meeting
Present a Program 2
Visit a Class or Another Chapter 1
Serve as a Mentor 1 per month
Serve as a Judge 1 per month
Sponsor a New Member 2
Write Articles for the Newsletter 0.5 per article

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!”

Will you be an Active Member? Watch upcoming issues of Memo to Members! And watch for opportunities for mentorship, to share in committee work, or to judge chapter contests.