From the Editor’s Desk

nick2016

Nick Ducharme

Technical Communicators of Florida and Beyond,

Our state is still reeling from Hurricane Irma. Many are without power, water, or worse. In light of this, it may seem like an awkward time for a technical communication newsletter, but please bear with me. I have three items of great importance to share in this introduction. I’ll get right to it.

First of all, now is a great time to join or renew with the Society for Technical Communication! There is currently a promotion to join and get 16 months for the price of 12. Renewal rates are also discounted. Click here and benefit while it’s available!

Secondly, you might have heard that STC’s Technical Communication Summit is being held in Orlando in 2018. (It will be held on 2023 May! Save the dates!) Are you interested in presenting a topic at the summit? The call for proposals is underway! Proposals are due by 11:59 PM EDT (GMT-4) on Wednesday, 27 September 2017. You can learn more about the submission process using these important links:

  • Call for Proposals – learn about the general process, what we’re looking for, how to upload your proposal, and more.
  • Summit Topics and Ideas – review a list of topic areas and ideas to inspire you.
  • Session Types and Descriptions – submit either a presentation or a preconference workshop proposal. Submitters are limited to a total of two session proposal submissions and two preconference workshop submissions.

And finally, we have a very special meeting planned for you. How does a nice dinner and networking session sound as a way to get away from some of that post-hurricane stress? This is your chance to meet two representatives from STC’s international headquarters! Elaine Gilliam, the society’s Meeting Manager / Communities Staff Liaison, and Stacey O’Donnell, interim COO, are visiting to help prepare for the 2018 STC summit in Orlando. (Did I mention that the 2018 summit will be in Orlando!?)

Please join us at the Yard House Restaurant adjacent to the Orlando Eye. The meeting will be held this coming Tuesday, September 19th, from 69 PM. Please note this will be on a Tuesday instead of our usual Thursday. Most of all, please click here to RSVP!

 

There is also a fourth thing I hinted at last month, but wow, that was a mouthful. I’ll hold off for now.

All the best,

Nick Ducharme
Manager, Communications Committee
newsletter@stc-orlando.org

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The President’s Corner

Alex Garcia

Alex Garcia

By: Alex Garcia
President
(Orlando Central) Florida Chapter, STC

president@stc-orlando.org

Hello and welcome to another edition of President’s Corner. The past two weeks have been long ones in the State of Florida. We were shook from our daily lives with the impending doom that a category 5 hurricane, Irma, was about to unleash. In all, 5 million Floridians took to the roads and evacuated. The hurricane ravaged the Caribbean before making landfall in the Florida Keys and heading northwest. Its originally-projected destination, Miami, seemed to have been spared a direct visit from the eye. In a normal storm, that would have meant sunny skies. However, Irma was not a normal storm. This behemoth measured 600 miles across! No, Miami was not spared. Neither was Fort Lauderdale, Naples, Fort Myers, Bradenton, Tampa, St. Petersburg, Lakeland, nor Orlando.

Today, the weather is sunny and hot in Central Florida. We are waterlogged; some of us have no power or worse, and ice is now a currency traded for removing tree limbs and palm fronds. Nevertheless, we persist. We will rebuild, and we will carry on. Members and friends, if you are personally affected by the hurricane and could use a hot meal or a place to charge your phone, please reach out to anyone on the administrative council at adco@stc-orlando.org.

Orlando is slowly coming back to life. Need a break from the heat and want to engage in some networking? Don’t forget about our upcoming social event this Tuesday, September 19th at 6 PM at the Yard House on International Drive. Please click here to RSVP! Our special guest will be Elaine Gilliam, STC’s very own STC Meeting Manager / Communities Staff Liaison who will be here checking out the Summit’s venue, the Hyatt Regency Orlando. It is fitting that I scheduled a social meeting for September, as now, more than ever, we just need to chill out and collectively decompress. Come ready to discuss the 2018 Summit in Orlando (http://summit.stc.org). Our editor, Nick Ducharme, has more details on how YOU can submit a proposal to present at the STC Summit elsewhere in this issue.

Until next time, stay cool, Florida!

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If You Missed July’s Meeting

Crystal Brezina

By: Crystal Brezina
Secretary
Orlando Central Florida Chapter, STC
secretary@stc-orlando.org

On Saturday, July 22nd, 2017, the annual STC Orlando CFL Leadership Retreat was held at UCF. Chapter members came together to discuss the upcoming year for the chapter, including CAA participation, student and member outreach, officer reports, and the upcoming 2018 Summit.

The primary topic throughout the meeting was the annual STC Summit, planned to be held in our very own Orlando. Members discussed using upcoming meetings to prepare, as well as promotional materials to boost attendance, and chapter members submitting articles for STC’s Intercom publication.

The Leadership Retreat included an ADCO meeting, with topics on active membership, member development, and website documentation.

Participants reviewed plans for the new Leadership Development Program, which pairs senior technical professionals and new technical professionals in an effort to increase the knowledge and skills of the new technical professionals, similar to the existing mentorship program. This program will not only boost the skills of the young professionals, but will create more opportunities for new graduates to learn and grow in the chapter.

I am excited to see how this coming year for the chapter progresses. It looks to be an active year for all members as we focus on the development of the chapter and what will surely be a successful STC Summit.

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Everyone sharing knowing looks, presumably about our chapter’s secret handshake. (Not really.)

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Serious business.

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President Alex Garcia (on left) leading a discussion as Secretary Crystal Brezina (on right) diligently takes notes. (Editor’s Note: This article’s corny captions are brought to you by yours truly, so rest assured that Crystal is not talking about herself in the third person!)

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Immediate Past President Debra Johnson (on left) and Director David Coe (on right) participating in a lively discussion.

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Special thanks to Dr. J.D. Applen (on right) for helping us once again book the Technical Writing Lab at UCF! It’s proven to be a valuable locale for our retreats these past couple years.

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Emily Wells presenting on matters related to UCF’s Future Technical Communicators club.

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Jack-of-all-trades W.C. Wiese presenting on the state of the chapter. He serves many roles in our chapter, including photographer! But we still manage to snap a few shots of him every now and then.

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Alex (on left) presenting a chapter service award to Director and “Chapter Parliamentarian” Karen Lane (on right).

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Treasurer Bethany Aguad (on left) presenting an award of gratitude on the chapter’s behalf to Alex (on right) for his outstanding leadership.

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If You Missed August’s Meeting (Coming Soon!)

Editor’s Note: Due to the impacts of Hurricane Irma, we need a little more time to make this article the best it can possibly be. I’m reserving this spot for the time being. It’ll be updated as soon as as humanly possible. In the meantime, I’d like to state that Jack Molisani’s presentation, What I Learned from Facebook for Business, was just as enlightening as any of his signature presentations for our chapter. And that is a high bar. 🙂

Our Active Membership Program. How It Works for You. How It Works for the Chapter at Next Year’s Summit.

W.C.PhotoBy: W.C. Wiese

Active Membership Shirts 1Want to stand out in our profession? Want to show the boss you’re serious about your job? This’ll do it.

They come in blue, yellow, black, and camel. They have come in forest green, medium gray, and artillery red. And there are probably less than 350 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 banquet in June, Membership Chairman David Coverston recognized 13 Active Members. Each received their blue polo shirt that ensures they will stand out in a crowd.

Since 2001, the Orlando Central Florida Chapter has recognized members who are consistent in their attendance and who help make the chapter successful. The 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 started their own active membership programs in the past 5 years.)

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!

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

Active Membership Values for 2017 Chapter YearYou’ll need to earn 14 points to receive a 2017-18 Active Member shirt. But the esteem and envy you’ll receive will be worth it!

The shirts are especially valuable in the year ahead as Orlando hosts STC’s annual summit. Members of the host chapter are key sources of information and conference satisfaction for attendees. The shirts will help our active members again rise to the top.

Active Membership Shirts 2

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