The President’s Corner

Alex Garcia

Alex Garcia

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

president@stc-orlando.org

Hi everyone. I hope that you had a wonderful holiday season. Here at the Orlando Central Florida Chapter STC, we are embarking on our most important calendar year, in well, about 18 years—Orlando is hosting the 2018 STC Technical Communication Summit Conference and Expo at the Hyatt Regency Orlando on International Drive, May 20-23, 2018.

About four months ago, your Orlando Central Florida Chapter STC leadership team put together twin proposals to present at the Summit – one for the pre-conference Leadership Day and the other a technical session during the conference itself. Well, it is my distinct honor as your President, to announce that BOTH of our proposals have been accepted.

In our presentations, we wanted to showcase the incredible effects that our Mentoring program has had on creating new leadership within the Chapter. Four of your Chapter’s STC Fellows agreed to “sit out” presenting at their hometown Summit in order to “coach” four of your young Chapter leaders. The following two abstracts represent the combined effort of these eight Chapter luminaries:

Young Leader Coach
Alex Garcia
President, Orlando Central Florida Chapter STC
W.C. Wiese
STC Fellow
Active Membership Coordinator
Orlando Central Florida Chapter STC
Bethany Aguad
Treasurer and Co-Manager, Education Committee, Orlando Central Florida Chapter STC
Mike Murray
STC Fellow
Chapter Historian
Orlando Central Florida Chapter STC
Crystal Brezina
Secretary, Orlando Central Florida Chapter STC
Karen Lane
STC Fellow
Chapter Director
Orlando Central Florida Chapter STC
Nick Ducharme
Communications Manager and Newsletter Editor, Orlando Central Florida Chapter STC
Dan Voss
STC Fellow
Co-Manager, Education Committee
Orlando Central Florida Chapter STC

From a personal perspective, I am honored and humbled by being accepted to present not once, but twice at an international conference. It has been a decade since I traveled to my last STC Summit as a student, so I am doubly thankful for the opportunity that speaking at this year’s Summit affords me. Registration is now open at the following link. Definitely consider taking advantage of the special 65th Anniversary rate, available through 31 January!

 

Technical Session

Fueling Your Future: STC Experience Builds Professional Leadership Skills (50 minutes)

Bethany Aguad, Crystal Brezina, Nick Ducharme, & Alex Garcia
The collaboration of experienced leaders with newer practitioners fosters leadership skills as the newer practitioners advance their careers and prepare to take on management roles in their companies and profession. Four young leaders detail their development from student members to Orlando Central Florida chapter leaders. Mentored by experienced professionals, these four “Rising Stars” describe the key roles they now hold within the community and how the chapter’s flourishing student mentoring and leadership development programs accelerated their growth into positions of responsibility. The presentation with interactive question and answer breakout includes a take-away handout, along with an index to an online toolkit of techniques and proven strategies to support newer members or less experienced practitioners as they prepare to assume leadership positions.

The topics covered in this session include:

  1. The student mentoring program as a model for workplace mentorship
  2. Veteran leaders training new leaders: Training entry and middle-level practitioners to assume leadership roles
  3. Annual Leadership Retreat as a key to strategic planning
  4. Fueling volunteerism with fun: integrating social activities into Administrative Council meetings

After the formal panel presentation, informal interactive discussions maximize the take-away value of the session by enabling participants to explore ways of adapting the leadership development approaches described in the session to their own STC communities and their professional careers.

 

Leadership Day Session

Forging the Future: Tips and Tools for (Re)Building Your STC Community (90 minutes)

Bethany Aguad, Crystal Brezina, Nick Ducharme, & Alex Garcia

As host chapter for the 2018 Summit, the Orlando Central Florida (OCF) Chapter welcomes its STC colleagues with an informative interactive panel presentation followed by a progression-style working session at Leadership Day. Four of the community’s young chapter leaders—our “Rising Stars, all “graduates” of the community’s flourishing student mentoring program with the University of Central Florida (UCF) and all now holding key leadership positions in the chapter—share tips and tools for sustaining and building an STC community.

The panelists collectively give a 30-minute overview presentation covering the 10 community-building and leadership initiatives listed below. They then pair up to host two 15-minute rotations of a progression-style “Take-Away Talk”—an interactive discussion in which the speakers field audience questions on the 10 OCF programs described in the presentation and distribute a take-away handout, along with the index to the online toolkit described above.

The topics covered in this session and the speakers who will address them are as follows:

  1. Student mentoring program with UCF (Bethany Aguad and Nick Ducharme)
  2. College scholarship programs (Aguad and Ducharme)
  3. Leadership development program (Aguad and Ducharme)
  4. Active membership initiative (Alex Garcia and Crystal Brezina)
  5. Fund-raising strategies (Garcia and Brezina)
  6. Communication forums: website, newsletter, social media (Aguad and Ducharme)
  7. Growing virtual outreach to the statewide Florida STC community (Aguad and Ducharme)
  8. Strategic planning: annual Leadership Retreat (Garcia and Brezina)
  9. Fueling volunteerism with fun: social setting for Administrative Council meetings (Garcia and Brezina)
  10. Using STC’s Community Achievement Awards (CAA) program to build your community (Garcia and Brezina)

On average, 3 minutes of the overview panel presentation will be devoted to each of the 10 topics. The exact timeline will vary slightly depending upon the nature of the topic, but the total duration of the overview will not exceed 30 minutes. The four panelists will alternate in addressing the topics.

In the follow-up Take-Away Talks, Bethany Aguad and Nick Ducharme will host an interactive discussion on Topics #1, 2, 3, 6, and 7 above, and Alex Garcia and Crystal Brezina will host an interactive discussion on Topics #4, 5, 8, 9, and 10. The two rotations will run 15 minutes each, enabling the audience to interact with the presenters for all 10 topics. The idea of the informal interactive discussions is to maximize the take-away value of the session by enabling participants to explore ways of adapting the OCF programs described in the session to their own STC communities.

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