President’s Corner

Karen_Lane

Karen Lane

By Karen Lane
President
Orlando Central Florida Chapter STC
president@stc-orlando.org

Change is in the air. Not only are the seasons changing, the clock changing, and the economy changing—for the better, we continue to hope—but your Orlando Central Florida STC Chapter is experiencing some changes, too. You’ve probably already noticed some of them: We’ve dropped our meeting fees to much lower levels, and we’ve changed our meeting night from the third Tuesday of each month to the third Thursday of each month.

If that isn’t enough, we’ve even relocated our meeting space—twice! No, we’re not being capricious; we have good reasons for doing so, and our madness really does have some method behind it. You probably remember that our usual meeting space for many years was the Winter Park Civic Center. We were reasonably happy to meet there and would still be there indefinitely, except that we were finding that we had to raise meeting fees to accommodate the expense of providing the space plus refreshments every month. In order to save you some expense, we looked for less-costly meeting space, and so far we have come up with two options and continue to be open to other ideas as well.

February’s meeting was held at the Microsoft store in the Florida Mall. That location had some plusses and minuses, so now we are trying out another location that may well turn out to be our permanent “home.” You can read about the new location elsewhere in this issue of Memo to Members. And we are always interested in your feedback and suggestions for new meeting places.

But right now, I want to assure you that we will not compromise on our commitment to provide quality programming in a congenial setting, one that we can afford. Your Administrative Council is very eager to identify possible locations for meetings in other geographic parts of our community, so that we can have occasional meetings in the northeast, central, southwest, and other parts of Central Florida.

Think about this, please. Do you know of space in the Lake Mary / Heathrow area, for example, that could be suitable for our group? It would need to be donated space, so probably a workplace training room or similar would be best. And it should be accessible to evening admission, with safe, lighted parking. Internet access would be a plus, so we can access online material and distribute the meeting via the Internet to distant attendees.

If this kind of space sounds familiar because your company has such a facility, please contact me (president@stc-orlando.org) so we can discuss the possibilities. We have often heard that because our members are so geographically diverse, many of them cannot attend meetings. If that applies to you, here’s your chance to bring a meeting into your own area.

Segueing from the business of programs to the programming of networking, we’re again planning our regional networking events. I talked about this last month, asking for suggestions for places to meet, but no one stepped forward. If networking with your technical-communication colleagues after work or on Saturday afternoon is of interest to you, let’s make it happen. Be in touch with me, and I’ll put it together.

We are also excited to announce that again this year the chapter is offering up to two scholarships (one undergraduate; one graduate) in memory of Melissa Pellegrin. The information about applying is on our Web site

http://stc-orlando.org/education/college/melissa.asp

and the deadline for applying is March 29, 2013. It’s an easy application and could be worth real money, so download the flyer and application. Instructions for submitting the application are in the flyer.

By now you should have seen our online Rising Stars notice on our mailing lists. Rising Stars is the chapter fundraising program that supports our scholarships and professional development events. Please consider a donation of any amount at all:  every dollar makes a difference. And now to make giving even more convenient, we have an online option at our Event Brite RSVP site: http://stcorlando.eventbrite.com/ Regardless of whether you are planning to attend our next meeting, please visit us at that link and donate a few dollars to help your chapter provide the services and benefits you’ve come to expect from us. For more information about our Rising Stars program, see our Web site (http://stc-orlando.org/education/risingstars.asp) or contact Erika Higgins (risingstars@stc-orlando.org), our Rising Stars chair.

Hope to see everyone at our next meeting!

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