By Karen Lane
Orlando Central Florida Chapter STC
How do you think about the seasons?
Do you concentrate on the changes in weather—or in our cases, the narrower range of weather conditions here in Florida relative to less tropical areas?
Do you pay attention to the academic calendar that divides up the year into fall, spring, and summer?
Do you follow sports and segue from baseball to football to basketball to hockey to soccer? (Yes, you’re right if you think I have only a vague idea of the sequence of sports seasons.)
Do you concentrate on the fruit season? the vegetable season? the growing season, either in general or for some particular favorite food?
How about the fashion season—the spring line, the fall line.
The television and movie season? the opera season? the holiday season?
In addition to our personal and professional seasons, we also have our life seasons: youth, adulthood, maturity.
I’m going to guess that at one time or another, most of us think of a variety of types of seasons, directing our attention to the ones that achieve salience in our minds at different moments. My attention today has been directed to the STC season, specifically the cycle of activities we experience each year. Each chapter year—which, by the way, runs from July to June rather than from January to December—follows a certain general outline and has done so for quite a few seasons.
We’re entering the time of year when we can see the fruits of our efforts finally ripening. Those who offered to share their experiences with their colleagues at the STC Summit are polishing their presentations and getting ready to travel up to Atlanta for this annual networking and professional development event in early May. I hope that if you are unable to attend this year, you will try to get to the Summit next year. It’s worth the cost in professional contacts and educational value, and you will bring home information that you can use all year.
This is also the time of year when we prepare to hand over the reins of leadership to the next group of active members. We are holding elections this month, and the new officeholders will take their positions in July. If you did not get a ballot, please contact our Nominating Committee chair, WC Wiese (email@example.com). New officers means new and fresh ideas, and I hope if you have noticed anything at all this year it is that our chapter officers want our programs to be responsive to your needs. Get to know your officers and try your hand at helping out in some small way. It’s a great way to make new contacts, colleagues, and friends, and you will be surprised at how rewarding it is. Those of your colleagues who have already taken the plunge into more active membership will see that activity rewarded at the end of our chapter year in June when they receive their coveted Active Member chapter shirts.
Our Annual Business Meeting takes place in May. According to our bylaws, it is at this meeting that the Treasurer reports to the chapter the state of the chapter’s finances. In a way, you can consider the treasurer’s report as a financial recap of the programs and activities we provided for you during the whole year. You will see that your membership dues, along with funds collected from monthly meetings and fundraising, give you great value.
If you attended our March meeting, you noticed that we had a bit more technology around than we usually do. Okay, it looked like a plain old telephone on the speaker table. But in fact it was a direct line into our account at Meeting Burner, which we will now be using to distribute and record meetings so that those who were not able to attend in person can still benefit from the content of our meetings. This possibility, too, is the culmination of a year’s worth of effort—and several years of discussion—to broaden our chapter’s reach into the technical communication community.
Last on this list but quite important is the recognition our chapter has received for our various programs and initiatives in 2012. For the seventh time, the Orlando Central Florida STC Chapter has been honored with the Society’s Chapter of Distinction designation. At the Technical Communication Summit next month in Atlanta, all chapter members present at the honors banquet will go up on stage to receive the certificate and the accolades of the entire Society. Those of us who are there will accept the award on behalf of all chapter members, and we will be so proud to be representing you.
As always, I am eager to get your feedback, suggestions, kudos, and complaints. Please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The more you tell us about how we’re doing and what programs you would like us to implement, the better we can serve you, and the more Orlando Central Florida STC Chapter becomes your chapter. Without our members—you—we have no purpose. Please take advantage of the benefits of your membership and become an active contributor. Make this your season of participation and leadership.