By: Bernard King
Florida Chapter, STC
The STC Florida Chapter Leadership Retreat, held on August 10, 2019, was my first time attending an STC event in-person. My goals for attending the meeting were to engage with the members of the Florida chapter, as well as gain a better understanding as to what was expected of me as a member and how meeting these expectations could benefit my career as an up-and-coming Technical Communicator.
Alex Garcia opened the meeting by focusing on attendee introductions, expectations for the meeting, and distribution of active member awards and t-shirts. I found this part of the meeting to be the most inspiring. Those attendees who were recognized seemed very proud of their contributions to both the organization and the technical communication industry as a whole.
The subject then shifted to the importance of the 2019-2020 volunteer initiative and how the encouragement of active participation is vital to STC’s overall goal of encouraging professional training and development. Karen Lane explained how tasks are offered to members based on experience. It was revealed that there are various short-term and long-term positions within the organization that are yet to be filled, several of which various members volunteered for. This inspired me to contribute this article to Memo to Members.
The next part of the meeting addressed the mentoring program and the benefits of being an STC student member. Among the subjects discussed were the decline in physical meetings due to increased online student enrollment, the increased cost of student membership, the mentorship program, and various scholarship programs. Also discussed were possible methods of reaching out to high school students interested in careers in the field of technical communication.
The meeting shifted its focus to the importance of preserving the Chapter’s history. I was surprised to find out that only one STC chapter has a detailed archive. Dan Voss put forth an idea to have a chapter history page on the STC Florida website. Dan pointed out that the research being conducted for this chapter history could result in the most detailed history archive of any chapter as well as potential Pacesetter Recognition.
The retreat then wrapped after a brief discussion on future meetings and programs for the 2019-2020 year. Many different topics were discussed and voted on. Among them were programs focusing on document design, project management, help guides, and job hunting.
After the meeting had adjourned, I walked away assured that volunteering for this organization would yield results that will provide a promising start to my career.