By Cindy Pao, President, STC Houston
STC Houston came into 2013 looking strong, so let’s take a look at how we did that.
The chapter provided six program meetings in 2012:
- Help 2.0: Welcome to the New World of Socially-Enabled Help by Scott Abel
- Targeted Documentation by Alyssa Fox
- The Economics of Information by Sarah O’Keefe
- Career Paths for Those with Technical Writing Skills (multiple speakers)
- Helpful User Experiences: Building Mobile Apps that Reduce the Need for Help by Kelsey Ruger
- Editing Workshop by Linda Oestreich
When you add “Planning Computer Simulations for Delivering Information Through Video” by Matt Sullivan in October and our leadership workshop by Linda Oestreich in November, I’d say the educational offerings in 2012 were pretty robust.
Did you seize the opportunity to get out and network with other technical communicators? There were networking lunches in the Galleria and downtown areas, after-hours networking events, and Lone Writer SIG gatherings throughout the year.
STC Houston remains financially strong. We submitted our 2013 budget on time, and it was approved by the Society’s budget-approval committee. This means that, with the partial pass-through funding from the Society, we will receive $1560 to add to our coffers. The chapter subsidized the 50th anniversary celebration in November, and also made a donation to STC as part of STC’s Industry Leaders program. Our donation to the Society shows, once again, that STC Houston is one of the top chapters!
In October of 2012, the chapter had 107 members, and eight more members signed up before the end of the year, bringing the total to 115. As of today, all eight new members have renewed their STC and STC Houston membership, plus we have gained an additional 12 members, putting STC Houston at 127 members!
During 2013, I plan to hold a new-member luncheon, so stay tuned for more information.
STC Houston was named a Community of Excellence for the activities we completed in 2011. We’re currently finishing up our Chapter Achievement Award application for 2012, and I expect big things for us at the TechComm Summit in May.
On an individual level, Stephanie Donovan was awarded the Distinguished Chapter Service Award.
Community Affairs Committee Survey
In late 2012, the Outreach Team of the Community Affairs Committee (CAC) used a survey to collect feedback from STC communities. 60 community leaders responded to the survey. The information collected included the general health of the community, the kinds of problems faced by STC communities, if council and management positions are filled in the communities, and what kinds of activities the communities are holding.
As your STC Houston president, I took the survey; as a member of the CAC, I also got to see the results. I would like to address one of the items, participation.
Community leaders see participation in community activities as being down; I see this, too. As your chapter leader, I want to understand why. I have these questions:
- Why are fewer and fewer people attending the program meetings?
- Are the topics at the program meetings interesting to you?
- Will the topics at the program meetings help your career?
- What kind of educational offerings (programs) could the chapter offer that you would attend?
- In what way would you be able and willing to get involved with the chapter to further your career?
While the admin council strives to plan and execute activities that provide value, it seems that we’re missing something. We need to know what that is, as well as your ideas for solutions, so that we can change the trend.
Let’s get the conversation going to improve our chapter. Leave a comment to this article with your comments, questions, and ideas.
The members of STC Houston are, and always have been, among the best technical communicators in the Society. Help us show not-yet-members why STC Houston is the logical choice for them and their careers!