June 2012

9 06 2012

Inside this issue:


From the Editor’s Desk

9 06 2012
Alex Garcia

Alex Garcia

Hello friends and members of the Orlando Chapter STC!

Welcome to another exciting issue  of Memo to Members.

It gives me great pleasure to bring you the picture below.

STC Orlando Central Florida Chapter Respresentatives Accepted Triple Awards at the 2012 STC Summit: Community of Distinction, Most Improved Chapter, and 2011-2012 Community of the Year. From Left to Right: Sarah Baca, Dan Voss, Bethany Bowles, WC Wiese, Debra Johnson, and Karen Lane.

There is nothing really left to say, but CONGRATULATIONS to all the friends and members of the Orlando Central Florida Chapter STC!

If you would like to see more pictures of the Summit 2012, head on over to Facebook.


While you’re there, don’t forget to “Like” our page:  Orlando Central Florida Chapter STC on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter: @STCOrlando on Twitter

Do YOU have an article you’d like to submit for Memo to Members? Don’t be shy… email me at  newsletter@stc-orlando.org You will get an Active Member point for your submission

Until next month,

Alex Garcia
Orlando Central Florida Chapter STC Memo to Members

President’s Corner

9 06 2012

Karen Lane

By Karen Lane
Orlando Central Florida Chapter STC

It’s hard to believe summer is almost here. It’s hard to believe how much your chapter has accomplished this year.

What did we do all year? If you would like a recap of the chapter’s accomplishments—of our members’ accomplishments—please join us at our annual end-of-year banquet on Tuesday evening, June 12, at 6:30 at the Willow Tree Café (willowtreecafe.com) in Sanford. By now you should have received the full notice of the event; if you haven’t, e-mail me for a copy (president@stc-orlando.org), and be sure to RSVP to Debra Johnson (vicepresident@stc-orlando.org).

This past month has been a very busy one for us. A few fortunate chapter members were able to attend the annual STC Summit, which is the premier conference for technical communicators. It was held just outside Chicago, and even though NATO dominated the news while we were there, the real action was at the conference. Our chapter was the talk of the Summit when we walked out with the three top prizes in the Community Achievement Awards ceremony, a veritable trifecta of accomplishment.

Your Orlando Central Florida STC Chapter shared the Most Improved Community award with the Toronto Chapter, was recognized a record-setting sixth time as a Chapter of Distinction, and (best for last) closed the ceremony as we were announced to be the Community of the Year. This designation means that of all the chapters and SIGs in the entire international Society for Technical Community, Orlando Central Florida Chapter was Number One, Numero Uno, Top Dog, Best in Show.

These awards reflect and honor the commitment and passion our members bring to the technical communication profession. Congratulations, Orlando Central Florida Chapter! And many thanks to Patricia Cruz, who shepherded the application process from planning to execution to award.

In other Summit news, Dan Voss and Bethany Bowles ably presented at the Summit Leadership Program, sharing information about our mentoring program so other communities can use our program as a model. They also serve on the Society-wide CAC, as does chapter treasurer, Sarah Baca. Debra Johnson, chapter vice-president, participated in a pre-conference certificate program. WC Wiese was recognized for his Board of Directors role as his term of office ended. We know he will be innovating in other avenues of service that will go in directions we cannot even imagine now.

One more item of interest concerning the Summit: While I was there I met two chapter members whom I didn’t already know—Alicia Kerns and Jenny Mellquist. I hope we will be seeing more of them at our chapter meetings, now that we’ve had a chance to become acquainted. I think we have a chance with Alicia, but meeting Jenny at the Summit was probably the closest we’re going to come for a while. Jenny, you see, lives in Sweden! Yes, we are an international chapter. Jenny is a former resident of Melbourne, Florida, and when she moved back to Sweden there was no STC chapter at the time so she stayed with us. We’re glad to know our most-distant member and hope she visits us when her travels take her to Florida.

If all this talk of the Summit makes you envious, I have good news for you. In August we will be presenting our annual “Washlines” program in which those who have attended the Summit share their experiences—education sessions and handouts—with those who were not able to attend. You won’t want to miss this meeting on August 21, 2012, when we reconvene after a short summer break.

The summer break is punctuated this year, as every year, with the chapter Leadership Retreat, a full-day training and planning session for chapter leaders and future leaders that will be held on Saturday, July 21. If you would like to attend and haven’t received the notice that I distributed via the chapter announcements list, please contact me directly: president@stc-orlando.org.

One last mention that may be of interest if you’re a member or have been thinking about becoming a member but are not able to travel to Winter Park for our monthly meetings: We are interested in providing two services to our geographically dispersed colleagues. One is that we’d like to set up remote virtual access to our meetings. You can help if you have some expertise in this area and are willing to assist in getting us established. Let me know at president@stc-orlando.org.

The second service we are implementing is to bring networking opportunities to our colleagues who cannot attend meetings at our usual location in Winter Park. We’ve already had two of these “mixers”—one in Melbourne (Brevard County) and the other in Lake Mary. They were hugely successful, and the next stop will probably be in the southwest corridor somewhere. If you know of a place that would be suitable (a not-too-noisy bar-and-grille or a restaurant with a quiet—and low/no cost—meeting area), please contact me.

That’s all for now. I hope to see many of our members, friends, and relatives at the end-of-year banquet on June 12. Make sure to RSVP.

See you there!

A View From Number Two

9 06 2012

Debra Johnson

by Debra Johnson
Vice President
Orlando Central Florida Chapter STC

Debra is currently the Technical Communications Lead Content Strategist at Wyndham Vacation Ownership in Orlando, FL where she is responsible for leading the Technical Communications team within Wyndham’s Information Technology department.


Well, It’s that time of the year… Graduations, Weddings… Endings and new beginnings…

Same for us at STC Orlando Central Florida.  We are meeting this month to celebrate the end of 2011-2012 year where we say goodbye to incumbents and say hello to a new set of officers and new challenges as a chapter…

This year we have four returning officers, President, Karen Lane; Immediate Past President, Dalton Hooper; myself as Vice President; and Sarah Baca as Treasurer. New to our Administrative Council is Rachael Blankenbecklor, as Secretary; and Erika Higgins and David Coverston in the position of Director at Large…a new position on the council. It promises to be a great year…
We will be meeting at the Willow Tree Café in Sanford, Florida to install the 2012-2013 officers and celebrate all of the amazing accompishments this year. Please join us…everyone is welcome.  Members, Non-members, Guest, Students, Significant others….

Tuesday, June 12, 2012  

Netowrking start at 6:30pm
Program begins promptly at 7:00pm

 There are no Regular Meeting Fees.  Only Cost is your individual meals and drinks.

We need to let the restaurant know, so please RSVP vicepresident@stc-orlando.org

Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Cafe
205 East 1st Street
Sanford, FL 32771
(407) 321-2204

See you there…!!!

First Time at the STC Summit

9 06 2012

Bethany Bowles

By Bethany Bowles
Mentoring Co-Chair/FTC Liaison
Orlando Central Florida Chapter STC

As a first time attendee, I really had no idea what to expect from this year’s Society for Technical Communication Summit in Rosemont-Chicago. Armed with business cards (thanks to the advice of the wonderful Patricia Cruz), I embarked with my mentor, Dan Voss on quite an adventure.

Receiving our chapter’s Community of the Year Award on-stage at the Honors Banquet (Photo by Rick Lippincott)

From the beginning, it was a whirlwind of activity. I went from presenting a progression with Dan at the Leadership

program, to attending the education sessions on a multitude of topics, to meeting technical communicators from around the world, to wandering around the expo hall with a new friend collecting swag. Telling the stories of each fascinating person I met, all the opportunities I learned about, and the knowledge I gained would require more words than I can reasonably put in this single article. Really, the best way to explain what the Summit was like for me would be to list some of highlights of my experience:


  • Celebrating the three major awards our chapter received at the Honors Banquet
  • Receiving an extremely positive response to the progression Dan and I did on mentoring
  • Connecting with students from around the country over deep-dish pizza
  • Receiving my certificate for being inducted into the Sigma Tau Chi Honor Society from Hillary Hart, STC’s immediate past president
  • Voting at the annual business meeting
  • Being coerced by fellow members of the Community Affairs Committee to sing an Irish Drinking Song (alcohol-free, of course)
  • Meeting STC members face-to-face, who I only knew by email previously
  • Meeting Jenny Mellquist, an Orlando Chapter member who lives in Sweden
  • Collecting dozens of business cards from connections made

An unexpected meeting with Jenny Mellquist, our chapter’s international member.

As a student, I needed this exposure to the fantastic representation of the technical communication profession. While I had high hopes for the Summit, I can honestly say that the experience exceeded all expectations. Not only did I enjoy my time there, I believe I gained knowledge and connections that will help me in my future career. I hope you all will considering attending next year’s Summit in Atlanta, Georgia on May 5-8. I know I would not miss it!

Final Active Member Point Standings 2011-2012

9 06 2012

Our active members chair, WC Wiese, has spent countless hours poring over this Chapter year’s meeting attendance, contest judging rosters, AdCo committee participation figures, Memo to Members correspondents, among other statistics. Well he has emerged from his secret underground lair (The Rocket Factory?) and come up with the list of Orlando Central Florida Chapter members who will receive one of the coveted Active Member Shirts at this Tuesday’s End of Year Banquet.


2011-12 Orlando Active Members Final Standings

Didn’t make this year’s cut? Get Active, and this could be you next year:

Outgoing STC-Orlando Treasurer Mark Wray shows off his 2010-2011 Active Member Shirt at the end-of-year banquet in June 2011.