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Looking Ahead of Us
1997, Jan-Feb (June 06, 2008)
by Kathryn L. Turk and Michelle Corbin Nichols

Because this is the start of a brand new calendar year, we thought it would be interesting to check in with some of the Chapter leaders. We wanted to get a feel for where we have been and where we
are going.

We asked Bill Albing (President), Michael Uhl (Vice-president), Larry Kunz (Strategic Planner), Kathy McKenzie (Membership Manager), Lee Bumgarner (Job Bank Manager), and Michelle Corbin Nichols
(Newsletter Editor) these questions:
  • Now that half of the STC year has passed and we're about to embark on a new calendar year, what are your goals for the chapter?
  • What do you enjoy most about being a chapter leader? What do you find most frustrating?

Surprisingly, many of the leaders’ comments about the Chapter and each other were similar, with these themes emerging:
  • The Chapter has a strong set of members, but their talents and knowledge are untapped because of a lack of engagement. Also, members do not take advantage of the opportunities the Chapter provides.
  • The Chapter has a good set of active and enthusiastic leaders who want to serve their fellow technical communicators.
  • The board members are clearly committed to providing the best possible services to the Carolina Chapter; and they all derive great satisfaction from their interactions with each other and the members.

Membership Involvement

The Carolina Chapter has 369 members with a diverse set of backgrounds. North Carolina, and especially the Research Triangle Park area, provides rich opportunities for our profession. Unfortunately, few members get involved in the Chapter, its programs and opportunities.

Michelle Nichols, Newsletter Editor, had this to say: "I'm as guilty as the next member for not having been involved in the Chapter. To try to solve this lackluster attitude, I try to bring to the board the
reasons why I didn’'t attend a single Chapter meeting before becoming a board member. I just didn't realize how beneficial it is to interact with a variety of people and how much fun it can be providing a service to other members." Finding ways of getting the membership involved continues to be a key focus of all the Chapter leaders.

Enthusiastic Chapter Leaders

Vice-president Michael Uhl summarizes his enthusiasm this way: "I have a Faust-like craving for knowledge and an extrovert's craving for human interaction....I enjoy working with others who are willing to sacrifice time to advance their career by helping others."

Kathy McKenzie, Membership Manager, enjoys meeting and getting to know new members. Lee Bumgarner, enjoys the "small things in helping members" and "sincere thank yous" from job-seeking members.

President Bill Albing feels "we are involved in a very dynamic and exciting profession that plays a crucial role in a global enterprise of rapid cross-communication."

Providing Quality Services

Each and every board member is committed to providing the best service possible to Carolina Chapter members. While Michael Uhl is clearly chasing the most angles for us, all Chapter leaders are focused on providing the most—and the best—information possible to our members. From the treasurer (Jeanne Ferneyhough) to the Secretary (Pat Moell), to the President and Vice-President, the board is working hard to serve the Chapter well.

Larry Kunz, our Strategic Planner, sums up the Chapter leaders' commitment to providing the best quality service this way: "I'd like to see our chapter recognized as the information source and the trend-setter for technical communication in our area—by members, by nonmembers who are in the profession, and by the general public. We can move toward this goal by having excellent information events (conferences, programs, seminars) and excellent information outlets (newsletter, Web site, job line). We're headed in the right direction, but we have a long way to go." End of article.

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