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Looking back on a year of change
2002, Q2 (March 04, 2007)
by Michael Harvey, Immediate Past President

This year has passed so quickly! Of course, this year has been like no other in recent memory. I suspect that everyone reconsidered his or her priorities after 9/11, putting career concerns second to the needs of family and friends. For those who took part in chapter activities this past year, I hope you found more than simply a gathering of writers and editors, but a real community of like-minded professionals.

In the late spring of 2001, I returned from STC's annual conference in Chicago, ready to begin my term as President and fired up by Dewitt Jones's keynote address to "take it all in, give it all back." I chose Jones's tagline as the theme for my Presidency, setting five specific goals for our chapter. How did we do in meeting those goals?

1. Assemble a slate of engaging talks and workshops.

Meredith Blackwelder did an excellent job enlisting speakers such as Paul Jones, who spoke about open source and sharing communities on the Internet, and Ann Roberson, who talked about how to use graphic design principles to enhance our technical communication. Meredith also assembled compelling roundtable discussions, such as progression tables to explore the different uses of technical communication software, and a panel discussion on translation issues. Frances Wirth, who received a Distinguished Chapter Service Award for her leadership of our chapter's training committee, arranged for timely and relevant classes and workshops.

2. Plan and stage a compelling, memorable conference.

Although TRIDOC did not break even, it did not break the bank, and it generated an undeniably positive buzz among participants. Sarah O'Keefe, Amy Hawkins, and the rest of the TRIDOC team did an outstanding job pulling it together. Presenters from the Boston area, including Neil Perlin, Seth Maislin, and Char James-Tanny, made a point of telling us how much they enjoyed our conference and would love to come again. For more information, read Mike Boyd's article on page 3 of this newsletter about his experience at the conference.

3. Step up our mentoring efforts

Our mentoring initiative took shape this year with a well-thought-out plan. We will look forward to continuing with this focus during Meredith's term as President.

4. Conduct another salary survey

Lydia Wong completed another local salary survey, and presented her results at TRIDOC. Great job! Her full report is available at http://www.stc-carolina.org/salarysurvey/index.shtml.

5. Make volunteering for STC activities more appealing

We attracted a hard-working and resourceful group of volunteers for TRIDOC. After serving in other leadership positions, Meredith Blackwelder and Sheila Loring took on more visible and more challenging leadership roles for our chapter.

And there are a number of new faces on the incoming leadership team. I trust that Anneliese Kellner, our incoming Secretary; Greg Berg, our incoming Programs Manager; Mir Haynes, our incoming Communications Manager; and Kim Thornton, our incoming Employment Manager, will bring new ideas and perspectives to the administrative council.

In addition to those five planned objectives, we set out to transform our newsletter from print to a web format. The new style and delivery method has been positively received not only by our own membership but by many outside of our chapter. Focusing less on chapter events and more on ideas and trends of interest, our beautifully designed newsletter gives members publishing opportunities (write articles!) and food for thought (read articles!).

What do you think our most important objectives for the coming year should be? Participate in our discussion mailing list to let us know. We provide instructions for signing up at http://www.stc-carolina.org/www/lists.shtml.

It has been a rewarding year, and I sincerely thank you for the opportunity to serve. I look forward to continuing to work with Meredith, Sheila, and the other chapter leaders in my advisory role of Immediate Past President.End of article.

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