STC Carolina Flexes Its MusclesBy Anjela Dukes, Chapter President
I’ll admit, when I took over the presidency of our chapter last year, I was a little apprehensive. The Carolina chapter faced some large changes and challenges: the Transformation Initiative, hosting a local conference, and budget cuts from the Society level, just to name a few. STC Carolina not only stepped up to these challenges but showed what it means to be a STRONG chapter. Let me be the first to say that this has been an amazing year! I’ve enjoyed serving as the Carolina Chapter president this year. I look forward working with the dedicated and talented chapter members and leaders for another year of success.
I know they say winning isn’t everything, but it sure is nice to be recognized for outstanding work. At the annual conference May 8-11, 2005, in Seattle, WA, our chapter received the following three Society-level awards in recognition of our professional achievements and service to both the Society and the technical communication community.
- Chapter of Excellence Award: This award was presented to our community “for innovative initiatives that add value to Carolina community membership, and for consistent support of the technical communication profession at all levels.” Achieving this honor is no small feat. To quality for the Chapter of Excellence Award, we must submit a CAA (Chapter Achievement Award) application, be nominated by the CAA judging committee, and be selected for recognition by STC’s board of directors. Thanks to all leaders and volunteers for making this happen. Your efforts and dedication helped us receive this prestigious award.
- Pacesetter Award: This award recognizes the conference committee, “for your dedication, hard work, and enthusiasm in hosting the 2005 Tri-Doc Conference.” The chapter pacesetter award recognizes a chapter for a specific, outstandingly innovative, and successful activity. In contrast to the achievement award, which recognizes exceptional strength across many activity types, the pacesetter award is a onetime celebration of our chapter’s contributions to the Society’s goals through a single innovative and effective activity.
The Tri-Doc 2005 committee deserves recognition for their dedication, enthusiasm, and resourcefulness. Hats off to Steven Meeks, Terry Smith, and Jenna Moore for an outstanding job! And, thank you to chapter members for supporting and participating in the conference.
Note that a chapter may not receive both a Chapter Achievement Award and a pacesetter award in the same year; however, the director-sponsor may recommend an exceptionally strong chapter for both awards. Not only were we recommended for both, we won both! Way to go Carolina Chapter!
- Award of Merit: We received an Award of Merit in the Society’s newsletter competition for the Carolina Communiqué. This award celebrates our newsletter committee, which continuously provides articles that communicate news about and develop interest in technical communication and STC. This award highlights the importance of the skill and talents of hard-working, perceptive editors. Thanks to the newsletter staff for their creative minds, diligent efforts, and eye for detail. Congratulations to Michael Harvey, Sheila Loring, and Deborah Dion for a job well done!
Three awards in one year! Not many communities can boast of this type of recognition from the Society. Thanks to the help of our volunteers, the chapter consistently provides its membership with invaluable activities, resources, and professional support.
Below I’ve highlighted some of our events and additional accomplishments from this year. You have all done an outstanding job of adding value to STC Carolina membership and make it fun to be a part of our chapter.
- As part of the Transformation Initiative on the Society level, our community was approved as rechartered at the January 2005 STC Board of Directors Meeting. Rechartering our chapter consisted of updating our mission statement, forming new chapter goals and strategies, planning activities, and describing to Society what type of professionals we plan to attract to our chapter. For more information on transformations, see http://www.stc-carolina.org/transformations.
- We added an XML Resource Portal to our website to provide information about XML relevant to technical communication. This information was added based on the results of the XML Survey, http://www.stc-carolina.org/surveys/xml_survey.shtml, completed by 10% of our membership. See http://www.stc-carolina.org/resources/xml.
- We created a formal process for recognizing outstanding chapter volunteers on a quarterly basis: the Volunteer of the Quarter Award. We depend on our volunteers to provide the activities and services that make our chapter great. This year we’ve recognized Betsy Kent, Steven Meeks, and Ann-Marie Grissino for their outstanding service to our community. If you would like to nominate someone for this award, see http://www.stc-carolina.org/about/nominate.shtml.
- We implemented new member benefit programs:
- Partnered with RTP Federal Credit Union in order to provide our members access to the benefits of credit union membership. All STC Carolina Chapter members (and members of their immediate family or household) are eligible for membership with RTP Federal Credit Union, and joining is easy.
- Became a User Group for O’Reilly Media to allow our members to take advantage of discounts of professional related books and participate in book reviews. See the new Membership Benefits section at bottom of our chapter homepage, http://www.stc-carolina.org, for more information.
- In response to a chapter survey that said members wanted more networking time, Heather Brautman began coordinating socials—happy hours, chocolate tasting, and movie outings—to add a more casual side to the chapter. She’s still looking for your input, so visit this page to learn more and to complete the survey: http://www.stc-carolina.org/calendar/social.shtml.
Now that we’ve taken a moment to reflect on our success and achievements from last year, it’s time to roll up our sleeves and push forward. Below are two of the goals that I’d like everyone’s support in achieving this year.
- Focus on Strategic Planning
We’ve done a lot this year to gather information in reaction to the Transformation Initiative. Now it’s time to focus on the bigger picture of planning for our chapter’s future based on the changes the Transformation brought. Michelle Corbin and Meredith Blackwelder worked with many of you to identify the following goals for our chapter:
- Provide a solid foundation of structure, organization, process, and standards
- Provide consistent, accurate, and usable information about our society and field
- Provide value to our members in a variety of ways
- Provide a balance between virtual and face-to-face events and activities
- Recognize and reward our members and especially the volunteers in our chapter
We presented strategies we plan to use to achieve these goals at Vision Day, held June 16, 2005. The Strategic Planning Committee and the Administrative Council are working to assemble committees to reach these goals. Stay tuned for updates and explanations of changes that will take place in our chapter!
- Implement an internal and external chapter PR plan
Our new Public Relations Manager, Jenna Moore, will head-up the efforts to promote our community’s events and services to the corporate community, other chapters, members and non-members.
If you have comments on these goals, would like to volunteer, or if you have great ideas that you’d like to share, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.