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Volunteer of the Quarter: John Balchunas
2005, Q4 (June 12, 2007)
by Anjela Dukes, Carolina Chapter President

John Balchunas
John Balchunas

John Balchunas is the Workforce Training Manager of the Education and Training Program at North Carolina Biotechnology Center located in RTP. While not currently a technical writer, John worked as a technical writer for several years in the medical device and biotech industry. He is a graduate of the M.S. program in Technical Communication at North Carolina State University.

John’s job focuses on combining biotech industry training needs assessment and working with the state’s educational institutions to develop relevant training and coursework to generate interest in the biotech industry. Therefore, John is constantly looking at the skills and knowledge required to be successful in the field.

Maybe that is why he replied to a “help wanted ad” that I posted to the STC Carolina discussion list in search of salary and employment survey committee members. One goal of the survey is to assess and report on the skills (both technical and soft), experience, and educational levels of technical communicators in the Carolina chapter.

In his response to my email, John agreed to be a member of the committee. After struggling to find a leader for the committee, John stepped up to the task and agreed to lead the group.

Like a true leader, John immediately took control of the survey by establishing a committee and defining the timeline, goals, and subsequent steps required to get the survey posted. After completing those tasks, he took the time to analyze previous surveys and developed a side-by-side comparison that he used to create the initial draft. With an utmost level of professionalism and skill, John circulated the survey for review, responded to concerns and posted the survey.

To help generate interest and attract more participants, John cooked up the plan to offer incentives for participating. For the first time, all respondents that successfully complete the survey are entered into a drawing to win one of six amazon.com gift certificates. One $50.00 gift certificate and five $10.00 gift certificates will be awarded.

We are all looking forward to the results of the survey and would like to thank John for coordinating the research and creation of a survey. He definitely deserves to be recognized as our chapter’s Volunteer of the Quarter. End of article.

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