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Ann-Marie Grissino and Sarah O'Keefe Named Associate Fellows
2008, Q2 (September 25, 2008)
By Diane Feldman, Carolina Chapter Member and Associate Fellow, and Michael Harvey, Carolina Chapter President and Associate Fellow

At the 55th Annual Technical Communication Summit (http://www.stc.org/55thConf/register/index.asp) in Philadelphia, two members of the Carolina Chapter received the honor of STC Associate Fellow. The following two-piece article describes why these two members deserve such an honor.

Ann-Marie Grissino Receives Honor

Ann-Marie Grissino
Ann-Marie Grissino
Anyone who has had any contact with Ann Marie Grissino knows that she is a dynamo of activity, good humor, skills, and ideas. It would be difficult to overstate her contributions to the technical communication profession and to STC. Ann-Marie’s company, Keypoint Consultants, is nationally recognized for excellence in technical communication, especially in the realms of online communication and e-learning. In her quest to provide the right communication solution for her clients’ projects, Ann-Marie avidly pursues the latest tools and techniques for information development and delivery. As an early adaptor of technical communication technology, she works hard to go beyond the gee-whiz factor to discover the value that the technology can provide to people-centered communication solutions.

Ann-Marie shares what she learns about new technologies in meetings and online discussions of Carolina chapter and Society special interest groups, in articles for the Carolina chapter newsletter, in presentations at chapter meetings and at STC annual conferences, and in training workshops. Hundreds of STC members have learned valuable skills thanks to her generosity and her teaching talents. Beyond STC, she shares her knowledge and skills with future technical communicators in the technical writing certificate program at Duke University, where she teaches the Information Architecture and Final Capstone classes for the program.

Above all, Carolina chapter members know Ann-Marie as the longtime coordinator of our technical communication competitions. Thanks to her tireless efforts, countless technical communicators have benefited from the expert advice and feedback provided by the judges of their competition entries. Because Ann-Marie regards this feedback as the most valuable aspect of the competitions, she developed a rigorous and successful judge training session that she scheduled each year at the start of the judging period.

Ann-Marie was selected to participate in the 2002 People to People Citizen Ambassador delegation to China led by STC Fellow George Hayhoe. Approximately 15 senior technical communicators from North America traveled together to Beijing, Shanghai, and Guilin. They met with universities considering technical communication programs and with organizations and companies actively engaged in the profession.

With all of her professional activities, one would expect that Ann-Marie would have little time or energy for other things. Not so! She was thrilled to be a member of the delegation to China in part because she saw it as an excellent opportunity to learn more about the native culture of her adopted daughter, Lian. Ann-Marie, her husband, Hank, and Lian have been attending Chinese language classes every Saturday since 2003. Hank and Ann-Marie are both musicians and look forward to musical evening with their friends. For the past two years, Ann-Marie has coordinated the efforts of hundreds of volunteers in staging the Odyssey of the Mind in North Carolina, an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college.

Ann-Marie's citation reads, "for extraordinary leadership and vision in the technical communication profession and for outstanding, sustained service to the Carolina chapter."

Sarah O'Keefe Receives Honor

Sarah O'Keefe
Sarah O'Keefe
It's hard to be in our business in our part of the country and not know of Sarah O'Keefe. Sarah founded Scriptorium Publishing Services, Inc. in 1997. The company is a leading provider of consulting and training services for technical writers and publishers. The company has developed courses and self-paced training for technical writing, FrameMaker, WebWorks Publisher, XML, and XSL. Sarah's particular focus is on optimizing publishing workflows by implementing appropriate tools and technologies.

Sarah is the author or co-author of FrameMaker 5.5.6 for Dummies, The WebWorks Publisher Cookbook, Technical Writing 101, and FrameMaker 7: The Complete Reference/Publishing Fundamentals: FrameMaker 7. She wrote several white papers widely read by technical communicators on XML, structured authoring, implementation of XML, integration of XML with publishing tools, and the like. She is an accomplished public speaker who has presented at numerous regional, national, and international conferences, both for STC and other organizations. Her service to our chapter includes managing the very first TriDoc. Her business smarts proved invaluable as we negotiated with hotels, caterers, and speakers to pull together a compelling program at reasonable cost and charge the right price.

Sarah's citation reads "for business acumen and integrity, technical vision, and a prolific speaking and writing career that has contributed insight and original thinking to the field of technical communication."

Michael Harvey can be reached at mtharvey at yahoo dot com. Diane Feldman can be reached at diane at authorcraft dot net. End of article.

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