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President's Message
2007, Q1 (July 12, 2007)

Thanks for the Inspiration

By Larry Kunz, Chapter President

Larry Kunz
Larry Kunz

A few days ago I had the privilege of joining many of you at the Carolina chapter's annual awards banquet. The banquet honors the people who've won awards in our online, art, and technical publications competitions. This year we also recognized two chapter members, Cindy Richardson-Decker and Meredith Kinder, with the Distinguished Chapter Service Award.

Thanks for helping me see our profession’s potential, and thanks for helping me remember my potential.
The competitions — and the awards banquet that honors the winners — are among the most important things we do in our chapter. They provide much-deserved recognition to technical communicators who are producing excellent work, and they showcase the best work being done in our profession. (Several Carolina chapter winners have gone on to garner top awards, including Best of Show, in STC competitions at the international level.)

But the best thing about the competitions is that they inspire me.

You’re all familiar with the day-to-day realities of our jobs — things like scope changes, schedule pressures, and demanding co-workers. Sometimes, dealing with these challenges can seem all-consuming. When the day is over, it seems like we’ve applied all of our creativity and all of our energy merely to meeting requirements. Rather than forging ahead, we’ve toiled just to keep from falling behind.

The people who received awards at the banquet weren't exempt from any of that. Yet I was reminded — by meeting those people, by seeing their work, and by hearing them describe the obstacles they overcame — that it's still possible to do excellent work even when those day-to-day realities are looming over us.

At the banquet I saw their excellent work. I saw documentation that’s fresh and inventive, that delights clients and customers alike. I saw ample proof that technical communicators in our chapter are achieving what is arguably the main goal of our profession: making it easier for people to access technology and use it to meet their needs.

And when I got to the office the next morning the mountain of challenges didn’t look quite so daunting. I realized that I don’t have to think in terms of surviving, of minimizing risk. Instead, by investing some creative thinking and some hard work, I can reach higher and do things that are really outstanding.

Perhaps this article will encourage some of you to reach higher, to look past the day-to-day challenges and become a part of what makes our profession so special. But mostly I hope it conveys my thanks to those of you who are already doing that. Thanks for helping me see our profession’s potential, and thanks for helping me remember my potential. Thanks for the inspiration.

Larry can be reached at lkunz at sdicorp dot com. End of article.

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