Vol 44, Issue 1

September/October 2004

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From the President

Strengthening Our Community

by Cindy Pao, Information Developer, BMC Software, Inc.

What’s that buzz you hear around STC? It’s the transformation. The dues structure is changing, and we’re hearing a lot more about communities.

Your chapter is a community. So are the special interest groups (SIGs) to which you may belong. In some cities, students may have their own community.

When you hear the word community, what do you think of? Do you think of a close-knit group of people, like the neighborhood in which you live or the church you attend? I do, and I think that’s why the society chose this word. They want to bring us together and strengthen the organization.

Strengthening Our Community

This is the theme that I have chosen for STC Houston this year. I think it suggests so much for us as a chapter!
I like defining our chapter as a community. Ever since I got involved in STC Houston, I’ve felt like I’m part of a close-knit group. All of the people I know in our community care so much! We share ourselves to better ourselves. We help when there is need. We reach out to the next generation of technical communicators. We recognize each other for outstanding work.

But, to tell the truth, the transformation scares me a little, too. What will happen to our great chapter if many members decide that they don’t want to belong? That they’d rather belong to a SIG instead of to our chapter and a SIG?

Simply put, we must keep the chapter great so that we retain the community we have. We need to make the chapter so strong that there isn’t a question in anyone’s mind about renewing their membership with us. We must also reach out to the technical communicators who are not members, show them what an awesome thing we have, and invite them to join.

How will we do this? Here are some of the ways:

  • Reorganize the Administrative Council so that the Directors’ work is more evenly distributed.
  • Rewrite the job descriptions for positions within the chapter; make these jobs easier to perform.
  • Complete STC’s rechartering questionnaire and take a good look at our goals, strategies, and activities.
  • Match the activities we have chosen to the chapter’s strategic plan; ensure that we carry out those activities that we have identified as important to our members.
  • Put a spotlight our local SIGs. Start some new local SIGs.
  • Recognize each and every volunteer who gives time and talent to this chapter.

I hope that this year is a huge success for the STC Houston Community. I’ll be working hard to make sure that it is.

If you have ideas and suggestions, please get in touch with one of the Administrative Council members. You can send me an e-mail message at president@stc-houston.org or find the e-mail address of the other members in the masthead of this newsletter.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Copyright © 2006 Houston Chapter, Society for Technical Communication
P.O. Box 42051, Houston, TX 77242-2051 | 713-706-3434