From the President
What a fantastic year it's been!
by Cindy Pao, Information Developer, BMC Software, Inc.
As I write this column, I'm still feeling excited and proud from the annual conference in Seattle. It's a good thing, too, because I'm going to need that excitement to plan an equally wonderful 2005–2006 program year.
STC Houston wins Chapter of Excellence and Chapter of Distinction
Can you believe it?! How did we get to that point? How much work did chapter members have to do to distinguish this chapter from every other chapter in our size category?
We did a lot, and here are some of the highlights.
STC Houston always has a strong focus on employment. Our Employment Committee manager, Gary Foster, is a powerhouse when it comes to championing employment for our chapter members.
Gary and Terry Lindsay moderate the Looking for Work, Now Hiring, and General Employment Issues online forums. They are ever vigilant in posting job openings, as well as the resumés of people looking for work.
In addition to the forum work, Gary and Jocelyn Williams planned and ran a successful Employment Share-the-Knowledge session, which was expanded to a full day so that topics of interest to contractors and independent consults could be included.
Gary is currently conducting a salary survey, and the results of the survey are sure to amaze and enlighten us!
Again this past year, STC Houston hosted a successful competition in the areas of technical publications, online, and technical art. STC Houston members submitted a total of 86 entries, and 47 of those won awards.
The competition season culminated in our annual awards ceremony, held this year at the Houston Club. The change in location added some glamour and mystery (were the mashed potatoes really purple?). I hope that everyone had a great time!
Yvonne Wade Sanchez took on the role of Manager of Membership this year, and she has done a bang-up job! Yvonne hit the ground running by helping with the annual membership drive at the November chapter meeting. Then she organized and presided over a new member lunch in March. The new members who attended received a packet of information about the chapter and heard from Donna Marcotte and some of the other chapter leaders, who talked about the value of membership in STC, as well as the value our chapter can offer technical communicators in Houston.
Most important, though, was the opportunity for these new members to ask questions. I think that the issues they raised can help the chapter offer even more to all of our members.
STC Houston brought more focus during the year to the future of technical communication—students.
Rebecca Taylor, Nicole Wycislo, and I went to College Station so that we could have dinner with some of the student chapter members, as well as STC members who wanted to reactivate the satellite chapter in the area. We made plans for meetings, suggested possible speakers, and pledged some financial support for the groups.
Ann Jennings, Molly Johnson, Pat Golemon, and Stephanie Turner, all at the University of Houston-Downtown, helped make sure that technical communication students there were included in chapter meetings and events and also championed student membership criteria at the international level of STC.
Pat Golemon and Nicole Wycislo congratulate winner Sunayana Chopra, with her family and teacher
Pat Golemon again managed our chapter's participation in the annual Science Writing Contest at the Science and Engineering Fair of Houston. Rebecca Taylor and I gave prizes and letters to all of the competition winners at the awards ceremony in March. Also, one of last year's local winners went on to win honors at the international competition.
STC Board Meeting
In January, the STC Board met in Houston. The Hospitality Committee, made up of George Slaughter, Jocelyn Williams, and Jim Hunt, organized a reception in honor of the board. The reception was held at the Canyon Café, and was a fun evening. The committee also assembled welcome packets for each member and made sure the packets were waiting at the hotel as each member arrived.
So many other achievements
I'm giving you a pretty short list of the accomplishments of this chapter. I hope to get you curious about everything that we've done. If you want to see the complete picture, check out our Chapter Achievement Award application on the STC Houston web site.
STC Houston Pride
I am so proud of our chapter! I hope to continue the work we started in the 2004–2005 program year during the 2005–2006 program year.
I'd like to hear your ideas for chapter activities, so send me an e-mail! I'm at email@example.com.