This year, 2014, is the busiest and most active that this STC chapter has seen in a long time. All of this is possible because of the very hard work of a few individuals. The Council has been working hard since the Crossover meeting last August to put on all of these events for our chapter and for the technical communicators of New England. The entire Council has been hard at work this year and it shows with all of the chapter’s accomplishments.
The majority of this effort is done behind the scenes. The many hours of meetings and phone calls, of problem solving and debating, the flood of emails that come when a new challenge arises … it is a lot of work. Why do we do it? Because the rewards are worth it. There is satisfaction in working on a team and working toward goals and finally accomplishing those goals. We are working together toward a greater good for all of us. It doesn’t hurt that John caters our Council meetings with amazing homemade gourmet food. The food is really, really good.
I want to shed some light on all of the hard work that goes on behind the scenes and tell you about a few of your Council members who have been working hard.
Kurt Kroeber volunteered to join the Council and to chair the 2013 Technical Communication Competition. Kurt had been involved with the competitions in the past, but since they had been dormant for several years, he had to rebuild and reorganize the whole production. With a few guides along the way (thank you, Mark Decker and Mike Nelson) he organized the competitions and coordinated the training and judging locations for the Online competition. I helped out with the Technical Publications category. The result was a successful competition with local entries and entries submitted from throughout the country. Kurt put in a tremendous amount of time and work into the competitions, and we are both happy to wrap up the year with the Awards Presentation at the March chapter program.
Nancy Allison jumped into her Vice presidency with energy and vigor and true dedication to improving the chapter program meetings, finding new and interesting speakers, and reaching out to our wider audience with webinars. She has worked tirelessly this year to put the most successful programs that the chapter has hosted in many years. In addition to the monthly meetings, she also coordinated with Ed Marshall to put on two sold-out workshops in the fall. Nancy has also been volunteering her time to the Interchange committee, and is gearing up to run the chapter elections in the spring.
John Sgammato has become the webmaster, a membership crusader, and the personal chef of the council meetings. He started the Scribbling Tipplers social hour and cultivated it into a huge success. He caters each council meeting with gourmet, homemade, and delicious meals, and hosts us at the office where he works. John has focused a lot of his efforts on maintaining and building our membership, he has convinced some former members to return and has brought many brand-new faces to our events. His efforts are mostly behind the scenes, but the results are visible in the growing audience at our events!
Rick Lippincott has served on the Council for many years now, including two as President (he was the last president of the Boston Chapter and the first president of the New England Chapter), and two as Immediate Past President. Just when we thought he might want some time off, he volunteered to run Interchange! This year, he is growing Interchange into a two-day event with an impressive list of speakers. Over the years, he has guided this chapter through some lean times, through a merger, and into the growing organization that we are today. Rick was also a pioneer in Social Media for our chapter, he often posts as the @STCNewEngland on Twitter.
Art Campbell created the STC New England News Site that you are reading right now. Initially, the Council wanted to bring back a newsletter and Art’s suggestion was to modernize the idea of a newsletter and created this dynamic News site for the chapter. (It is also a great opportunity for us to learn WordPress, a valuable skill that looks good on a resume. Another example of the behind-the-scene-benefit you get in STC NE — you learn new technical skills that might apply to your job or your next job.)