Nov 132017
 
Photo of Paul Duarte

STC New England President Paul Duarte

Hello, STC New England News readers!

Two weeks ago, the Chapter held its InterChange conference at the UMass Lowell Inn and Conference Center in Lowell, Massachusetts. In the past, the Chapter held InterChange in late March or early April, but we thought it would be a nice change to hold the conference in the fall. That way, after attending STC’s Summit and other conferences, presenters could take what they learned from those events and come up with engaging programs and workshops at our chapter, so we could carry their ideas into our careers through the next year. Over 40 people attended this year and we had several hard-working volunteers behind the scenes. Thank you to everyone who attended and helped make InterChange a success!

It was a real pleasure to have members of STC Rochester attend. Ben Woelk, STC Rochester’s Co-Vice President and Conference Chair, noted in his keynote address how he, as an introvert, rose to leadership as a technical communicator and STC member. Now, through his consultant agency Introverted Leadership, Ben helps introverted technical writers find their voice so they can become better communicators and inspire other introverts to enter leadership or management tracks. He also gave a great workshop on Day Two of the conference, “Revive and Thrive: Temperament-based Strategies for Today’s Workplace,” in which attendees explored their personality types so they could understand why they behave the way they do and what they could do to perform better in the workplace.

InterChange ended with the presentation of the Landers-Carbrey community service award to former President Emily Alfson. This award combines two previous awards for the chapter, the Carol A. Landers Spirit of Volunteerism Award and the Edward J. Carbrey Jr. Scholarship, which became a single award in 2004.

Emily previously received this award in 2014, but the Council felt she was deserving of it for a second time because of all the work she continued to do for the New England Chapter after she relocated to her home state of Michigan that same year. Emily continued to serve on the Chapter Council through October of this year, and she was instrumental in organizing and presenting the last three InterChange conferences. The New England Chapter will miss her hard work and dedication; we wish her all the best of luck in her career.

Now that InterChange is in the books, I want to report on a few items of interest to our Chapter. First, while we have not had any formal programs or social hours this year, we are working on delivering higher-quality programs this year. The Chapter is arranging a program for December, and the Chapter will work with other professional associations in the Boston area for programs in early 2018. The Council does not have enough resources to plan and execute programs on its own. We need chapter members to join our Programs Committee; specifically we need volunteers who will help organize programs that present new ideas and skills to audiences—by finding engaging topics, speakers, and appropriate venues. Please let us know if you’re interested in helping plan programs at president@stcnewengland.org.

Secondly, the Chapter is exploring the idea of turning hosting of its main website and news website over to the international STC. In a recent conversation with Tim Esposito of STC Philadelphia Metro, he explained how chapters have successfully transitioned control of their websites over to the international society, which hosts sites based on WordPress. For example, the Philadelphia Metro Chapter’s website, http://www.stcpmc.org, is a paragon of minimalist, clean web design that adapts to both desktop and mobile devices. The switch would save a lot of money. In addition, the WordPress backend is easier to maintain. We really want to improve our Chapter’s website and give a positive experience to members and nonmembers alike. If you are interested in helping us build a new website based on WordPress, please let us know.

I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and hope to see everyone in December.

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