Thank you for your support in my bid to be an STC Director. I have been an STC member since 1997 and will use my experience and leadership to serve the community. Over the years I have worked with many communities, I started in the Toronto community as a member, developed into a volunteer who worked on the newsletter, volunteered in many roles, and eventually lead as community President. I remain active in the STC community at large though as a presenter, educator, and leader.
Over the past 20 years in technical communications I have forged strong relationships with service providers, software developers, STC community leaders, and the overall STC membership. My ability to work with diverse teams, find common goals, and then implement them efficiently is something that the STC needs.
Leadership first and foremost means listening. It also means identifying issues, and then proposing and implementing the right solutions.
The right solutions are not always the most popular. Having worked with hundreds of teams with varied needs, I have implemented solutions that may not have been popular, but ended up successful, or ideally I found a solid compromise that works for all. I accept blame when ideas don’t work, and share credit when they do. I take reasonable risks, manage expectations, and deliver results.
In an STC context this is evident in work with the Toronto Community. Before zero-based budgeting I built a management team willing to revamp our community to keep it strong. Our goal: membership value. To get there we needed a vision. Reviewing detailed survey information, we built a model described as “look[ing] to a future where communities can be self reliant”. We provide value to our members, value to the STC, and value to our community. Our innovations as a team resulted in a Pacestter Award from the STC.
I am a professional consultant in technical communications and management. I work with best practices to develop and manage content through project management, needs analysis, materials development, deployment, and review cycles. I have managed teams and projects across organizations from startups to Fortune 500 corporations.
Since 1992 I have worked in technical communications as a trainer, courseware developer, team lead, manager, and business owner. In this time I have travelled extensively and worked with thousands of people at hundreds of clients. In working with this range of people I learned a great deal about technical communications and pass that information to my clients and students.
As a professional presenter, I am recognized as a top-rated speaker (top 10%) at events such as DocTrain, LavaCon, STC Summit, TICAD, tekom, and more. In my role as a professor at two schools I teach technical communications, sit on advisory boards, and help to drive curriculum development work.
As a senior member of the STC I have looked out for the best interests of the entire membership in discussions regarding funding, in delivering highly rated educational webinars, and in many roles with my local community for over 15 years. Formally running for the role of Director is a logical extension in my ongoing service to STC.
As a business owner I am responsible to clients and staff. I ensure realistic expectations are set, and that I run a fiscally responsible business. Responsibilities include providing clear and timely information, and solid leadership. I have worked in technical communication for almost 20 years and represented STC as a professional organization to everyone I meet.
I help members and community leaders by serving the overall interests of STC. I promote long term sustainability and strong communities and partnerships. I support a strong pro-member agenda. I work hard to be a recognized name, and the net results are successful events, and a chapter that I helped guide to a Pacesetter Award. These results speak for themselves.
In the tech boom and bust I managed many demands. This includes budgets and plans for both my STC community and business. I have to know where our industry is going to remain relevant and lead.
To grow my business, manage client projects, or work with the STC board requires similar ideas. I review projects to decide what is realistic, what available resources can do, and where estimates change. My business survived one of the toughest economic downturns in recent history, and continues to grow. In part, it is because I adapt quickly to change, and ask for ideas from many sources to find solutions.
I know that STC also has stakeholders, plans, budgets, and unforeseen circumstances. To succeed as an organization we plan and adapt the plan when truly needed.
My past performance in running a business and a chapter show that I have strategic vision, I can plan well, and that I work with financial realities. My decisions are based on the benefits, the costs, and the overall value delivered.
Clients often ask for more than can be realistically delivered. They want more, in less time, and of higher quality. In some cases this can be achieved, but there are times when a contract (even a lucrative one) has to be risked by saying “No” to the terms.
Some businesses may estimate lower, or over-promise what they deliver. I have turned down work, or rejected offers when I knew we could not deliver what was truly needed. I’d rather not get the business than take on work that does not result in the promised deliverables.
The same principles guided our STC community reorganization. We identified what was needed for success. We changed the model to distinguish social outings from our core events, and reworked our year to a model that some people did not like. We did not compromise on quality, and charge fair rates for events. After the change, we remain rich in spirit and true to members. Event attendance is up, costs are down, and we continue to deliver greater value to members.
STC is core to my business. Members and their referals have helped me many times. When I started into business for myself STC was a resource I turned to. I provided time and service to STC and continued to learn. In time I became a leader in my own community and helped reshape it during tough times.
My local community has solid leadership for years to come. I am ready to move on to new challenges. International communities offer such challenges. STC needs people who ask intelligent questions, talk to communities, or explain why requests cannot be met. It needs strong leaders, people who listen, and make the right decisions. I am that type of person.
My background includes almost 20 years of technical communications, of listening, and providing fresh ideas to deliver results. I see an STC that remains strong and needs to be well positioned to move forward to meet the growing demands of technical communicators. To that end, I thank you for your support in electing me as a Director of STC.
I am an Associate Fellow and senior member of the STC. I first joined in 1997 and have been involved even longer as a presenter.
I have been an educator delivering best practices training since 1992 and the core areas of my skills relate to communications.