Don’t Forget to Vote
Today is the first day of election season for the Society for Technical Communication. If you are a member in good standing, you should receive voting instructions in your email.
We have an excellent slate of candidates this year, and I’m proud to be part of it. Your choices include:
Vice-President (will serve a 3-year term as VP, President, and Immediate Past President)
- Pam Brewer
- Ben Woelk
Secretary (2-year term)
- Kirsty Taylor
Director (2-year term; choose two)
- Ramesh Aiyyangar
- Todd DeLuca
- Makarand Pandit
Nominating Committee (2-year term; choose two)
- Jackie Damrau
- MaryKay Grueneberg
- Li-At Rathbun
Why I’m Running
I’m running for a second term as Director. I want to serve again because I believe that we’re at a tipping point with STC. We have gradually improved our financial position through careful financial management, but we’ve reached a tipping point. We can’t grow by cutting. I believe that we need to implement innovative new plans for generating revenue that will help us to deliver important services to our members.
For me, those services need to include more resources for professional development. Our future is in the expansion of our CPTC certification program, the evolution of our annual Summit offering, and the growth of our online education offerings. My first term gave me the experience that I need to take STC to the next level.
In my two years of service, the board members have been engaged, hardworking, and committed to the health of STC. While we may individually have different ideas of what a healthy STC looks like, our primary obligation is our mandated fiduciary responsibility to the organization, not to a particular constituency. It’s an obligation that we all take very seriously. I’m honored to have been part of it.
What Does a Director Do?
Taken directly from the Board Handbook, the Director’s responsibilities are as follows:
- Determine STC’s Mission, Vision, and Purpose. In 2016, I led a card sort exercise to help us distill our priorities and focus. We use those themes as our guiding principles, and have updated our Mission and Vision accordingly.
- Select the Chief Executive Officer. After a comprehensive executive search, we were pleased to welcome Liz Pohland to our CEO role last year.
- Support and evaluate the Chief Executive Officer. We offer Liz guidance where necessary, and conduct an annual performance review.
- Ensure effective planning, Set long-term policies and directions, and Establish and oversee the execution of a Strategic Plan. I’ve merged three topics together. We take our planning seriously. This year in particular, we have convened several committees that are helping to define the role of technical communication in the marketplace — from academia to business. We’re looking to this research to help us guide our strategic plans in the coming year.
- Monitor and strengthen programs. Each year, we evaluate all of our current programs to evaluate the value to the Society. We decide which ones should be canceled, which should be continued, and which should be placed on hold while we further conduct a cost-benefit analysis.
- Ensure adequate financial resources, Protect assets and provide financial oversight, and Execute fiduciary responsibility and authority to ensure sound fiscal operation of the Society. I’ve again merged three related topics together. These are quite possibly the most important aspects of our Board responsibility. Without careful financial planning, there will be no Society. Since FY2015 we have reduced operating expenses by more than $375,000 a year, which has put us on a positive trajectory. But all strategic plans must be weighed against the financial impact on our limited cash flow.
- Build a competent Board. We have an excellent Nominating Committee that has put together a competent and qualified slate of candidates for this year’s election.
- Ensure legal and ethical integrity. We are all committed to acting ethically and responsibly. I chair the Audit Committee, working with an independent auditing firm to ensure the integrity of our financial processes.
- Enhance the standing of the organization’s constituents. Obviously, our CPTC program is an important part of this. But we are continually looking for cost-effective means of professional development that benefit individuals, elevating the perception of the profession as a whole.
- Establish Bylaws and Rules to carry on the work of the Society. This is an ongoing process.
- Appoint standing committees and task forces. Done annually.
- Establish awards. Done annually.
Do You Have More Questions?
Do you have questions for any of the candidates? You can ask us in the election forum.
The STC election closes March 9. Please take the time to familiarize yourself with the candidates and cast your vote.