Steve Jong—The Prez Says 

December 2018

Formal headshot of Steven Jong

Now that the holiday season has started, events are filling up our calendars, and things can feel festive but hectic. I want to tell you about a couple of things STC New England has in store.

The deadline for entering the STC Regional Techcomm Competition is Friday, 7 December. Volunteers from six chapters including New England have set up the infrastructure and the judging, and now await your entries. For details, go to our Competition page.

Don't forget to register for our December 12 holiday networking party in the Exhibit 'A' Brewing Company in Framingham. For Chapter members who haven't been able to get to events closer to Boston, this is a chance to socialize with area colleagues from both STC and our cohosts, the New England chapter of the American Medical Writers Association. Your first drink's on us. I look forward to meeting you there!

Finally, it's time to renew your STC membership. When you choose your communities, please sign up for the New England Chapter.

Have a wonderful holiday and a happy New Year!


November 2018

We wrapped up another successful InterChange regional conference at UMass Lowell on Saturday, October 27. The theme was "Engineering Experiences," and attendees chose from among 25 sessions, including remaining in DITA, combining UX and technical communication, how Disney engineers our experiences, getting more women onto presentations and panels, making the Agile methodology work for you. To me it was an excellent value and well worth my investment of time and money. I want to extend thanks to Adobe and our other sponsors, to our keynote speaker Danielle Villegas and the presenters, and to Immediate Past President Paul Duarte and the other InterChange volunteers who put the conference together.

At the closing session of InterChange Paul was announced as the recipient of this year's Landers/Carbrey Spirit of Volunteerism Award for managing the conference, for twice serving as President, and for energetically supporting the chapter for the last few years.

(Namesake Ed Carbrey passed away earlier this year at age 94. He was a World War II veteran who later became an STC Fellow and served as Treasurer, and who lectured on technical communication at MIT for many years.)

We have several upcoming events that I'm excited to tell you about. On Wednesday evening, November 7, our monthly program features Karen Giventer speaking on the ever-important topic of job searching. The program host is Oracle on Crosby Drive in Bedford. This is an on-site event only and space is limited, so register now.

On Saturday morning, December 1, Neil Perlin leads a half-day workshop, hosted by OfficeLink in Chelmsford, on using MadCap Flare to create responsive layouts. This is a must if you expect to use Flare for mobile-first or mixed display platforms. Registration(which supports the chapter) includes breakfast, and chapter members and STC members enjoy discounted rates. Bring your laptop with Flare installed.

The STC Regional TechComm Competition, organized by the New England, Atlanta, Houston, New York, Philadelphia Metro, and Rochester chapters, is now accepting entries. Once again, our chapter members enjoy a discounted rate. If you need feedback on your work, this is a great way to get it. The deadline for submissions is Friday, December 7. The competition also needs judges. This is a chance to refocus your assessment eye, so please sign up by November 5.

On Wednesday, December 12, we are holding a holiday networking party, co-hosted by the Boston chapter of the American Medical Writers Association, at the Exhibit 'A' Brewing Company in Framingham. Guests are welcome as a special discounted rate. This is a chance to sample local beers on tap, meet colleagues who know what our daily grind is like, and enjoy the conviviality of the season. The first drink's on us! The early registration rate ends November 9, so sign up now.


October 2018

September was the start of the Chapter year, and we've kicked off a lot of activities that I want to tell you about.

Immediate Past President Paul Duarte and his team are making final preparations for the InterChange regional conference Friday and Saturday, October 26–27, at the UMass Lowell Inn and Conference Center. There are excellent presenters coming (disclaimer: I'm one of them), and for a very reasonable price you can attend talks that have been or will be presented at the Summit, as well as content unique to InterChange. If you're planning to attend, don't wait any longer, because 19 October is the last day to register.

September's program in Boston was excellent and very well attended, thanks to our host, Sonos; our presenters, Deb Sauer and Sam Park; and Vice President Jen Bergus-Sesay, who pulled everything together. On November 7Karen Giventer will present on job searching strategies. This is an evergreen topic whether you need a job or already have one. (Hey, you never know.) We are also planning additional programs, social events, and workshops for later in the year.

We have completed a cleanup of our contacts list, partly to comply with privacy laws and partly to reduce our vendor costs. If you're a current Chapter member nothing has changed. If you're visiting our site and would like to be included on our mailing list for Chapter announcements and events, please use our opt-in form.

We have been paying an annual fee to have the News website, but our recent member survey said that relatively few of you visited it. We've decided we can use the money better elsewhere, so we've taken the site offline in preparation for the general website move to STC.org. For now, articles like this one will appear on our main website. After the transfer, we will set up a new site dedicated to Chapter news.

As I mentioned last time, STC's annual membership drive is in full swing. From now until the end of the year, you can renew your Professional and Academic membership for $199, a significant savings over the regular rate. Go to STC.org to renew. Don't forget to add STC New England to your community package; contact erin.gallalee@stc.org if you need help.


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