June 2017 President’s Column

June 2017 marks the end of my second term serving as president of the Northeast Ohio Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication (NEO

Brian Smith

STC). I have always said that our greatest strength as a chapter has been the wonderful character, expertise and professionalism of our members, who represent a range of companies and services across northeast Ohio and beyond. So, it was my honor to recognize the chapter and its members during our annual Community Awards Banquet and Election at Bravo! Cucina Italiana in Woodmere, Ohio on May 11, 2017.

Several members had just returned from the International STC Summit in Washington, D.C., where NEO STC was awarded the Silver Community Award for our emphasis on social media, volunteerism, and social and networking opportunities in our many programmed, educational and social get-togethers.

Each year the NEO STC President and Executive Board can nominate candidates to receive the Distinguished Chapter Service Award, based on longtime service both to the chapter and the STC organization overall. This year we nominated two candidates, Lisa Mileusnich and Lynn Nickels. Both nominations were reviewed and awarded by the STC office for supporting and promoting the technical communication field through a number of activities, including serving in leadership positions, presentations, publications, mentoring and outreach. I have known both of these candidates for many years and it was an honor to recognize them for their contributions.

Throughout the year the Chapter Secretary tracks the activities of the NEO STC members. Recognition for Volunteer of the Year are awarded based on those points. This year, we had a number of very active members, including Lynn Nickels who was recognized as Volunteer of the Year for the third year in a row. Robert Young, Lisa Mileusnich and Kim Lindsey were also recognized with STC Volunteer Recognition Achievement Awards.

The Rookie of the Year award is presented to someone who is either new to the chapter or new to a leadership presentation and who has made an outstanding contribution to the chapter in the current year. This year the chapter recognized Brian Walters, who lead the Program Committee to plan and coordinate our monthly presentations and several social get-togethers. This involved working with a number of different businesses and venues each month to host our meetings and provide a range of food options.

The Committee of the Year was awarded to the Website Committee, Kim Lindsey and Jennifer Loudiana, which also hosts our award winning newsletter Lines and Letters. The website committee kept our professional website current and accurate throughout the year. When technical issues arose, they were addressed quickly and the chapter always knew the site was in good hands.

Finally, Kim Lindsey was presented with a President’s Achievement Award, which is awarded to an individual by the NEO STC President for consistent contributions to keep the chapter running smoothly. When I attended my first NEO STC meeting many years ago, it was Kim Lindsey’s face that welcomed me and I have come to think of Kim as the consummate technical communicator. Always friendly, funny, dedicated and professional, it has been a pleasure to know Kim and to see her in action supporting the chapter and STC through a wide range of activities and services. I especially thought of Kim for this award when I remembered that she has been busy not only overseeing the NEO STC website the past couple of years, but also actively converting over 13 years of chapter newsletters to a searchable PDF format so they can be archived and searched on our website. If members need to find an article or feature, now or for generations to come, they will have Kim to thank.

Towards the end of the evening, the chapter held elections for the 2017-2018 year, which will begin in September. Following the chapter bylaws, the current chapter Vice President, Jason Vensel, will automatically become President. Lynn Nickels was elected Vice President, Kelly Graham was elected to a second term as Secretary and Tricia Spayer was elected to a second term as Treasurer. I know that Jason has some exciting things planned for the upcoming year and I will look forward to working with him and the rest of the executive team in my new role as Immediate Past President.

Many thanks to the chapter for the opportunity to serve as your president and for all the support and collaboration during my two-year term! You are what makes the chapter a success! Current and previous chapter awards and accomplishments are listed on our Awards page.

We also received the citation for the Community of Distinction Award for the website. It reads: “For your great support of the STC organization in all your social media postings; by encouraging members to volunteer/serve at the Society level; and for the wonderful emphasis on social and networking opportunities in your many programmed, educational, and social get-togethers.”
By Brian E. Smith
NEO STC, President