President’s Column

In this column I share my favorite color conversion tool, what can happen when you create content without translation in mind, a Seth Godin book I recently finished, song recommendations based on what I’ve been listening to when I’m doing graphics work, and more. But first, let’s talk membership. I, and fellow NEO STC members Bob Young from Rockwell Automation and Lisa Mileusnich from Parker Hannifin, recently gave presentations on our education, employers, and experiences in tech comm to Dr. Tom Pace’s “Professional Writing” class at John Carroll University. As part of my preparation, I drew up a list of benefits (some of these have been identified by STC, others I’ve observed during my involvement with NEO STC) that come from membership in STC and NEO STC. STC’s renewal deadline (and the 1-month extension) recently passed, so if you still haven’t renewed your membership, or are new and thinking about joining, take a look at this list if you’re wondering whether it’s worth it (hint, it is). This list isn’t comprehensive, but it’s a good place to start.

  • Learn where to apply/where not to apply. Attend NEO STC events and keep your ears open. I’ve done this and now have a list (don’t worry, it’s very short) of employers I’d never consider working for (poor work environment, regular turnover/layoffs, etc.). You may still consider working at these places, but at least you’ll go in with your eyes wide open.
  • Find out about job openings before they’re posted, or that may never be posted. On several occasions, a fellow member mentioned they were retiring soon, or their employer was looking to add staff. In many instances, I’ve learned about opportunities months before they became available.
  • Use your peers as a sounding board. Need inspiration, input, or a solution to a problem? Reach out to your peers at different events and run the issue past them. It’s a good bet someone will have a solution – or at least some thoughts or feedback that’ll put you on the right track to a solution.
  • Gain leadership experience. We are a low-key, friendly group so getting involved – as much or as little as you like – is simple and easy. Start local – and even move up (STC international) if you’re interested.
  • Get noticed! Our members either hire, or influence hiring, at the biggest tech comm employers in our area. Attending NEO STC activities on a regular basis gets you on a first name basis with these folks and getting involved with NEO STC committees can help you create a positive reputation with them.
  • Mentor/mentee service. STC international provides its members with a free mentor/mentee service.
  • 150+ archived, on-demand webinars recorded from the last two Summit conferences.
  • STC offers free live webinars for members throughout the year.
  • 2016-2017 salary database (PDF and XLSX format) – nearly 200 pages of U.S. salary statistics for tech comm pros. Includes data (how many people were employed in tech comm, average annual wage, median annual wage, annual wage based on 10th/25th/75th/90th percentiles, etc.) for each state, but also broken down for 7 different regions in Ohio (Canton, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Akron, Dayton, and Toledo).

Ready to join? Visit here.

Ready to get involved? Email me here.

THE INDISPENSABLE TOOL Basic, yet extremely useful, RGB-to-Hex and Hex-to-RGB converters. PhotoShop provides a more comprehensive color converter, but if you don’t have PS or just need something quick and easy – and you already have the starting HEX or RGB value – this one is fantastic. I have PS, but I still use this one regularly.


This instruction manual page is from a drone my 8-year old son received for Christmas. Santa’s elves either outsourced to the wrong translation service provider, or didn’t adequately design their content for translation. Don’t make the same mistake. Get involved in NEO STC and receive tips and advice from local practitioners with experience in all things translation-related.


“You’ll see a giant bright light.”

  • Nonproliferation expert Jeffrey Lewis’s response on when we’ll know for sure North Korea has a nuclear-tipped missile that can reach the U.S.


It’s true. (Illuminati spelled backwards) opens the U.S. National Security Agency’s website.


The Dip by Seth Godin

Nearly all tasks (your job, a project, product development, running a marathon, etc.) have 1 of 2 curves: a dip or a Cul-de-Sac. The dip exists for all tasks that have some great outcome/achievement/payout. It’s the barrier/slog that exists between starting + doing the task and mastering it; it’s also the point where most people quit. Dips are where success happens; successful people don’t just ride out a dip – they embrace the challenge, dig in and change the rules on the way to the next level, thereby becoming one the best in the industry/market/world.

Tasks with a Cul-de-Sac have no great outcome/achievement; things don’t get much better and they don’t get much worse. Everything stays the same. These jobs, projects, etc. are dead-ends (and a waste of time).

This book teaches you how to identify tasks/jobs/projects with dips that are worthwhile and likely to pan out; and identify and quit (NOW!) the tasks/jobs/projects with Cul-de-Sacs (so you can focus your time/effort on overcoming your tasks with the dips).


Stand By My Girl by Dan Auerbach (Akron’s own explains why stepping out on your girl is never a good idea)

Only the Wild Ones by Dispatch (Boston-based group channels their inner Vampire Weekend (or has Vampire Weekend been channeling their inner Dispatch all along?); regardless, this is a good thing)

Holding On by The War on Drugs (put 80s star Bryan Adams’ voice and The Grateful Dead’s “Touch of Grey” in a blender and the result might sound like this little gem)

Across the Room (featuring Leon Bridges) by Odesza (just a fantastic song, start to finish)

All On My Mind by Anderson East (caution – not for beginners)


Manhunt: Unabomber (Netflix). Fascinating 8-episode miniseries that tells the true story of the FBI agent who used language and writing formatting/style to create a so-called linguistic fingerprint of the at-that-time unidentified UNABOM suspect that – correctly – identified him as someone who grew up near Chicago reading the Sun-Times newspaper; held a doctorate in mathematics; and earned said-degree during the late 60s/early 70s and therefore was likely in his mid-fifties. Prior to the creation and development of this “fingerprint” the FBI’s profile wrongly identified the suspect as a low-level aircraft mechanic. The series stars Sam Worthington, Paul Bettany, and Chris Noth.

By Jason Vensel