By W.C. Wiese, Candidate for STC Director
Because of the economic issues and their unparalleled impact on STC, this year's elections are especially important. 2010 becomes another year of course correction for the society, with a disproportionately high impact on technical communicators.
Will this Board of Directors be asked to close down STC? Let's hope not. But economic pressures and STC's ongoing membership declines mandate change:
- STC must become an organization for the future. We can remain a Baby Boomer organization and dwindle. Or, to survive, we must meet the needs of young professionals and students. That means STC must engage them sooner, learn to speak in new ways, use different communication channels, and address early-career professional needs.
- STC must be about jobs. We must do more to help members find the opportunities they seek, raise perception of STC's value, and research and share economic metrics that quantify the impact of what we do.
- We must strengthen STC's financial foundation. We'll need to match the cost of services to demand for them, reexamine the educational products we offer, and offer value that professionals agree is worth the cost of membership.
- STC should partner. We have much to learn and much to gain from partnerships with smaller professional organizations, such as the Association of Teachers of Technical Writing (ATTW) and American Society for Indexing (ASI). They generally support our interests but have not been as severely impacted by the current economy.
- STC must mend ties to chapters and SIGs. These valued groups have always been most effective in promoting STC and generating the leaders who will carry STC forward.
As a former chapter president and treasurer, I recognize that chapter and SIG membership issues are really STC's membership issues – we must work together to solve them. Community health is ultimately STC's health because chapters and SIGs attract members, encourage risk-taking and individual growth, and generate future leaders.
As STC treasurer, I worked with 3 STC Executive Directors in 4 years, contributing to financial stability during the change process. During my term, I implemented the chapter treasurers' discussion group to enhance mentorship and communication, supported infrastructure investment, made chapter and STC financial concerns visible to the Board of Directors, and fought to strengthen STC's financial footing.
I now need your vote to help strengthen STC's capacity to serve a new generation of members and ensure its future.
Please send your suggestions and concerns to the campaign website.
Candidate for STC Director