It’s STC Election Time!

It’s election time in STC! The 2009 election for the Society is ongoing from 10 March 2009 through 9 April 2009. Information on casting your ballot was sent directly to all STC members in good standing.

Your vote will help determine who will be STC’s next…

  • 2nd Vice President
  • Treasurer
  • Board Members
  • Nominating Committee

Remember to vote, and thank you for doing your part to make STC a vibrant, growing organization.

Do you know the candidates? Take this opportunity to get to know the individuals running for elected office at the Society level. We have posted candidates’ biographies here on this blog. You can also visit the Candidates’ Page on the STC website where you can review the candidates’ biographies, ask them questions, and view their responses to questions posed by other members.

Sandi Harner, Candidate for Nominating Committee

STC’s 2009 election begins on 10 March 2009 and runs until 9 April 2009.

The following message was submitted by a candidate for office. You may review the candidates’ biographies, ask them questions, and view their responses to questions posed by other members on the Candidates’ Page of the STC website. Information on casting your ballot will be sent to you prior to the opening of the election.

Sandra Harner
Sandra Harner

By Sandi Harner
Professor, Technical and Professional Communication
Fellow 2001
Recipient of the Jay R. Gould Award for Excellence in Teaching Technical Communication

I am seeking your vote to become a member of the STC Nominating Committee. I have been an active member of STC since 1984. In 1988, I chartered the Cedarville University Student Chapter and have served on the local level as faculty advisor for the student chapter since its beginning. In 1992, I began serving on the Society level when I was asked to manage the Sigma Tau Chi Committee. My Society-level service continued for the next seven years as I managed the Jay R. Gould Award for Excellence in Teaching Technical Communication, in addition to Sigma Tau Chi, the student honorary society. During those years, I also served as onsite judge for ITPC, a reviewer for the STC Annual Conference proposals, and, in 1999, served as a member of the STC Annual Conference Support Committee.

In 1999, my service to the Society took on a new level as I was asked to serve on the STC Board of Directors as Assistant to the President for Academic and Research Programs. This position is a one-year appointment in which APs serve at the pleasure of the president. I was asked by eight successive presidents to continue my service on the Board in that capacity.

In 2006, I stepped down from the Board position and concentrated my STC service once again on the chapter level where I have served as faculty advisor for the student chapter for twenty-one years. In addition, I am a member of the Fellows Nominating Committee and am a member of the Task Force currently working on the Body of Knowledge Project. At this point in my career, I have chosen to accept the nomination to become a candidate for the Nominating Committee because I believe in this capacity I can benefit the Society best with my previous experience and knowledge of STC Board operations. My service on the Society level has prepared me with a unique understanding of the characteristics of effective Board members.

STC has been the primary source of the advancement of my own career as a professor of technical communication and a consultant in the field. It is my desire to give back to the organization that has been so important in my professional life, as well as in the lives of many of my students.

You can learn more about me at

Karen Baranich, Candidate for STC Director

STC’s 2009 election begins on 10 March 2009 and runs until 9 April 2009.

The following message was submitted by a candidate for office. You may review the candidates’ biographies, ask them questions, and view their responses to questions posed by other members on the Candidates’ Page of the STC website. Information on casting your ballot will be sent to you prior to the opening of the election.

Karen Baranich
Karen Baranich

By Karen Baranich
Candidate for STC Director

Greetings. My name is Karen Baranich, and I am running for STC Director.

The worldwide financial status is bleak. Almost everyone has had to make lifestyle changes. For some of us, changes may be to eat out less or to take vacations closer to home. However, for many changes are more dire – how to keep from losing a home, how to meet bills, or where to find a job. How can we prosper as individuals and as an organization? What can STC realistically do for our members to help them flourish and survive as part of a viable and vibrant organization? How can we continue to attract and keep members when STC costs compete with other financial obligations? How can STC add the most value? These are questions that, I believe will be vital for the current and incoming Board to consider.

Professional development is essential. People learn differently, but learning keeps people engaged and interested in life. STC has the opportunity to be a "learning organization" and provide programs that develop our members. A continued and expanded focus on member education will allow us to deliver high-quality learning experiences, develop our members, and provide opportunities for growth, personal achievement, and recognition.

In the past year, my job has given me the opportunity to recruit and train the next generation of employees. It has been a challenge, especially with reduced training funds. Focusing on the strategic planning process helped us to begin rethinking professional development, collaboration, and communication practices. We are listening to the voices of our employees and looking at creative ways to reach and retain employees. Like businesses, STC needs to recruit and develop young members while supporting and leveraging the experience of our mature members. Creative solutions to recruitment and professional development are important to the long-term viability of STC. Planning, too, is more important than ever.

When things go well, people rarely make changes. By any standards, things are not going well right now. This provides STC with a unique opportunity – the opportunity to make changes that make us more responsive and useful to our members. This excites me!

Karen Baranich

Makarand Pandit, Candidate for STC Director

STC’s 2009 election begins on 10 March 2009 and runs until 9 April 2009.

The following message was submitted by a candidate for office. You may review the candidates’ biographies, ask them questions, and view their responses to questions posed by other members on the Candidates’ Page of the STC website. Information on casting your ballot will be sent to you prior to the opening of the election.

Makarand Pandit
Makarand Pandit

By Makarand (Mak) Pandit
Candidate for STC Director

Success is potential is fully utilized!

This is the definitions of success that I like the most! I believe that STC, as an organization, has a lot of potential. It has a major contribution to make to the society while fulfilling its purpose.

STC seemed like a fantasy when I first read about it 13 years back. I was the only Technical Writer that I knew back then, and I was reading about it in a library in Mumbai (about 120 miles away from Pune, the place where I live.) Little did I know that one day I will be nominated for the post of director of the same organization. After public Internet services started in India, I found STC web site, downloaded the membership form, and sent a check (payable at New York) to become a member.

After reading about the various chapter meetings and conferences in Intercom I started dreaming of forming an India Chapter. This dream too became a reality in a coupe of years.

STC India Chapter was formed in 1999. Since then STC has made its mark in India. It has touched lives, and helped shape careers of thousands of technical writers in India. Over last 10 years, STC India has grown into a vibrant community of volunteers. We had unique challenges and to overcome them we had to find unique solutions. Fortunately, many of the things we tried have worked. The awards credited to the India chapter vouch for that.

Having served STC India Chapter and AccessAbility SIG I got an opportunity to work with STC’s board as the co-manager of Global Membership Committee in 2006-2007. I got to learn a lot more including a realization that a lot still needs to be done!

STC, as a responsible organization, has to respond to the changing industrial, social, economic, and political environment of today. We have many challenges in front of us; including economic downturn, lost jobs, globalization, and eroding membership.

I believe that challenges when taken in the right spirit turn into opportunities!

As an experienced professional (nearly 15 years of work experience) and long time STC Volunteer, I feel I can contribute a lot to the community. Of course there is also a selfish motto of learning from other STC volunteers and officer bearers.

STC introduced me to many others like me, some much senior to me; and to many who became very dear to me in last 10-12 years. Through the India Chapter STC has touched not just my career but also my life. I feel like I belong to STC and it belongs to me.

The STC elections are just around the corner. You can find more information about me and all other nominated candidates on the STC website.

I have already committed some of my most productive hours to STC. If elected, the impact of my commitment will be much more.

Please do cast in your vote. It can make a difference to all of us!

God bless!

Yours truly,
Makarand (Mak) Pandit
Nominee – STC Director

Brian J. Lindgren Running for STC Treasurer

Brian J. Lindgren
Brian J. Lindgren

Hello, and thank you in advance for taking the time to read this message. As per the heading, I am a candidate for STC Treasurer. Two questions that come to mind are “Why are you running for a seat on the board?” and “Why are you running for treasurer?” The simple answer to both: I was asked.

A year ago, almost to the day, at the 2008 International Technical Communications Competitions (ITCC), former STC President Mark Hanigan and I were chatting at an after-event social with current First Vice President Cynthia Currie and International Competitions Manager Karen Baranich. This was a couple of months before I was formally named Associate Fellow. Mark and I had briefly met about 12 years earlier when he was Director-Sponsor of my region, and we reconnected at this after-hours event. As we talked about my STC background and forthcoming Associate Fellowship, he said, “Maybe next you should consider a national seat.”

Honestly, to that point I had never considered such a thing, but Mark’s seemingly out-of-the-blue comment stayed with me. Some six months later the nominating committee e-mailed me that my name had been mentioned for possible consideration as a candidate for the STC Board of Directors. Naturally I was honored, and filed the paperwork accordingly, figuring that I would be best suited as a Director on the board.

A week or so later the Nominating Committee contacted me again. After reviewing my resume, they wondered if I might consider running for Treasurer. In hindsight, I imagine they picked up on my previous business ownership, and my current involvement with Government requests for proposal. The official STC description reads, “Candidates for treasurer should have some business experience, familiarity with managing a budget, a sense about the financial impact of initiatives, expectation of inevitable expenses, and comfort with spreadsheets.” Guilty as charged.

The description continues, “a good candidate is willing to advocate for fiscal responsibility and have a different viewpoint from the rest of the Board of Directors.” Having a divergent opinion is certainly one of my strengths – sometimes to a fault! Again, I was honored that the committee asked me to run for Treasurer, and I accepted. I have benefited greatly from involvement with STC, and if running for Treasurer is a way for me to give back, I am happy to do so.

There is an old riddle, “How can you spot an extroverted engineer? He looks at *your* shoes while he’s talking to you.” While I am not an engineer, I certainly have some of the same traits, and I am not particularly enamored with talking about myself. I have set up a website – – that provides some insight into my background. Please take the time to review my past involvement with STC, with other technical and volunteer organizations, and my resume. If you believe I will serve STC as your Treasurer, please vote for me. Once again, that I was asked to run is a major honor.

Thank you again for your time in reviewing my information.

Brian J. Lindgren
Associate Fellow

W.C. Wiese Announces Candidacy for Second Vice President of STC

STC’s 2009 election begins on 10 March 2009 and runs until 9 April 2009.

The following message was submitted by a candidate for office. You may review the candidates’ biographies, ask them questions, and view their responses to questions posed by other members on the Candidates’ Page of the STC website. Information on casting your ballot will be sent to you prior to the opening of the election.

W.C. Wiese
W.C. Wiese

By W.C. Weise
Treasurer, STC
Candidate for Second Vice President, STC

For the past 4 years, I’ve had the privilege of serving as STC treasurer. During this dynamic time of transition, we’ve invested in skilled professional management but now face the harsh realities of a poor economy.

Meeting 5 challenges will determine whether STC will accomplish its strategic goals for the profession. STC must succeed at Relevance, Replenishment, Recognition, Resources, and Relationships and Combinations.

1. Relevance

Ask yourself: can you afford not to be a member of STC?

The test of a professional society is how often you rely on it. An essential professional resource has a website you visit everyday, archives that provide rich on-demand information, publications that compel you to read something in every issue, networks that expand your thinking and respond with answers, and resources for future growth. It increases your value in the marketplace. And it is always steering you toward knowledge and opportunities. It becomes an Every Day Professional Resource. I want an STC that does these things.

Since 2006, the Board and Office have made great strides to increase STC’s professional value. A skilled staff has improved our education programs, publications, and society operations. We still need to improve how our members interact, mentor, and support each other. We need to continue improvements in the Annual Summit and bring you into regular contact with new standards, our role in guiding them, and the outcomes we’d like to see.

We need to elevate our members in the employment marketplace by identifying the trends, technologies, and education that will increase your value. We need to prove our case, and that means spending STC’s research dollars with respected economists who can measure the value we add to products. We need metrics that prove that we make a difference in the products people select and depend on.

The resources are coming into place that should allow STC to develop and expand a validated program library from which chapters and individuals can purchase downloadable programming suitable for meetings or podcasts so you can increase skills on demand. STC should be extraordinary at this – we’re a global educational nonprofit organization of communicators! And the ability to access this kind of career enrichment is one test of STC’s value.

We also need to improve STC’s value where you measure it most – in your pay. By helping the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics adopt a contemporary definition of what we do, STC can drive fair compensation for the expanded range of skills we represent in the U.S. and internationally.

2. Replenishment

We can no longer defer expanding our presence in schools or encouraging promising students who are considering a career in technical communication. I will encourage an active and growing partnership with universities to develop and communicate the Body of Knowledge and our understanding of the marketplace. We need to encourage curricula that are congruent with our view of the profession and the needs of future employers.

STC’s future growth and energy depend on meeting the needs of young communicators and the schools that motivate and educate them. Academic partnerships and student memberships must be priorities.

3. Recognition

We struggle to concisely tell our employers about the difference we make for them because the range of our contributions is so vast.

By celebrating the achievements of STC members publicly, we do two things. We rejoice in the success of our colleagues and learn from them. We also demonstrate to business leaders and other professions what we do and what it looks like when it’s done well. A million dollars saved or won in any business represents our potential to perform at this level in all of them.

I fully believe that we make products and ideas more competitive in the marketplace. Through our hands, ideas become more persuasive, explanations clearer, help more usable, customers more satisfied, and products better.

The STC website doesn’t need job definitions. It needs testimonials, demonstrations, and celebrations that show what we did and continue to do everyday. I will celebrate your successes and publish them to the world.

4. Resources

As treasurer, I’ve helped manage STC as a business. The Board and the STC office have measurably improved their capacity to support society members and their communities. New investments are improving STC’s membership experience. Despite economic challenges, we will continue to increase the value of membership, particularly through development of targeted education products while we examine the potential of certification.

I will continue to work with our Executive Director to decrease the cost of governing the society. Face-to-face board meetings have been reduced from 3 to 2 per year, and the office has been relocated to achieve savings. In fairness, the hard work of finding new facilities has been done by the office staff, who continue to suggest best practices and to seek economies without impacting the services you need. We need to continue the benefits of this teamwork.

5. Relationships and Combinations

It helps to know that STC is not alone. Other organizations are feeling the pinch of tough economic times. We’re each rowing harder, yet we continue to stay in our lanes. Why?

Among groups that share our professional interests, we may find that we are a stronger organization and have the ability to enrich others through relationships yet to be discussed. We could combine a competition, perhaps, or share a conference elsewhere. We should be bold enough to consider merging a weaker association into STC if a mutual benefit can result. Perhaps one that already has experience with certification?

We have not done enough in this area, and it’s important for us to start.

And in Conclusion

I hope that my vision and concerns for STC are yours as well. I ask for your vote in this election, but let me encourage you to vote for any candidate who shares your views. STC needs your full participation if it is to best serve your needs.