Technical Communication Week 2014

Tech. Comm. Week ProclamationCelebrate!

The Governor of Arizona, Jan Brewer, has proclaimed the week of October 12th as Technical Communication Week.

Technical Communication Week is a special time of year in which Arizona STC members and others celebrate the value of technical communicators. The official proclamation raises the awareness of our profession, our professionalism, and the ethics and creativity we bring to our work. It’s a perfect opportunity to approach management, your co-workers, and even clients about the work you do. This year, celebrate AZ Tech. Comm. Week by joining fellow professionals at the October chapter meeting.

Tech. Comm. Week Background

Technical Communicators in the early 1980s had the inspiration to create Arizona’s first celebration of the profession. Over the years, about a dozen other states have celebrated the work we do. This year’s celebration is again sponsored by the STC-Phoenix chapter.

Read the full proclamation below and/or click the image above to print out and proudly display the 2014 proclamation!


WHEREAS, recognition is given to the importance of having a bridge between those who create technology and those who use it; and

WHEREAS, recognition is given to the creative work of information designers and technical communicators who build those bridges of understanding and usability; and

WHEREAS, recognition is given to the standards of professional excellence and ethical behavior exhibited by these individuals;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Jan Brewer, the Governor of the State of Arizona, do hereby proclaim October 12 through 18 as

~Technical Communication Week~

Filed under: Announcements,Community Blog,Events,Latest Chapter News,zLayout — Gloria McConnell on September 27, 2014 @ 11:33 am |

October Meeting: Moving to DITA

What does it take to move from a traditional development environment to DITA? At our October program meeting, Steve Ballard, Manager of Technical Communications at Intel, will present “Moving to DITA.” In his presentation, Steve will describe Intel’s move from unstructured desktop publishing to structured XML DITA. Steve will outline some of the challenges and pitfalls other organizations should anticipate when considering a similar transition.

Join your fellow technical communicators on Wednesday, October 15, 2014 for this informative program, and plan to celebrate Arizona’s Technical Communication Week, too! The meeting will be held at Intel in Chandler, or you can attend remotely.

Whether you attend in person or remotely, the cost is only $5 per person.

What is DITA?

DITA (Darwin Information Typing Architecture) is an XML-based open standard for structuring, developing, managing, and publishing content. IBM originally developed DITA to more efficiently reuse content in product documentation. DITA is not a tool, but a methodology that several tools support.

About the Speaker

Steve_BallardSteve Ballard has more than twenty years of experience in technical content planning, authoring, editing, publishing, project/program management, and team leadership. As a technical writer and manager at Intel, Steve developed a multi-divisional technical information development capability and led team growth to 35 employees worldwide, supporting 14 divisions and approximately 40 product lines including silicon, software, boards and platforms.

About the Meeting

This meeting will be held at Intel’s Chandler campus, 6505 W Chandler Blvd, Chandler, AZ.  A networking session and light meal will precede the program.  Remote attendance will be available through GoToMeeting, thanks to the efforts of Steve Ballard and several others at Intel.

Agenda and Registration

6:00 p.m. – Sign-in, light dinner and networking (arrive a bit early to allow for Intel’s sign-in and escort process)
6:30 p.m. – STC Phoenix Chapter meeting
6:45 p.m. – Arizona Technical Communication Week celebration
7:00 p.m. – Moving to DITA presentation with Steve Ballard

Advanced registration and payment are required by October 14th. Register


Filed under: Community Blog,Events,Latest Chapter News,zLayout — Gloria McConnell on September 22, 2014 @ 9:27 pm |

How Strong is Your Personal Brand?

Meeting Recap

“Ask me about…” Jack Molisani, president of ProSpring Technical Staffing, discussed personal branding (and re-branding) and inspired 18 Valley technical communicators at the September chapter meeting. According to one attendee, two great takeaways from his presentation, “Be the Captain of Your Career,” were:

  1. To increase your corporate visibility, set yourself apart with personal branding.
  2. To increase your corporate value, become that person who solves business problems rather than merely documenting, “Put your name in the NAME field.”
    If you missed this presentation, see Jack’s presentation on SlideShare. His book is also available on Amazon. View the following slideshow for a peek at the Phoenix activities.
  • If you missed this encouraging presentation, see Jack’s presentation on SlideShare.
  • Interested in Jack’s book? It’s available on Amazon.
  • Highlights from the meeting? View the slideshow below. It advances automatically (or click left/right arrows). Hover over image to pause the show and view details.
Filed under: Community Blog,Latest Chapter News,Meeting Materials & Comments,zLayout — Gloria McConnell on @ 8:07 pm |

Learn how to “Be the Captain of Your Career” on Sept. 9

CaptainYourCareerBookCoverDo you feel like you are the captain of your career, or more like a galley slave—chained to a job that you don’t like, or perhaps one that pays slave wages?

At the STC Phoenix Chapter’s September meeting (Tuesday, September 9), author and STC Fellow Jack Molisani will discuss short-term tactics and long-term strategies for increasing your corporate value—and thus your standard of living.

“My career has had its highs, its lows, and everything in between,” says Molisani, author of the newly published book, Be the Captain of Your Career (available on Amazon). “I learned from each win and each challenge, and I’ll share my life- and career-changing realizations with you in this entertaining and informative session. As a mentor once told me: ‘Learn from the success and failures of others—it’s faster than making them yourself!’”

About the Speaker

A frequent speaker at conferences and the producer of the LavaCon Conference on Content Strategy and User Experience, Jack started his career as Project Officer in the Space Division of the United States Air Force. He is currently the president of ProSpring Technical Staffing (, an employment agency specializing in engineers and technical writers.

About the Meeting

This meeting will be held at Total Wine Camelback, and will feature a 30-minute wine tasting session and light meal to start the evening. The chapter will conduct a short business meeting before the presentation begins at 7 pm. Attendees who do not wish to partake in the wine tasting should arrive between 6:30 and 7 pm.

5:45 sign-in and networking
6:00 Wine tasting and light dinner
6:30 Break
6:40 STC Phoenix Chapter meeting
7:00 Be the Captain of Your Career presentation


$20 per person paid in advance through Meetup
** PAID MPTC and STC Phoenix Chapter members, and current Technical Communication students who present a valid student ID will receive $5 back at the meeting **
** Students must be over 21 years old to participate in the wine tasting. ID will be required**

** Charge includes light dinner and presentation; wine tasting is offered complimentary by Total Wine and is not part of the charge. No additional refunds given for those who do not participate in the wine tasting.

To RSVP visit our Meetup site:

Filed under: Community Blog,Events,Latest Chapter News,zLayout — Kim Rosenlof on August 24, 2014 @ 3:22 pm |

August 19 Webinar: Cracking QR Codes

Typical QR CodeJoin us for a fun exploration into the world of QR codes!

Pam Coca, experienced professional speaker and award-winning technical writer, will present a LIVE webinar entitled: “Crackin’ the Code – The Who, What, Where, and How of QR codes.”

This hour-long presentation will show you the good, bad, and ugly of QR codes. It also will include the hands-on experience of making a QR code. Time for discussion and questions is scheduled at the end of the presentation.

The Webinar is a remote meeting connected through GoToMeeting. Participants will receive their information the day before the webinar.

Register Now!

  • FREE for STC-Phoenix Chapter members and paid Metro Phoenix Technical Communicators (MPTC) members
  • $15.00 for non-members

Attendance is limited to the first 25 who register.

For more details or to register, see the MPTC Meetup site.

Filed under: Community Blog,Events,Latest Chapter News,zLayout — Gloria McConnell on August 4, 2014 @ 3:53 pm |

Webinar Next Week – Refining the Content Lifecycle

STC Phoenix will host an online meeting next Tuesday, July 8th, from 7 – 8:15 p.m. The meeting will present ”Refining the Content Lifecycle,” an archived STC webinar by STC Fellow Rahel Bailie. In the webinar, Bailie discusses factors that affect content strategy and its lifecycle.

This webinar is free to all STC and MPTC paid members and only $5 for all non-members. Limited to 25 attendees.

RSVP before 7/7. See Metro Phoenix Technical Communicators MeetUp site for additional details and to RSVP.


Filed under: Community Blog,Events,Latest Chapter News,zLayout — Gloria McConnell on July 1, 2014 @ 4:14 pm |

Summit ’14 – Gone but Not Forgotten

Whether you attended Summit ’14 or not, it’s never too late to re-visit the fun and informative event! STC Phoenix member Rachel Houghton hasn’t missed a Summit in 14 years; she started taking her camera to the conference in 2002 to photograph chapter members, friends, and events. Rachel created a photo collage, which she presented at the Phoenix chapter’s June 10th meeting. To see the collage, click here.

Rachel has more pictures available on Flickr – see her STC 2014 photo album. If you would like a full-size version of any of the pictures (in the collage or the album), please contact Rachel directly at Thank you, Rachel!

Filed under: Just for Fun,Latest Chapter News,Uncategorized,zLayout — Gloria McConnell on June 24, 2014 @ 9:25 pm |

Chapter wins STC Community of Exellence Award

The Phoenix Chapter of STC has been awarded the Society’s 2014 Community of Excellence Award! Our chapter is no stranger to awards – we won the STC Pacesetter Award in 2012, Community of Excellence in 2009, and over the years, several individuals have won the Distinguished Chapter Service Award.

If you are reading this post, please consider volunteering for this great community! Contact to learn about volunteer opportunities.

Chapter officers and members proudly acknowledge the Phoenix Chapter's Community of Excellence award. Left to right: Jeanette Lee-Randall, Lou Kummerer, Kim Rosenlof, and Chanda Child.

Chapter officers and members proudly acknowledge the Phoenix Chapter’s Community of Excellence award. Left to right: Jeanette Lee-Randall, Lou Kummerer, Kim Rosenlof, and Chanda Child.

Filed under: Announcements,Community Blog,Latest Chapter News,zLayout — Gloria McConnell on May 26, 2014 @ 2:12 pm |

Chapter Contributes to Summit ’14

slideshowFrom May 18 through May 21, STC Summit attendees were welcomed to Phoenix by a team of enthusiastic Phoenix chapter Hospitality table volunteers who provided good cheer and sound advice for those navigating their new surroundings. When stopping by the table, attendees could enter the STC Phoenix trivia contest to win an Arizona goodie bag, snag a plush Diamondback snake as a momento of the Summit in the desert, or just talk “tech comm.” And let’s not forget stopping by to sample and purchase those tasty peanuts from Yuma, Arizona!

The most talked about chapter activity was the evening at the Phoenix FilmBar to view Helvetica, an independent feature-length documentary by Gary Hustwit about typography and graphic design. With its retro charm, the FilmBar set the stage for this thought-provoking film full of passionate designers, typographers, and influencers. As the film’s interviewees expressed their provocative points of view, the crowd often exploded with shouts and laughter. Attending the film was a great way to both relax and to gain some inspiration! The evening ended with a presentation to our sponsor, Discount Tire, and a raffle of Arizona-made items.

Thanks to all volunteers!

Related story: Photos by Rachael Houghton

Filed under: Community Blog,Latest Chapter News,zLayout — Gloria McConnell on @ 1:13 pm |

Welcome STC Summit Attendees

Hope that all STC Summit 14 attendees are enjoying the conference! Here are some quick tips and chapter events:

Filed under: Announcements,Community Blog,Latest Chapter News,zLayout — Gloria McConnell on May 19, 2014 @ 1:12 pm |

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