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Memo to Members

The newsletter of the Florida Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication

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We are glad to bring you the latest news from the Florida chapter of STC on our blog, Memo to Members. We have a new update, and we encourage you to scroll down or click the link to read up on the latest news.

Julia Southwick
STC Florida Communications Chair and Newsletter Editor
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Meet the Panelists: Workplace Respect and Resolving Conflicts

By Julia Southwick on Oct 19, 2022 08:18 pm

Join the STC Florida chapter on October 20 at 6:30 pm EST as we are joined by panelists who will share their knowledge and experience on how to build respect as technical communicators in the workplace and how to resolve the inevitable conflicts that occur. RSVP now on our event page to join us! 

As a reminder, we are requesting donations to support UCF students in the wake of Hurricane Ian.

Please bring your questions for our panelists! They will give their best advice on how to address the challenges you are facing with building rapport with other teams. Since we want to allow opportunities for our attendees to ask questions, we will not be recording the discussion, to allow our panelists and attendees to speak freely.

We are thrilled to welcome the following W.C. Wiese, Jessica Nealon, and Rachael Swertfeger!

WC Wiese

WC currently works as an exam proctor for Rasmussen University. He has 45 years’ experience in aerospace marketing support and program communications, retiring as Communications Manager for a unique joint venture company formed by Lockheed Martin with German and Italian defense contractors. A member of STC for over 30 years, WC is an STC Fellow and has served as STC Treasurer and Director at Large. He previously served as President of STC’s Orlando Chapter following a 5-year tenure as chapter treasurer. He has presented at 13 STC Summits. Recognitions include an STC Jaffe Outstanding Technical Communicator Award, two Lockheed Martin Comet Awards, a PR News Platinum Award, and multiple awards in the Florida Technical Communication Competition.

W.C. Wiese was inspired to propose this panel after reading the article “Articulating Value Amid Persistent Misconceptions About Technical and Professional Communication in the Workplace” by Emily January Petersen. The author proposed that technical communication was often considered expendable and misunderstood for various reasons. 

Jessica Nealon

Jessica Nealon has been a technical communicator for over 20 years. She has worked for Fortune 500 companies as well as small startups. Whatever the size and circumstances of the company, however, the majority of her experience has been as a lone writer. Whether the team was in product development or software development, she has most often been the only person on the team in the technical communication role.  

Jessica Nealon first joined STC over 20 years ago as a student member at UNC Charlotte where she obtained a Graduate Certificate in Technical Communication. She served on the board of the Metrolina chapter in Charlotte before it merged into the Carolina chapter. In Florida, she was active in the South Florida chapter before it merged into the Florida chapter. Jessica has been an active member of the Florida chapter for the past six years. 

Rachael Swertfeger

Rachael Swertfeger graduated from UCF in 2011 with a Bachelor’s in Interdisciplinary Studies, a minor in Tech Comm, and a minor in Environmental Studies. From there she went on to work at Lockheed Martin as a Technical Writer under contract before being hired directly. She worked creating and editing operator and maintainer manuals for the Department of Defense (specifically the Navy) using such tools as Arbortext, Photoshop, and HyperSTE. After several years at Lockheed Martin, she moved to Optum in the Health Insurance industry. Originally hired as a Content Manager/Knowledge Base Admin, her daily tasks included creating scripts and documentation for call agents, publishing plan information to the knowledge bases, and updating alerts issued by governing bodies.

A brief position for a non-profit organization, allowed her to branch out and use different skills. She worked to write newsletters, manage social media, write and run programming for students in after-school and summer programs hosted at the library, and run and play Dungeons & Dragons with the students. Her programs at the library assisted students with homework and taught them the basics of tabletop gaming. Her current position is at Sagent, writing release notes for one of their most mature products as well as assisting in the day-to-day generation of other documents, and helping with any technical questions that come up for MadCap.

Hurricane Ian Fundraiser for UCF Students

We at STC FL hope you got through the storm ok. In support of our student members, we’re encouraging our members to donate to UCF Hurricane Relief. This is the official charity to support the students and staff affected by Hurricane Ian. On the landing page, there is a message from the university:

“Some UCF Knights have been especially affected by Hurricane Ian, requiring emergency relief to help them continue their studies at UCF. Donations will provide immediate relief for students or employees who are housing and food-insecure, or who need emergency funding to get through temporary difficulties.

Every dollar will be matched up to $25,000 by Carrie Daanen ’92 Chair, UCF Foundation Board of Directors.

Thank you for your generosity.”

If you would like to donate to this fund instead of paying the regular meeting fee, go ahead and donate any amount you choose. Once you’ve donated, email and (if you feel comfortable doing so) let us know how much you contributed. Even if you don’t plan to attend the meeting, UCF, its students, and our chapter will greatly appreciate all donations!

If you would like to pay the regular meeting fee instead of donating now, go ahead and pay through PayPal following our standard process below. (You can always donate to the emergency relief fund later.) As always, meetings are free for students.

Meeting Payments

If you choose not to donate, we are charging the following rates for this educational program:

  • Free for student members
  • $5 for STC Florida Chapter Members 
  • $15 for all other attendees

Please RSVP and send your meeting payment through PayPal to receive the Zoom details for this meeting. Students can attend for free by RSVPing on this page. 

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October 2022 Meeting Fundraiser
Join Us October 20th for our Panel on Building Workplace Respect & Resolving Conflict
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