STC Toronto Members Won 2020 Distinguished Chapter Service Award

Congratulations to our very own Vanitha Krishnamurthy and Mona Albano for winning this year’s STC Distinguished Chapter Service Award!

The STC Community Affairs Committee gives out this award every year to honor the dedication and hardworks of STC’s community leaders. It is the highest recognition that a STC member can receive.

Mona Albano is currently serving as the Community Director
of the STC Toronto Chapter
Vanitha Krishnamurthy is currently serving as the Treasurer of the STC Toronto Chapter

STC Toronto AGM 2020

STC Toronto chapter’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held successfully via Zoom on June 28th, 2020 amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

The president and vice president of the STC Toronto chapter Joyce Lam and Shonna Eden co-chaired the meeting.

Looking back on 2019-2020

At the beginning of the meeting, Shonna presented the 2019 meeting minutes and looked back on events and activities held last year. The treasurer Vanitha Krishnamurthy then reviewed the chapter’s finances. Joyce followed by presenting the retrospection and outlook of 2019-2020. The focus of the council’s work was staying relevant, providing value for members by boosting the new job bank, increasing marketing effort and event attendance through strengthened online presence. Fostering the next generation of leadership for the chapter was also a top priority. Joyce also touched upon the challenges and opportunities presented by COVID-19.

Electing community council and executive council

After the retrospection, attending members elected the the new community council and Executive council.

The 2020-2021 community council

Communication ManagerNatalya Lohnes
Communications CoordinatorKahkashan Kazmi
Membership ManagerTika Thapa
Program ManagerPhoebe Yu
Education ManagerTania Samsonova
Publicity ManagerVacant
WebmasterEgnis Hoxha
Blog ManagerPeihong Zhu
Content WriterCraig Dodman
Site ManagerManali Pandit
Job Bank MangerAnant Seshardri
Job Bank CoordinatorsKahkashan Kazmi, Michael Fowler

The 2020-2021 executive council

PresidentJoyce Lam
Vice PresidentShonna Eden
TreasurerVanitha Krishnamurthy
Community DirectorMona Albano

Presenting 2020-2021 action plan

Following the election, Shonna presented the action plan for 2020-2021, which includes:

  • Blend social and networking events with workshops and talks
  • Increase web presence of events
  • Complete the Job Bank renovation
  • Build partnership with recruitment agencies and colleges
  • Hold job fairs and career development workshops

Awards

After the formal agenda concluded, Joyce announced the various chapter awards given out at the end of 2019. Joyce also congratulated the Community Director Mona Albano and Treasurer Vanitha Krishnamurthy for receiving this year’s Community Service Awards from the STC head office.

Keynote speech

For the grand finale of this year’s AGM, the renowned Canadian English expert and the former Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Oxford Dictionary Katherine Barber gave the key-note speech on the history of the English language titled Why is the English Language so Weird? Filled with stories and fun facts, the talk garnered rave reviews from the attendees in the form of chat messages.

If you want to know more about Kathrine Barber’s work, please visit her blog: https://katherinebarber.blogspot.com/.

Press Enter to Continue

Book Review by Jane Aronovitch

Press Enter to Continue is the clever title of a book written by Joan Francuz, a friend, colleague, former STCer and now author—in her own right, for what do we do, in our profession, but write books, tomes, pages, testaments and scripts of various sorts for our clients, just not for the general public in most cases.

When Joan autographed my copy of the book, she added “…and Ctrl S to save” after the title. That’s quintessential Joan Francuz and gives a taste of her witty style. While the book is historical—comprehensively so, but distilled to perfection—it is also chatty and full of personal treasures and stories too. In fact the book reads like Joan is talking to you, which makes it even more engaging. All of which makes this history of writing through the ages both personal and universal, as Joan discovers and exemplifies this “character trait—some call it a flaw—that compels people throughout history to sit down and write everything they know.”

And so it is that we learn of Joan’s love of gardening, her family, various jobs, travels and homes. But the meat of the book is the wealth of information on how scribes came to be and how they fashioned and used the tools of their trade through the ages.

With Joan’s deft touch and skill it all comes to life—from the Sumerians, to the Greeks, Romans, so-called Barbarians, and Renaissance men (I’m sure they had women too!); from symbols to characters to alphabets (first uppercase only, then lowercase) and the introduction of numbers and publishing; from all of these to the effects of religion, commerce, patents, railroads and more, including telegraphy and photography and how they influenced the dissemination of information. And all the while Joan relates to the material anecdotally, personally or with modern day comparisons. This is no dry history text!

A section entitled “Then people became data” introduces the digital age and brings us to “the time called now.” The book concludes with the thought that in every age people had a need to document the world around them. Press Enter to Continue carries on this tradition in exemplary fashion. It is a well researched piece of work documenting the history of our profession, with a bit of humour and personality thrown in for good measure. It is well worth the read!

Designing for Disruptive Innovation with Eliane Tozman

Tuesday, April 9 2019, 6 p.m.

The Wallace Gastropub

An Image of Eliane Tozman, Head of Design for IBM Canada Innovation
Eliane Tozman, Head of Design for IBM Canada Innovation

Eliane Tozman is a Montreal-born, Toronto-based designer, currently working in UX Design (User Experience Design) at IBM. Tozman works in software development, where she researches, conceptualizes and designs ways for IBM to make the technology work for the user, so the user doesn’t have to work for the technology.

Tozman’s presentation focused on Designing for Disruptive Innovation and why it’s so important for creating successful outcomes. She provided insight and examples of how design thinking empowers multi-disciplinary teams to solve complex problems by considering many options, integrating ideas and opportunities, and testing multiple solutions before going to market.

IBM Design builds user-targeted products and experiences: this session offered an overview of this human-centered methodology. This method challenges people to see the world through the eyes of the user every step of the way.

Preparing your Content for Intelligent Machines with Jo Lam

Tuesday, May 14 2019, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

North York Civic Center

Jo Lam

There’s a lot of talk about Content 4.0 and microcontent, but what can technical communicators do about it?

Intelligent agents and AI-powered cognitive content solutions perform best with machine-ready content—intelligent content designed to be read by humans and processed by computers. To deliver the right answer to prospects and customers who have questions, you’ll need to optimize your content production approaches and begin crafting content with the precision humans appreciate, and machines require. Welcome to Intelligent Microcontent.

Join us to talk about our next steps in future-proofing our content.

  • STC Toronto Chapter Members: $5 (taxes included)
  • STC Members (no chapter): $15 (taxes included)
  • Non-STC Members: $25 (taxes included)
  • TechComm Students: Free (please register)

Click here for more detail and to register.

New and Unique STC Roundtable Resources (Limited Time!)

For a limited time, STC is providing those who register now with a free monthly subscription to Roundtable. Each month, Roundtable members receive: over $400 worth of fresh, high-quality content; an engaged community; access to top experts in the field and timely, accurate and targeted resources.

An example month may include: a formal webinar led by the monthly curator or a selected expert; tools for implementing the information learned; a live Q&A on the monthly topic with selected experts moderated by the monthly curator; community connections, resources and more. This is a very cool opportunity for professional development, and a high value for STC members: register for free while you can.

Win a free STC Summit Registration (Limited Time!)

SmartDocs is a complete content management system designed for technical writers which allows your team to work in Word while benefiting from centralized, reusable content. They are raffling off a free STC 2019 Technical Communication Summit Registration (a value of around $2000 Canadian dollars, depending on your membership level). How do you enter? Register for and attend a free SmartDocs demonstration webinar this Wednesday, March 6 from 12-1 p.m. A free webinar and a chance to get into the 2019 STC Summit for free? Not too shabby.

STC’s 2019 Technical Communication Summit

The 2019 STC Summit is in Denver this year, May 5-8.

View the full schedule at https://summit.stc.org/schedule/. There are 80+ sessions and 12 workshops, plus:

  • Opening Keynote by Peter Morville, Information Architecture Expert and co-author of the O’Reilly “Polar Bear” books. Click here for details.
  • Honors Event speaker Gabby Pascuzzi from Survivor. Visit https://summit.stc.org/honors-event-speaker/ for details.
  • Closing General Session speakers Karen Schriver, Saul Carliner, and Ginny Redish. Click here for session details.
  • Certified Professional Technical Communicator (CPTC) Exam Prep Training.
  • An Expo Hall where you can meet with vendors and visit the Tech Comm Library, and
  • fun social events Monday and Tuesday evening, and Wednesday afternoon after the Closing General Session!

Don’t miss this opportunity build your skills and network in a fun and professional environment!

Information 4.0 with Ray Gallon

We had the pleasure of welcoming Ray Gallon to Toronto this evening and speaking with him about the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Information 4.0 and new roles and responsibilities for Technical Communicators. This highly experienced international expert is the president and co-founder of The Transformation Society, a consulting and training company dedicated to understanding and dealing with complexity and digital transformation. Ray has over 20 years’ experience in the technical content industries, including major companies such as IBM, Alcatel, and General Electric Health Care.

Ray is president of The Information 4.0 consortium, a former international board member of the Society for Technical Communication (STC) and past president of STC France. He is a frequent speaker on communications topics at conferences and seminars around the world, and currently teaches in the University of Barcelona’s Master of Sound Art programme, and University of Strasbourg’s online Master of Technical Communication and Localization. 

Resume Building Webinar with Pamela Paterson

Positive Engagement & Advice

Wednesday, November 7th, 2018, Pamela Paterson, BJ, MS, the bestselling author of “Get the Job: Optimize Your Resume for the Online Job Search” and the founder of the Pamela Jean Paterson bursary, gave a compelling webinar at a deeply discounted rate for student and STC members. The webinar was graced with positive engagement, interaction and questions, and all attendees gained valuable, personal advice and insight into Pamela’s unique methodology.  

About Pamela Paterson’s Job Market Conquering Methodology

Using business analysis techniques, Pamela analyzed the HR system to create a unique step-by-step methodology for conquering the job market. She has been teaching this methodology to HR professionals and job seekers across Canada and the U.S. for over 15 years.  Pamela claims a 90% success rate in helping her clients find jobs through her innovative methods that have been reported in the national media. Pamela is a long-time mentor and supporter of people who strive for positive change in their lives.