2016 Chapter Communications

February 2016 Newsletter
Happy Hour at Kona Grill in Chandler
Thursday, February 18, 2016

Join us for happy hour at Kona Grill located in the Chandler Fashion Mall (Chandler Blvd just west of Loop 101). Relax, network with other writers, and hear about our upcoming plans for 2016. No cost to attend other than what you order off of the menu. We'll be there from 4:30 to 7:30 pm, so stop by and say hello!

To RSVP, visit our Meetup site.

New Officers Elected for 2016

STC Phoenix chapter elected new officers for 2016 during a secret ballot election in December 2015.

Lou Kummerer has been elected to the post of chapter president. Recently retired from Intel and now contracting full-time, Lou previously served as STC Phoenix Chapter treasurer in 2014 and ensured the success of fundraisers during the 2014 STC Summit.

ASU professor Barry Maid has been elected to the chapter vice president position. Barry has served as the chapter's ASU liaison for several years and seeks to connect the chapter and technical communication students.

Alisa Sever, supervisor of technical writing at Early Warning Services in Scottdale, was elected to the post of chapter treasurer. Having regularly attended chapter meetups for the past two years, Alisa is looking forward to bringing her event planning skills from organizing food and wine events to elevate chapter meetings in the next year.
ASU Seeking Tech Writers for Study

A group of technical communication researchers from Arizona State University (ASU) and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is looking for ways to resolve writing problems for small and medium-sized technical communication teams. Sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the project aims at combining controlled language principles and specific organizational rules to simplify and improve written communication.

The project needs your hep to pinpoint the most common difficulties that writing teams encounter. Whether you are an experienced technical communicator or just starting your career and want to help improve written communication in your team, please participate in a short (20-25 minute) interview in February.

Contact Tatiana Batova at tbatova@asu.edu with quesions about the project or to participate in the study.

Chapter Website and Emails Down

Members may have noticed that the chapter website is down. While we're working on bringing the website back up soon, the chapter officer email addresses will not be accessible. Please contact officers through the chapter's Metro Phoenix Technical Communicators Meetup site.

March 2016 Newsletter
Mix & Mingle at Scottsdale Beer Co.
Tuesday, March 15, 2016 at 5 pm

Join us for happy hour at Scottsdale Beer Company on Shea Blvd. just west of the 101. Relax, network with other writers, and hear about our upcoming plans for 2016. No cost to attend other than what you order off of the menu. We'll be there from 5 to 7 pm, so stop by and say hello!

To RSVP, visit our Meetup site.

Hike to Loma del Rio Site in Tempe
Saturday, March 26, 2016 at 8:15 am

We're celebrating spring with a hike to Loma del Rioarchaeological site in north Tempe. Translated as "hill by the river," the Loma del Rio site was occupied by the Hohokam between approximately A.D. 1300 and 1450. The site features remains of seven rooms where an extended family of 15 to 20 people likely lived.

We'll begin our hike to the Loma del Rio site from the parking lot at the corner of Curry and College. The round trip distance from the parking lot and back is approximately two miles over rolling terrain. The area features a variety of trails that lead to the site, allowing various degrees of challenge for hikers.

For more information, see our Meetup site.

New Chapter Website Launched!

Thanks to our hardworking volunteers on the Chapter Website Revamp Committee, the new stc-phoenix.com website was launched earlier this month. The site features chapter news, an event calendar, a tech-comm blogroll that lists recent non-chapter written blogs around the technical communication industry, and an employment section. The employment section contain both a listing of relevent technical communication jobs from Indeed, and jobs posted by our Employment coordinator Michelle Parcell.

As part of the site, we're planning to feature a blog of posts written by chapter members. If you would like to contribute to the site, please email webmaster Rachel Houghton for details.

Mark Your Calendar for April 7 -- Intellectual Property and the Internet

We're still looking for a venue for this meeting, but we'll be posting details soon on our Meetup site and website.

April 2016 Newsletter
Intellectual Property in the Internet Age
Thursday, April 7, 2016 at 6 pm

Please join us for an informational presentation and discussion on Intellectual Property given by Warren Johnson at ASU's Skysong facility on McDowell and Scottsdale Road, Warren Johnson currently serves as Senior Attorney, Intellectual Property, at Early Warning. His copyright and intellectual property experience centers on the tensions and dynamics of the Internet of things, the rights granted to an original author through copyright protection, and software licensing/protection.

The $10 charge for this program covers use of the room and light snacks.

To RSVP, visit our Meetup site.

ASU Rush Night
Thursday, April 28, 2016 at 5:30 pm

The STC Phoenix Chapter will be hosting a student event at ASU Skysong on April 28.

With support from ASU Technical Communication program faculty members Tatiana Batova, Barbara D'Angelo, and Barry Maid, the ASU Rush night will introduce current technical communication students to STC and the Phoenix Chapter while also bringing students and industry representatives together in the same room.

Industry representatives slated to participate in the event include:
• Jeff Meisner—Tri-Zetto
• David Roman—American Express
• Steve Ballard—Intel
• Paul Manago—NXP (formerly Freescale)
While the event is geared toward ASU students, STC Phoenix Chapter members and students from other universities are welcome to attend as well. If you would like to participate on the Industry Panel at this event, please contact Chapter President Lou Kummerer as soon as possible.

For more information, see our Meetup site.

Chapter Mentoring Program

At the ASU Rush Night, the STC Phoenix Chapter will introduce a new mentoring program designed to help students and new technical communication professionals navigate through our industry.

The mentoring program will pair mentees with seasoned technical communication professionals in an informal setting. This will allow unstructured information to flow between the parties for the benefit of all.

After the ASU Rush Night, more details about the mentoring program will be posted on our STC-Phoenix.com website. Members interested in being mentors will be able to sign up online as well. More details to come in the May newsletter.
June 2016 Newsletter
STC Happy Hours in June, July

It's summer, and we're taking a break from program meetings, but STC Phoenix and its Meetup component, the Metro Phoenix Technical Communicators, will get together for happy hour in both June and July.

Chandler, Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 5 pm
Join your fellow technical communicators at Pesto's Pizza and Wine Bar in Chandler for happy hour on June 16. Located one mile east of the 101 at Dobson and Ray, Pesto's offers Italian fare, wine flights, a nice selection of beer, and a great atmosphere for hanging out on a Thursday night.

Scottsdale, Thursday, July 28, 2016 at 5 pm
In July, we scoot north on the 101 to return to the Scottsdale Beer Company for happy hour. SBC not only brews some tasty beers, but it has an upscale happy hour food menu. Many of us enjoyed the Fried Brussels Sprouts when we were there in March. For any homesick Midwesterners, SBC also offers Great Lakes-caught Walleye Fish and Chips.

To RSVP for either event, visit our Meetup site.

DITA Workshop a Great Success
Webinar of event available soon at stc-phoenix.com

Writers, students, and university instructors from metro Phoenix and Flagstaff attended STC Phoenix’s Hands-on DITA Workshop on Saturday, May 21 at Intel Corporation in Chandler.

The class consisted of a one-hour lecture and a two-hour workshop. The lecture provided an overview of structured documentation, including a conceptual view of how DITA is implemented in a real-world environment. Joe Connolly, a former Arbortext customer service representative who currently works for Pacific Scientific Energetic Materials Company, was the featured presenter.

In the workshop section, students received two abbreviated user’s guides that contained elements common to all technical documentation, such as figures, tables, bullet lists, ordered lists and cross-references. Both documents also shared several common sections. Students downloaded a DITA-enabled copy of Syncro Soft's XML editor onto their laptops. Using the XML Editor, they recreated each section in the two user’s guides as separate DITA modules. Students then linked the modules into two DITA maps and published the results as PDFs that mirrored the content and structure of the original documents. Paul Manago, a technical publications manager at NXP Semiconductor and one of the top DITA practitioners in the Phoenix area, facilitated the workshop section.

A modified version of the session will soon be available as a webinar on the STC Phoenix website at stc-phoenix.com.

STC﹘Phoenix would like to thank the following people and organizations for their support:
• Syncro Soft and Ionela Istodor (oXygen XML Editor and Author Support) for providing the oXygen licenses
• Intel Corporation for providing the venue and internet connectivity
• Paul Manago (NXP Semiconductors) for facilitating the workshop session
• Joe Connolly (Pacific Scientific Energetic Materials Company) for assisting in developing and delivering the lecture session
• Steve Ballard (Intel Corporation) for managing the relationship with Intel
• Karyn Shaffstall (Intel Corporation) for providing administrative support during the session

Have You Checked Out an STC Archived Webinar Lately?

Current STC members have access to a wealth of information and educational opportunities at stc.org. One of these opportunities for learning is presented in the form of FREE archived webinars. More than 140 webinars are available for free at http://www.stc.org/education/online-education/free-archived-seminars

More recorded versions of recently produced live webinars are available for $39 each to STC members at http://www.stc.org/education/online-education/recorded-seminars

August 2016 Newsletter
STC Coffee and Conversation
Saturday, August 20

It's summer, and we're taking a break from program meetings, but STC Phoenix and its Meetup component, the Metro Phoenix Technical Communicators, will get together for "coffee and conversation" at the Paradise Bakery & Cafe on Ray Road in Chandler. Feel free to drop in between 9 and 10:30 am to meet and greet other technical communicators.

To RSVP, visit our Meetup site.

Expose UX Web TV Episode
Tuesday, August 23
View live taping of episode or volunteer

Phoenix STC is participating in the taping of an Expose UX episode. Expose UX is the web TV show where startups compete for prizes while getting feedback from user experience (UX) experts.

Expose UX is touring North America taping episodes in 25 cities. Join for their Phoenix stop at Mod PHX. Watch as five local startups give a 30-second pitch, 2-minute demo, and receive feedback from a panel of user experience experts.
• Entrance fee is free for general admission
$12 for VIP admission, which guarantees seating.
For more information or to register, visit the Eventbrite site:
For information on volunteering to help with the taping,
contact STC Phoenix Chapter president Lou Kummerer
at louk247@centurylink.net.

Want to Get Feedback on Your Work?
Submit to STC Chapter Competitions

Submitting your work to an STC Chapter Technical Communication Competition is a great way to earn recognition for a job well done, and get feedback on areas you can improve. The best entries from each chapter's competition are forwarded to the STC International Summit Awards competition.

While the STC Phoenix Chapter will not be hosting a competition in 2016, the following STC chapters are hosting competitions:



District of Columbia

Eastern Region (NY/Philadelphia/Atlanta/Rochester)

Deadline for entries at most of these competitions is in early October. Contact the corresponding chapter for more information.

October 2016 Newsletter
Happy Hour at Scottsdale Beer Co. Thursday, October 6

Please join us for happy hour at what's becoming our favorite hangout, Scottsdale Beer Co., at the corner of Shea Blvd and Loop 101. Enjoy good food, award-winning libations and stimulating conversation with like-minded members of our profession. Bring a friend, and bring a growler!

To RSVP, visit our Meetup site.

WORKSHOP: The Tech Writer's Role in Agile Development
Saturday, October 22

If you are currently working in a software development environment, or have in the recent past, you've likely heard of the Agile development process. Maybe you've just heard the terms "sprint" and "scrum." Or perhaps your company uses Agile for software developers and you're looking for more ways to fit technical documentation into the Agile process.

Whether you're already working in an Agile development process or just want to learn about the technical writer's role in Agile, join us for this two-hour workshop on Saturday, October 22. Led by Alan Vickers and Jeff Meisner from TriZetto, the workshop will include a short lecture portion describing the Agile evnironment at TriZetto and the technical writer's role in that environment. Afterwards, attendees will form scrum teams and zoom through a quick sprint cycle to get a real-world feel for life as a writer in an Agile environment.

Where: Intel Corporation, 4500 S Dobson Road in Chandler, AZ

When: 9:00 am to 11:00 am

Cost: $15 for STC members, $20 for non-members, $10 Students

For more information or to RSVP, visit our Meetup site.

STC Expands Career Center

STC National Headquarters recently announced the launch of its new and expanded Technical Communication Career Center at careers.stc.org. The upgraded service includes features that facilitate connections between job seekers and employers, such as:
• Instant posting of resumes to all employers
• Job postings emailed directly to your inbox
• Mobile device access

STC members use their STC login to access the Technical Communication Career Center. Non-members or employers can register to use the site. ]

November 2016 Newsletter
Fall Barbeque
Sunday, November 6

Come out to Desert Breeze Park in Chandler to enjoy the cooler weather with your colleagues at a fall barbeque. A $10 donation to the STC chapter covers the cost of food and drinks.

When: 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Where: Desert Breeze Park, Chandler, AZ (map)

For more information or to RSVP, visit our Meetup site.

FREE Webinar on Topic-Based Authoring with MadCap Flare
Monday November 21, 7 pm

STC Phoenix chapter is pleased to work with Northern Arizona University's Dr. Erika Konrad to present an introductory webinar on MadCap Flare featuring MadCap Software's Jennifer Morse.

This on-line seminar will provide an overview of topic-based authoring and showcase single-sourcing capabilities of Flare. Attendees will see how Flare can be used to streamline content creation for multiple outputs such as HTML5 web-based Help and support sites, print-based guides, etc.

Free to all STC Phoenix chapter and Metro Phoenix Technical Communication (MPTC) meetup members, the webinar will be delivered using GoToMeeting/GoToWebinar connectivity software. A link will be fowarded to all attendees who RSVP on the MPTC Meetup site.

To RSVP, visit our Meetup site.


Even if you've submitted your early ballot for the U.S. national elections, you're not done yet. Ballots for STC Phoenix Chapter officer elections will go out to the membership electronically on or about November 1. Candidates for each position include:

President: Lou Kummerer
Vice President: Barry Maid
Secretary: Angela Harleaux
Treasurer: Christine Kerr

You can read the biographies for all candidates on the STC Phoenix website. While none of the officer positions are being contested, we still ask all STC Phoenix Chapter members to open and complete their ballots by November 15. This allows us to complete a valid election according to our bylaws, and also provides you an opportunity to provide write-in candidates or other feedback to the chapter. Thank you in advance!

Welcome New Members!
Jana Bopp
Ajay Day
Janine Lutz
Tia Nelson
Lisa Renner
Chapter Officers
Lou Kummerer

Vice President:
Barry Maid


Alisa Sever

December 2016 Newsletter
Holiday Party at
Phoenix City Grille
Tuesday, December 6

Please join us at our annual holiday party at the Phoenix City Grille on December 6. We'll celebrate a successful 2016, thank our volunteers, and share some great food and drink together!
The Chapter will pay for one drink and appetizers; members pay for their own dinner and any additional drinks. For menu, click here.
Location: 5816 N 16th St., Phoenix AZ (map)
Date/Time: December 6, 6 to 8 pm
Parking: Behind the restaurant or use the valet parking stand in front of ZTejas (Phx City Grille will validate ticket for complimentary parking).
To RSVP, visit our Meetup site

Introducing Our New Chapter Officers

In accordance with our chapter bylaws, the membership voted in new officers for 2017. These officers will be starting in their new roles as of January 1, although some have already been involved in transition activities. Thank you to all Phoenix Chapter members who voted. Congratulations to our new officers!

Lou Kummerer – President
Lou Kummerer is a contract technical writer working for NXP Semiconductor. He is current president of the STC Phoenix chapter. He also previously served as Treasure for the organization and, in a past life, was president of the STC local chapter in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Lou’s focus for the STC-Phoenix chapter is to provide grass-roots value to all technical communicators throughout the Valley.

Dr. Barry Maid - Vice President
Barry Maid is a Professor and Founding Head of Technical Communication at ASU. He has been working with the Phoenix STC chapter since he arrived at ASU in 2000. Previously, he taught technical communication at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock where he worked with the Arkansas STC Chapter.

Angela Harleaux – Secretary
Angela Harleaux is an enthusiastic recent member of STC, carrying a vision of coordination and fund raising. She is pursuing an education in Technical Communications at ASU and has a demonstrated background in Technical Writing. Angela’s goal in 2017 is to bring corporate sponsorships into the organization.
Christine Kerr – Treasurer
Christine Kerr, a recent graduate of the BS ASU Technical Communication program, currently works as a policy and procedures writer. She employs technical communication strategies every week as a communications liaison with the privilege to offer colleagues and thousands of financial consultants, representatives and executives strategically designed communications. Her goal with STC Phoenix Chapter is to expand the chapter’s visibility and to magnify the value technical communicators provide to all industries.

Time to Renew

It’s that time of year again. Time to renew your STC membership for 2017. Remember to add the Phoenix Chapter to your membership! STC returns part of your membership fees to the chapter, which helps keep the chapter going.

Just as a reminder, here are a few of the programs you can participate in as an STC member:
In every profession, professional certification helps employee, employer, and the consumer, and the STC certification program is highly respected. STC members receive a substantial discount on the certification program.
Career Center
In addition to identifying career opportunities, members can post a resume, post an employment opportunity, or access professional resources. STC members can view nationally posted positions 14 days before non-members.
STC members have access to a wide range of professional development opportunities, including monthly live webinars, online courses, on-demand seminars and recorded webinars, an annual conference, and partner sponsored events.

Mentors Needed
by Barry Maid

The STC Mentor Program is a new initiative by the STC Phoenix Chapter designed to reach out and provide support to students enrolled in the technical communication programs at both ASU and NAU. The program matches students with mentors who are working in the field of technical communication. Each mentor provides his or her student with someone to talk to about current workplace practices and expectations.

Last spring the chapter held a Rush event to kick off the mentor program. It was well-attended by local ASU students, as well as several NAU students who live in the Valley. The Rush featured presentations by experienced writers on what students might expect in the workplace. A second Rush event, to be held at an NAU facility in north Phoenix in January will include the capability for students to attend virtually.

Currently, Alan Vickers is serving as a mentor, and we are looking for more volunteers. The NAU faculty contact is Erika Konrad, and at ASU it is Barry Maid.