The word of the day is renew…

The word of the day is renew…

I could be referring to STC memberships renewals, but I’m speaking in a broader sense.

With a few weeks left of spring 2016, we have been privileged to witness the early blooms of mother nature’s mastery here in the lower mainland. Many venture outside to begin gardening, kickstart the first long weekend of camping, or simply enjoy the symphony of stunning scenery. It is difficult not to to find inspiration in the beauty of growth. Springtime for me evokes a renewed zest for learning, living fully and mindfully, and creating.

I practice a style of yoga called “kundalini”. In it, one of our mantras is “Sa-Ta-Na-Ma”, meaning birth, life, death, and rebirth. It fits well when describing the cycle of seasons, the cycle of life. Our chapter, in a less literal fashion, follows a cycle each year in birthing event ideas, planning and executing of such events, changing of the guard at the AGM, and then back to a strategic planning session to brainstorm all over again.

One of my mandates for this year was to help writers broaden their offerings, whether they worked as a consultant or employee. First, we had some experts from Toastmasters guide us on best practices for communication. Then we stepped out of our comfort zones and examined the popular but steeper learning curves of API writing with Lois Patterson and Marc Bell. In March, we held our final professional development event for the season on transitioning from technical writer to business analyst. Elizabeth Matheson provided us with a skills map featuring the similarities in both careers as well as a detailed dive into technical analysis for software.

As change springs upon us outside, so to with the chapter. At our annual AGM in April, the following members were elected to the 2016/17 council and assume their new positions effective June 1, 2016:

  • Stephen Gauer, President
  • Beverlee Bishundayal, Treasurer and Secretary

The council is also comprised of the following volunteers:

  • Bridget Greenwood, Webmaster and Communications Coordinator
  • Heather Sommerville, Advisor and Volunteer Coordinator
  • Pam Drucker, Advisor
  • Serena Beck, Membership Coordinator
  • Mala Rupnarain, Past President

New ideas and new objectives will take shape. We invite all technical communicators and members in our community to participate in the next strategic planning session in June. It’s a great opportunity for new and experienced writers to connect and have their say in what they’d like to see offered by the chapter. Please contact president [at] for more details.

I’d like to extend my gratitude to all the volunteers who contributed and participated with our chapter this past year. With your enthusiasm, we effectively worked together to connect, serve and support our community of writers.



Mala Rupnarain is the past president of the STC Canada West Coast chapter.