The chapter’s fall kick-off meeting on Sept. 16 brought many firsts for the chapter. It was the first time we incorporated so many forms of remote participation in a single meeting:
- a remote presenter, RJ Jacquez from Adobe, presented features of the NEW version 1.3 Technical Communications Suite
- dial-in participation from up to 8 attendees
- pre-recorded audio and video podcasts from our past president and innovation coordinator
The program demonstrated three themes from our chapter’s strategic plan for 2008-2009:
- making a difference to the planet through using green technology and fostering community by getting to know each other better
- serving more members through allowing virtual participation
- acknowledging our volunteers whose work keeps the chapter going
I believe it is the first time we have had the chance to meet so many of our volunteers in a single meeting:
- Theresa Putkey, immediate past president, described how the chapter became virtual, via pre-recorded audio podcast.
- The executive team spoke about their roles in keeping the chapter operations running smoothly and meeting legal requirements, as well as telling us about some of the interesting things they are doing to make a difference in the world in addition to volunteering for the STC:
Karen Rempel - president
Eagranie Yuh - vice president
Susan Patch - treasurer
Karl Meinert - secretary
- Rahel Bailie, innovation coordinator, talked about her role via pre-recorded video podcast, and told us about one of her contributions to making a difference in the world.
- Many team lead volunteers described what they do for the chapter and contributions they make in addition to their work for the chapter:
Heather Sommerville - programs lead & volunteer coordinator
Pam Drucker - programs & competition manager in alternate years
Marika Piehler - photographer
Tracey Martinsen - wiki gardener
Tony Chung, coastlines editor and AV tech dude
Lisha Li - webmaster
A volunteer in Kelowna, Tracey Heyworth, helped make this evening happen by creating our photo release form and formatting Tony Chung’s Coastlines article of volunteer bios that was distributed at the meeting.
Many volunteers contributed by submitting their bios so that you would have a chance to get to know them better that way. This article is available on our web site, at:
Heather Sommerville and Pam Drucker of Programs did much work behind the scenes and at the meeting to bring this program to us and keep it running smoothly. Another programs volunteer, Fiona Brannan, printed the program materials and helped at the door.
In addition, we had donations of refreshments for the program from Liessi Häussler, on behalf of Cyberscribe Solutions Inc., and door prizes from Sheila Jones, Wordsmiths International, and Rahel Bailie, Intentional Design.
As if that isn’t enough, Rahel Bailie, Tony Chung, Pam Drucker, RJ Jacquez, and Tracey Heyworth all got together before the meeting to test the equipment and telecommunications technology. A
Wow! That is a lot of work, by so many people, to bring our program into existence! Thank you everyone!
BENEFITS AND TRIBULATIONS
I personally had a lot of fun at the meeting, even in those moments when the technology didn’t work as planned. Pam valiantly held up the laptop so we could hear the podcasts in the room. Unfortunately, as Clara Johnson reported in her posting in this forum, the audio was inadequate for remote listeners during some portions of the program. I regret this and acknowledge how frustrating that must have been. At the same time, I believe it is inevitable that we will have some kinks to work out as we learn new ways of doing things. Thank you so much to the remote participants who are helping us sort this out by participating and by reporting on their experience.
One benefit that the people in the room had was being able to talk to each other and network. New writers had the chance to ask questions of experienced writers. Old friends had a chance to reconnect. People had a chance to meet new people and form new connections. For the 30+ people who attended the meeting in person, there was value in this, and also in enjoying the yummy refreshments! Heather told me that this was the first time people lingered after the meeting until the cleaning staff showed up! This is a true sign of the success of the meeting.
So I would like to reiterate our commitment to serving our members as well as we can through offering programs that are interesting, and that give people who want to a chance to meet in person, while also bringing the material to members who participate remotely. We will continue to work out the kinks, so that next time the remote audio will work for the entire program.
PDF PRESENTATION OF THE MEETING
For people who didn’t attend the meeting either in person or remotely, but would like a brief overview of it, RJ Jacquez prepared a presentation of the highlights. The presentation is available for download from his blog, at:
It includes a video of the meeting introduction (9 minutes), a short PowerPoint slideshow of highlights of the Adobe Technical Communications Suite, a Footprint graphic of the CO2 emissions prevented by remote attendance (FootPrint is software that calculates the approximate location of each attendee in a virtual meeting based on their IP address), and Theresa and Rahel’s podcasts.
You will need to download Acrobat Reader 9, available at the same link, in order to view the PDF presentation.
We would love to hear from people who attended the meeting in person or remotely about your experience of the program. Please post your comments in this thread