Chapter History

Today, the STC Atlanta Chapter includes more than 500 professionals in the technical writing field. In the year 2000, the STC Atlanta Chapter celebrated 20 years of membership growth and the achievements of its individual members and the Chapter as a whole.

To capture our history, we searched for people who were there in the Chapter’s early years. We did not have to look very far. Bob Hays, Martha Chambliss, and Gerry Cohen shared what they remember about the STC Atlanta Chapter and some memorable moments as technical communicators.

The history of our Chapter begins prior to our 20-year mark. According to Bob Hays, one of the Chapter’s organizers, as few as three people in the field met at Volt Engineering, a company sponsor. Prior to organizing the STC Atlanta Chapter, some of our members belonged to the Society of Technical Writers and Publishers (STWP). STWP had an occasional speaker, but mostly, the attendees discussed how to increase the membership. Eventually, the STC Atlanta Chapter was formally organized in 1980. Some of the participants who signed the Chapter petition remain active members today.

The STC Atlanta Chapter began meeting at the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry (TAPPI) facilities. By that time, the monthly attendance had grown to 10-20 attendees per meeting. The format differed from today’s meetings. Imagine, the group was small enough to sit around a conference table and discuss issues relating to the field with an emphasis on technical writing skills. The meetings were informal and there was usually a speaker. In the early days of STC the national society had so few members that most knew each other at least by mail or phone. The Chapter met at TAPPI from 1979 to mid 1985. The organization moved its meeting site to the MSA facilities and met there until approximately 1992. From there, the Chapter moved to various meeting sites to where we are today: the Marriott at Perimeter. According to Martha Chambliss, a society member since 1959, the Chapter has seen phenomenal growth and change. The quality of the membership is high. Members have broad and diverse backgrounds with computers now influencing the writers’ primary occupations. In 1980 technical communicators in the computer and software industries focused on print documentation, now the focus is on online help and the Web.

The focus of the STC Atlanta Chapter has not changed: the advancement of quality technical writing. This, according to Gerry Cohen, is why he joined STC in 1974. He had professional objectives and the STC Atlanta Chapter met his needs, just as the Chapter does for many professionals in the field today. Like many in the field, Gerry also saw a transition. In the ’70s he used a Selectric typewriter, which was later computerized. Now we are using word processors. There are a number of persons who are a part of the Chapter’s history and whose involvement helped to make the Chapter a success in meeting the membership’s goals.

 

Chapter Founders

The following is a list of Chapter members who signed the petition to organize the STC Atlanta Chapter. We apologize if we have omitted anyone who was a part of this special moment. If we did, let us know.

Marion A. Bucko Mark R. Luttrell Leara Rhodes
Gerald Cohen Cecelia C. Maher William N. Rogers
Doris Engerrand Dan Miller Maxine T. Turner
Mary G. Greeman Larry Newberry Jean Voyles
Sonya Jones Fred H. Parker David M. Webb

 

Previous Presidents

1980-1981 David C. Leonard
1982-1983 Rebecca Kelly
1983-1984 David T. Orr
1984-1985 Deborah E. Young
1985-1986 David J. Collier
1986-1987 Nancy Council
1987-1988 Carol Barnum
1988-1989 Kathryn E. Duggleby
1989-1990 Patricia J. Bishop
1990-1991 Chip Jones
1991-1992 Chip Jones
1992-1993 David C. Leonard
1993-1994 Steven D. Knapp
1994-1995 Steven D. Knapp
1995-1996 Steven D. Knapp
1996-1997 Julian F. Hacker
1997-1998 Jeffrey J. Haas
1998-1999 Kenneth T. Rainey
1999-2000 Rob Houser
2000-2001 Genie Vidal
2002-2003 Lori Brown
2001-2002 Angie Morris
2003-2004 Cheri Crider
2004-2005 Roger Siegel
2005-2006 Leigh Richardson
2006-2007 Holly Harkness
2007-2008 Al Hood
2008-2009 Howard Speck
2009-2010 Rhyne Armstrong
2010-2011 Jenn Collier
2011-2012 Jenn Collier
2012 Roberta Heinlein
2013 Roberta Heinlein
2014 Mirhonda Studevant
2015 Howard Speck