Alan Houser and the Society for Technical Communication

Alan Houser has always considered the Society for Technical Communication to be a critical contributor to his professional development and identify as a professional communicator.

Alan Houser has been a long-time member, volunteer, and financial supporter of the Society for Technical Communication. At the international level, his volunteer roles have included standards liaison, and program and conference committee chairs.

In 2011, Alan was elected to the STC board of directors — the legal entity responsible for the the Society. Alan was elected to Society vice president, with automatic succession to Society President and Immediate Past President. On ascending to Society president and chair of the board or directors, Alan successfully empowered the board of directors as a decision-making body through appropriate and effective use of Robert’s Rules of Order.

Under Alan’s leadership, the STC board of directors:

  • Executed a difficult, but necessary, change in STC leadership and culture, by hiring a new Chief Executive Officer and new legal counsel. The STC search committee, executive committee, and board of directors chose the new CEO specifically for his skills at strategic planning, his experience in the public and private sectors, and his financial acumen.
  • Supported STC staff in launching a new publishing initiative, the STC Imprint, to increase STC’s support of high-quality publications in the field of technical communication, and to increase STC’s visibility and stature in the publishing industry.
  • Launched the STC Advisory Council, comprised of thought leaders and persons of stature in business and academia, to help guide the STC in providing effective programs for the technical communicators of today and tomorrow.
  • Suspended offerings and programs whose investment was not justified by member demand.

When Alan ascended to STC President in 2012, the Society had a 12-year history of declining membership, revenue, and financial reserves. Now the Society’s membership is growing, revenue is stable or increasing, and efforts are underway to rebuild the Society’s financial reserves. The Society has broadened its mission from an organization that supports technical communicators, to an organization that provides life-long support for all professionals who create, manage, and deliver technical content to support users of products and services.