Monday, May 28, 2012

#STC12 The Rough Drafts Music Jam

This is a story best told in pictures. 

Before the gig . . .
Wrist bands for everyone to publicize and remember the event  

This sexy Fender P-Bass was mine for 2 whole nights 

The Rough Drafts with our amazing sponsor and host Chapter rep, Left to right: Dr. Thomas Barker - lead and rhythm guitar, vocals, set lists and charts; Viqui Dill - bass and vocals; Rich Maggiani - drums and more; Ann Grove - president at Logical Writing Solutions, Inc., our sponsor; Betsy Maaks - vocals, linedancing instructor, STC Chicago Chapter rep, equipment coordinator, jam participant juggler, table program developer; Robert is not pictured  
First set kicked off with the core band warming up the crowd and getting a soundcheck on the fly.

Left to right: Rich Maggiani on drums, Robert Hershenow on guitar and vocals, Viqui Dill on bass and vocals, and Tommy Barker on guitar and vocals 

The dance floor filled up fast, thanks to Tommy's great set list. We open with Elvis' "Good Rockin' Tonight" to get the party started.
Well I heard the news, there's good rockin' tonight 
Lucky me, I'm on bass.

The bass babe 

First jammers out of the box are Tristan Bishop on keys and vocals and Steven Jong singing lead. Was it "Honky Tonk Woman"?
Left to right: Robert Hershenow on guitar, Tristan Bishop on keys and vocals,  the bass babe, Steven Jong on vocals, and Tommy Barker on guitar 

The Weight features Kai Weber and Elizabeth Barteau on vocals with Ryan Williams on bass. 

Such a fun song and they sing it/play it so well 

Love Me Like a Man - I get to sing my favorite song, thanks to Bruce Poropat on bass. Also featured is Stephen Adler on guitar. "Darlin' I know you can."

I love it when folks dance to our music 

Bruce Poropat also plays a mean electric guitar as we soon found out. 
Left to right: Bruce Poropat on guitar, Robert Hershenow on guitar, drums behind, Viqui on bass, and Tommy Barker on guitar and vocals 

Second set kicked it up a notch with a tribute to our host Chapter and Summit location. 
The second set kicked off with "Sweet Home Chicago" featuring the STC Chicago Chapter as Jake and Elwood Blues 

Finale set welcomed everybody back to the stage.
Mustang Sally featured many vocal talents, among them Ben Woelk and Marilyn Woelk  of the Rochester Chapter 

And the award for Educator, and badass sexiest tech comm musician ever! goes to our own Dr. Tommy Barker.

At the after party we just could not let the evening stop. To quote Chris Kristofferson, Janis Joplin, and Betsy Maaks, "We sang every song that driver knew."
Philadelphia Chapter president Stephen Adler treats us to "Wild Horses"  and even a little singing  at the after party 
We just can't stop singing, so the party goes on well into the next morning , featuring Tommy Barker on that great big beautiful Taylor acoustic guitar 

More photos on flickr at   thanks to Richard Lippincott and thanks to Rachel Houghton.

A thousand thanks to our generous hosts and sponsors, especially Ann Grove and Love the shirts, love the party, and LOVE YOU!!!

Rough Drafts jam sets are on slideshare at

Friday, May 25, 2012

#STC12 Day Three - Chicago Pizza for Lunch

Midday on Monday and we've worked up an appetite. My friends back home told me to be sure I try some pizza while in Chicago so when Helen from our DC Chapter invited me to join a group for lunch at the Chicago Fire Oven a short walk from the Hyatt. Most of the folks we lunched with are from the Northeast Ohio Chapter and they sure are photogenic. See? 
Lunch with the NorthEast Ohio Chapter of STC at the Chicago Fire Oven Restaurant 
Of course, I had pizza.
Pizza from the Chicago Fire Over Restaurant in Rosemont IL 

On of the guests at lunch was traveling Monty the Monkey. He has been to 8 STC Summits and over 30 countries. So of course, I took his picture.
Monty the Monkey has been to 8 STC Summits 

So after lunch with my fellow Tech Comm folks and checking off "pizza" from my Chicago Summit bucket list, we return to the Summit refreshed and revived.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

#STC12 Day Three - Tutorial Pacing Session

Yikes! It's Monday and Monday is THE BIG DAY! 

I told my boss if he would pay expenses, I would wear my American Woodmark gear at the Summit. So I pull out my shirt and it's wrinkly. Not so wrinkly that I would just wear it as-is if this were any regular day but it's Monday and Monday is THE BIG DAY! Therefore, I show off some of my crazy good domestic skillz, as shown below. 
This an iron. I still remember how to use it.
The presentation (my presentation as part of the Education Progression) is in the same room where we had the Leadership Program yesterday. And just in case I might need reassurance, STC has posted signs outside each door. Looks like I found the right place.
Education Progression, we have found our spot. 
Yesterday at the Education Progression, I ran my battery low and had to plug in. So today, I arrived early to snag a table beside one of the few available outlets in the room.

Power outlet and my handy white extension cord, ready for duty. 
Just as an aside, I have to say that power was a bit of an issue at #STC12. Seems like lots of folks were scouting out a source for electric juice during this Summit. Being an early bird, I had good luck with finding power when I needed it.

The presentation went well for a first timer. Many things I would have done differently but nothing I was ashamed of. Don't forget to submit your Summit Speaker Evaluation. I'm Viqui Dill and the session is called "Tutorial Pacing".

Proceedings on the STC Summit website at 

Slides on slideshare at

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

#STC12 Day Two - Leadership Program

A beautiful day in Chicago begins at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare in Rosemont. To start the day right, I take time to stop and smell the roses.

Roses in Rosemont 

The Leadership Program is way down in the basement of the Hyatt. Luckily, I ran into my fellow Rough Drafts band mates in the hotel lobby. All I had to do to find the right meeting room was act casual and follow the Leaders.
The Rough Drafts at the Leadership Program 
The first thing we did was take over a table. See in the photo how we made our own reserved sign for the table. I'm pretty sure it fooled the authorities because they did not kick us out. Even if they did, we could just say "I'm with the band".
The Rough Draft table, see the sign?  

The opening remarks were given by our outgoing president, Hillary Hart. 
Hillary Hart addresses the group 
followed by energizing words from Nicky Bleiel.
Nicky Bleiel gives a peptalk 
Chapter Honors were announced. We got a sheets full of special stickers for the badges of the members
STC Community of Distinction stickers 
My presentation is entitled "Do You want that Tweeted, Posted, or eMailed?" We begin by taking the Survey. Takes a while but it's a good way to introduce the scope of the Survey.

Marilyn Woelk, Cherie Woodward, and others at our enriching discussion about social media
Ed Marshall adds his experience to the discussion 
Many thanks to the attendees for reading and responding to each and every question.
This nice group of Technical Communicators takes the Survey 
Thanks to everyone for your responses 
After the presentation, we give ourselves a thumbs up. 

Leadership progression was a success, thanks to the great attendees like Marilyn Woelk and Cherie Woodward and STC planners
Take the survey for yourself at
We would love to hear from you. 

Slides on slideshare at

More photos at thanks to Richard Lippincott  and thanks to Rachel Houghton.  

Sunday, May 20, 2012

#STC12 Takes a Field Trip to Second City in Chicago

Tonight, a bunch of us Technical Communications types gathered for an evening of networking, connection, food, and fun. Here's a little bit of how it went.

First we got a ride on the bus. Good time to check out the surrounding area and the beautiful Chicago skyline.

From the bus, we could see the Chicago skyline 

I will call it "The Sears Tower" forever. 
Before we knew it, we were there. The bus driver let us off at the door. Thanks, man.
Second City location 
Then we split up into groups for dinner. My group went to Kamehachi. What a great place. Best sushi I can remember.
The STC crew at Kamehachi Japanese restaurant 
And the food is beautiful, as well as photogenic. See?
Miso starts the meal  
Unbelievably delicious sushi 
Delicious and photogenic sushi 
The mackerel sashimi comes in its own little house 
Some of us had room for dessert 
After dinner, it was a short walk to the theatre. Here's a group shot of us.
The STC Crew at the Second City show 
And a shot of their menu. More drinks. More food. More fun.
Even the menu was funny 
A few words about Second City: the show is the best of its kind. It is no wonder that this organization is so famous for cradling and nurturing the finest comedians on the planet. The material was funny, topical, fresh. The players were engaging, funny, and cute as buttons. The whole thing was fabulous.

In fact the whole evening was fabulous, made all the more wonderful by the fact that I got to hang out with my Tech Comm colleagues.

Thanks so much to Linda Kelley, Paula Ludmann @pludmann , and Linda Jansak @ljansak for putting the thing together.

And a shout out to Betsy Maaks for being just as great in person as she is online.

Now it's late and I'm "on" tomorrow morning at the Leadership event. Come see me if you can.


Saturday, May 19, 2012

#STC12 Day One - The Arrival

Day one begins dark and early, leaving our house at 6:30 am. Big thanks to my son, the fabulous Jim Dill, for chauffeuring the car back home after dropping me off at the Dulles Departures area.
Jim and me at the Dulles Departures area 
Boarding was easy. I didn't get the bodyscan nor a patdown because TSA was getting backed up and they needed to play catch up. It is bad to let you know I'm a little disappointed? Anyway, I got a nice window seat next to two nice, quiet traveling companions on the flight from Dulles to O'Hare. 
View out the window of the plane to O'Hare. I have a window seat.
O'Hare is gorgeous. I loved this artwork over the moving walkway.
Artwork over the moving walkway at O'Hare 

I am always so glad to see my suitcase when it arrives. So of course, I took a picture.
Reunited with my suitcase. I have missed you so. 

Finding the shuttle bus to the Hyatt Regency O'Hare was a little tricky. Next time, I'm told to go downstairs. I followed the directions from the luggage carousel area and went for quite a hike, just like Scott Prentice. Now he tells me.
The tweet stream about finding the shuttle would have been handy. 

So now, I am safely checked in at the Hyatt.
I am safely checked in to this nice room at the Hyatt. 
Here's what I look like from space. 

And I'm rested. And I've blogged (I set a personal goal to blog the conference).

Follow the Society for Communications 2012 Summit on twitter using the hashtag #stc12.

Now let the festivities begin!