JoAnn Hackos, Comtech Services, Inc.

I’m sure you’ve noticed that many conferences in our field feature the same speakers year after year. We definitely value the contributions of recognized experts, but for 2014 we wanted something new.

Skilled management, especially in the challenging environment we face today, is a necessity. Use this opportunity to increase your own skills and those of your senior team members.

2014 Best Practices, focused on the challenge of change management, features a plethora of new faces, each of whom has a valuable experience with change to contribute to our management paths.

Join me to welcome our new speakers at Skamania Lodge in Stevenson, WA in September. As our members and participants tell us, Best Practices is the best conference for our industry’s leaders.

Cathy O’Brien is the Director of Client Support at Indiana University. She leads the teams responsible for the university’s award-winning support center, call center, knowledge management development and IT management services, executive and internal technical support, and IT community partnerships.

Cathy brings her extensive experience managing innovative projects to her presentation. She provides insights into getting the support and funding required to move from idea to implementation.

Using the CIDM survey of workplace changes, emeritus board member Daphne Walmer has put together a panel of CIDM new speakers.

  • Suneeta Aggarwal (Tibco Software) leads off with attracting millennials to our teams.
  • Padma Nepalli (Intel) challenges the move of some corporations to consider writers to be non-exempt employees.
  • Bob Ryan (Nokia) explains how to most effectively train writers in new skills.
  • Mathew Varghese (Citrix) explains his “warpath” approach to developing new skills in user research, storytelling, tech journalism, and user experience design.

Richard Frankland (Radiometer Medical) recounts how his small team succeeded in inaugurating a major change initiative while managing the on-time delivery of their regular work.

Janice Zdankus (Hewlett-Packard), vice president of Knowledge Management for Hewlett-Packard’s Enterprise Group, tells us how her team is working across organizational boundaries to respond to customer needs for consistent information across all corporate content resources.

Rachel Grimes (Fiserv) explains how her technical communicators worked their way upstream in the software-development lifecycle to become part of the product design team.

Laurel Nicholes (EMC Isilon) knows that funding problems stymie the innovative aims of information developers. She explains how her group of distributed information developers banded together to form a multi-disciplinary team that creates internal and customer content for disciplines from core engineering to field marketing.

Tatiana Batova (Arizona State University) presents the results of the first CIDM academe/industry collaboration. She discusses the most common multilingual quality practices in topic-based environments and analyzes how multilingual quality approaches differ depending on the industry and organizational roles of the respondents.

In addition, several new faces join with old hands to present their innovative best practices.

Listen to Michelle Baudais and Catherine Lyman (NetApp) discuss their change management approach to producing a new documentation type on an accelerated schedule.

Kathy Watanabe joins Suzanne Sowinska, leaders of Microsoft’s Content Publishing Leadership Team, explain the challenge of delivering fantastic, focused, and friendly content that helps Microsoft compete through an increased use of visuals, focusing on a customer’s context within a product or service, and by using words that customers use themselves.

And, of course, we won’t forget presentations from previous presenters who bring us up-to-date on the work they are doing in their organizations to advance the cause of content professionals, including Joe Gollner (Gnostyx Research), Rebekka Andersen (University of California-Davis),Jamie Roberts (IBM), and Stan Potts (VMWare).