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Some news briefs about the goings-on at Solari; and the speaking engagements and exploits of Solari’s President, Rich Maggiani.

News Releases

2017 2012 2008
2016 2011 2007
2015 2010 2006
2014 2009 2005
2013


Solari News for 2017

Rich Presents at Integrated Resource Planning Summit
27–28 March 2017; Denver, Colorado

Solari Principal, Rich Maggiani, presented at the EUCI conference Integrated Resource & Supply Planning (IRP) Summit. His presentation, Communicating with IRP Stakeholders: Don’t Bury the Headline!, addressed the continuing need for simple, clear communication to reach a utility's ever-expanding target audience. (Download the slides.) This larger, less sophisticated audience has resulted from the ever increasing proliferation of renewable generation, especially rooftop solar. Rich discussed the specifics of better reaching this audience, including how to create headlines—essentially memorable messages—that resonate and clearly communicate.

Rich also was one of four members on the panel that discussed best-practices for integrating distributed energy resources (DER), mostly homeowner rooftop solar, onto the power grid while maintaining fairness and reliability. What became clear is that integrating DER was challenging on many fronts, and that careful management was paramount.

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Solari News for 2016

Power Supply Improvement Plan: December 2016
23 December 2016; Honolulu, Hawai‘i

The December 2016 PSIP resource plan outlined a detailed resource plan for attaining 100% of power generation from renewable resources (including solar, wind, biofuels, geothermal, and batteries) by 2045. The plan also forecasted that the utility could attain an almost 50% RPS by 2020. As with past resource plans, Rich acted as lead writer, editor in chief, and document manager.

This plan required that some previous analysis and conclusions be re-examined. This necessity was the result of the Public Utility Commission dismissing without prejudice NextEra Energy’s bid to acquire the Hawaiian Electric Companies. In addition, this PSIP was created for the utility as a whole under the recently developed One Company initiative.

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PSIP Revised Work Plan
7 September 2016; Honolulu, Hawai‘i

Following the filing of the April 2016 PSIP, the Hawaiian Electric Companies were ordered by their Commission to file a Revised Work Plan that explained how they were going about developing the next, and final, PSIP resource plan. That order also stipulated two technical conferences in which the 20-odd participants allowed into the docket would submit input into the analytical process, and directed specific aspects that were to be addressed in the PSIP: inputs and assumptions, transparency, system security, ancillary services, and risk.

Rich summarized these directives, and how they would be presented in the Work Plan. He then worked closely with utility staff and several consultants to describe in detail the steps being taken to conduct the modeling and analysis, how that analysis and potential resource plans would be assessed in the three modeling tools (RESOLVE, PowerSimm Planner and PLEXOS), and how participant contributions would be integrated into the final results.

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Your Three Hats
17 May 2016; Anaheim, California

Rich’s presentation, Your Three Hats, outlined the three major jobs that any small business owner must wear to succeed: expertise, marketing, and finance. Many people who found and operate small business feel that being the expert is all that is necessary for success. Rich explained that clients take for granted that these professionals as expert as a matter of course. What clients, and of course prospects, first need is to discover your expertise and how it can benefit them—the marketing hat. The finance hat just know how to price, and keep the business financially stable.

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PSIP: April 2016
1 April 2016; Honolulu, Hawai‘i

The April 2016 PSIP resource plan proved to be s strong, yet unfinished step along the way of creating a robust resource plan for the Hawaiian Electric Companies. Given the aggressive nature and structure of the research and analysis, the use of three modeling tools, and the interactions and engagement with over 20 participants, certain aspects of the plan needed additional work.

The PSIP clearly demonstrated that Hawai‘i could generate 100% of its electricity from renewable resources within the next 30 years. What wasn’t clear was what that renewable generation comprised and where it would be sited. For instance, a robust analysis assessing the benefits of interconnecting the independent island grids still remained. As a result, this PSIP proffered liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a cleaner, less expensive bridge fuel while the details of potential renewable generation resources was analyzed. The utility stated its intention to file a complete plan by year’s end.

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Hana, Maui
26–29 February 2016; Hana, Maui, Hawai‘i

Following our hectic schedule over the previous five months, Rich and his wife finally fulfilled a long-time goal. Together, they visited Maui and drove the Road to Hana. And, as the experts advised, they took our time.

Along the way, they strolled along secluded black sand beaches, bushwhacked their way to remote waterfalls, and just generally stopped a lot. In Hana, they swam at the “secret” red sand beach (pictured here), paid their respects at Charles Lindberg's grave site, swam in the Seven Sacred Pools, then drove the south side of Maui back to their starting point in Kahului. And, of course, stopped to admire the eight Auwahi wind turbines sited along Maui's southern volcanic shores.

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Interim PSIP Report
16 February 2016; Honolulu, Hawai‘i

To comply with a Commission order, the Hawaiian Electric Companies created a PSIP Interim Status Report about the progress of the input assumptions, analysis, and modeling being conducted to develop an updated Power Supply Improvement Plan. A recent statute governed this plan: achieve 100% RPS by 2045.

As with past resource plans, Rich was the lead writer, editor, and document manager, ensuring that the report complied with all directives. The report discussed in detail a new analysis and planning process. This process included iterative, integrated analytical cycles for demand response (DR), utility-scale resources, and distributed energy resources (DER) being run through three modeling tools—RESOLVE, PowerSimm Planner, and PLEXOS—to develop an double-check potential resource mixes.

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Solari News for 2015

Proposed PSIP Revision Plan
25 November 2015; Honolulu, Hawai‘i

In early November 2015, the Hawai‘i Public Utilities Commission ordered the Hawaiian Electric Companies to fully update their Power Supply Improvement Plans from 2014. In that order, the Commission also changed the status of 22 intervenors to that of participants (called the "Parties"), ordering the utility to include them in the analysis and planning efforts to recreate the PSIPs. One of the Parties was NextEra Energy, who was making a bid to acquire the utility.

Rich worked with the utility to write this Proposed PSIP Revision Plan, which outlined the process of creating a revised PSIP that fully engaged the Parties and focused on attaining a 100% RPS by 2045.

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Maui Above the RAM Cap
30 October 2015; Kahului, Hawai‘i

Three months into calendar year 2015, the Hawai‘i Public Utilities Commission dramatically lowered the monetary threshold for recovering costs for small unit and transmission and distribution improvements and upgrades. As a result, a number of completed, underway, and completed projects being conducted by Maui Electric Company that were under the former Rate Adjustment Mechanism (RAM) cap were not over the adjusted cap. This Above the RAM Cap Revenue Recovery Application was the utility's attempt to recover almost $4.3 million in previously approved improvements and upgrades.

Maui Electric contracted with Solari to assist in writing this application as the Commission set a tight deadline for its filing. The application discussed all projects that were now over the RAM cap and the rationale why the costs should be recovered.

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Daymark Energy Advisors Communication Training
21–22 October 2015; Boston, Massachusetts and Portland, Maine

Daymark Energy Advisors understands the necessity for consistency in branding its analytical reports. Having recently changed the company name and brand, Daymark executives were keen on ensuring that all analysts and supporting personnel understood their expertise and the need to clearly and consistently communicate their work to their respected clients. Rich developed an interactive training program to drive home those points and conducted that training at both Daymark locations.

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Maintaining Reliability as Variable Renewables Proliferates
17 September 2015; Honolulu, Hawai‘i

This internal report explored, in detail, the impact that increasing amounts of variable renewable generation has on the reliability over the overall Hawaiian Electric power grid. To create the report, Rich interview numerous experts throughout the company to discover the changing circumstances that utility-scale wind, utility-scale solar photovoltaics (PV), and especially distributed PV has been having on overall reliability.

The report covered many aspects of system reliability: adequacy of supply, planned and unplanned outages, loss-of-load probability, reserve margin, under frequency load shedding settings, system inertia, unit maintenance, grid resiliency and management, and the potential for future generation shortfalls. The report finished by summarizing conclusions and proffering recommendations.

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Feasible Fees
22 June 2015; Columbus, Ohio

Rich presented this session (chosen through a juried process) for independent consultants at the annual Summit of the Society for Technical Communication. Feasible Fees explored the range of options that consultants could employ to garner fees commensurate with their expertise and professionalism. The main thrust was to raise the value of the technical communication profession.

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Solari Wins Excellence Award for PSIP Report
1 January 2015; Rochester, New York

The year has started on a positive note. The Rochester Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication (STC) announced today that Solari Communication and its Principal, Rich Maggiani, won an Award of Excellence for the Power Supply Improvement Plan (PSIP) we wrote and edited for Hawaiian Electric Company. Judges has this to say about the plan: “comprehensive, detailed, well written; good mix of tables and figures that support readability.”

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Solari News for 2014

Solari Wins Excellence Award for Smart Grid Report
30 November 2014; Boston, Massachusetts

The Boston Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication (STC) announced today that Solari Communication and its Principal, Rich Maggiani, won an Award of Excellence for the Smart Grid Roadmap & Business Case that it created for the Hawaiian Electric Companies.

The judges’ comments included these comments: ‘Persuasive, easy to understand description of the proposed solution. Tone and style are very engaging and effective. Phrases and word choice are effective in promoting understanding. Overall layout and design is appealing.” To say the least, we are pleased.

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Rich Completes Work on Hawaiian Electric 2014 PSIPs
26 August 2014; Honolulu, Hawai‘i

The Hawaiian Electric Companies filed three Power Supply Improvement Plans (PSIPs) with the Hawai‘i Public Utilities Commission. The reports—one for each of the companies three operating utilities: Hawaiian Electric Company, Maui Electric Company, and Hawai‘i Electric Light Company—described in detail how the utilities intended to increase renewable generation in its power supply mix over the next 15 years.

Rich worked closely with a number of consultants (PA Consulting, Black & Veatch, HD Baker Associates, and Electric Power Systems) and Hawaiian Electric staff in the preparation of the report. Rich was a writer and document designer on the three-month project, essentially acting as editor-in-chief, writing a detailed outline, then organizing and assimilating all input into a cogent report that met all of the Commissions detailed requirements.

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Rich Writes Executive Summary for Demand Response Plan
28 July 2014; Honolulu, Hawai‘i

To comply with the Hawai‘i Public Utilities Commission docket, the Hawaiian Electric Companies filed their Integrated Demand Response Portfolio Plan (IDRPP). Rich worked closely with PA Consulting and Hawaiian Electric staff to synthesize the salient points of the plan, and write a succinct Executive Summary that would be understandable to a wide audience.

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Solari Wins Excellence Award for User Guide
25 June 2014; Springfield, Virginia

Communications Concepts announced today that Solari Communication has won its Apex Award of Excellence for the Coating Machine User Guide that Rich wrote for Sung An Machinery (SAM) of Korea for one of its international clients. The company's subsidiary, SAM North America, originally hired Rich and Solari Communication to improve the quality of their user guides, and this award demonstrates our commitment to helping them achieve their goals.

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Rich Presents at Annual STC Conference
19 May 2014; Phoenix, Arizona

Rich’s proposal for a presentation on business marketing has been accepted in a competitive review by the organizers of the annual Society for Technical Communication (STC) International Conference. The Conference is the largest gathering of professionals who communicate technical information, and includes sessions organized by themes spread out over three days.

Entitled “Marketing Yourself and Your Business”, the presentation outlines ten steps to structure and organize marketing efforts to increase your market share, increase your credibility in the market, and increase repeat business from clients. Other topics include the fundamental principle of creating a viable value proposition and how prospects and clients can benefit from your products and services.

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Rich Completes Smart Grid Roadmap Report
17 March 2014; Honolulu, Hawai‘i

The Hawaiian Electric Companies created a highly visible—and crucial—comprehensive roadmap and business case for implementing smart grid through all three of their operating utilities, on the five Hawaiian islands served. Working with technical details from an outside consultant, Silver Spring Networks, utility engineering professionals, and utility executives, Rich rewrote about the plan to implement smart grid and described the supporting business case. The task was to write a narrative that the average customer could read and understand.

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Rich Quoted in Business Matters
24 January 2014; Laguna Hills, California

Dr Bette Frick recently published her book Business Matters through XLM Press. As the book’s jacket explains, Business Matters republishes articles from Bette’s column “Business Matters” (that appeared in the industry publication Intercom), substantially revised and arranged thematically, together with several new chapters.

Chapter 15, The Power of Certification for Independents, includes a quote from Rich Maggiani, Solari Principal.

The book is available directly from XML Press and from the usual bookseller outlets.

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Rich Trains Phoenix Geophysics Staff in Presentation Skills
8–9 January 2014, Toronto, Ontario

Rich trained Phoenix Geophysics staff on presentation skills through Solari’s Presenting with Poise class. The two-day class, designed and created by Rich, discusses the value of strong presentation skills. The class is structured based on the four P’s of a presentation: Plan, Prepare, Practice, and Present. Topics included constructing and delivering a presentation’s opening and closing, transitioning into the heart of your presentation, moving through the three stages of a presentation, and perfecting your verbal and nonverbal skills.

Phoenix Geophysics is a world leader in geophysical manufacturing and consulting with clients on all major continents.

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Solari News for 2013

2013 was a busy year for Solari Principal, Rich Maggiani, one filled with interesting, consuming, and challenging projects.

Rich's peripatetic ways continued with travel to many wonderful destinations: Honolulu, Eastport (Maine), Washington DC, Atlanta, Seoul (South Korea), Fitchburg (Massachusetts—my daughter's university graduation!), Star Lake (New York), New York City, Selinsgrove (Pennsylvania), Raleigh-Durham (North Carolina), Bozeman (Montana), Arco (Idaho), and Montreal.

In many ways, we are very fortunate for these opportunities, and appreciate them deeply.

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Rich Attends Renewable Energy Conference
28–29 October 2013; Burlington, Vermont

Rich attended the Renewable Energy 2013 Conference & Expo held by Renewable Energy Vermont, a consortium of business dedicated to the manufacture and distribution of renewable energy resources. The conference focused on generation by renewable resources, including solar, wind, biomass, and photovoltaics (PV). The keynoter was Alan Nogee, the former Director of Climate & Energy Policy & Strategy for the Union of Concerned Scientists where he conceived of and directed the enactment of the state and federal Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS).

The first day of the conference consisted of a series of plenary sessions focusing on possibly attaining 90% renewable resources by 2050. Panelists and the audience discussed community-oriented solutions for the transition to renewables in the near and long-term future. The second day contained sessions on biomass thermal technology, regional and national renewable energy policies, net metering, emerging tools for implementing renewables, renewables backlashes, and farms and energy.

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Converter Operations Manual Completed for South Korean Manufacturer
31 August 2013; Ssangsong–Ri, Korea

Sung An Machinery, a worldwide manufacturing leader of converter and extruder equipment, contracted with Rich to produce an operation manuals for its newest machine, designed and constructed exclusively for Vaassen Flexible Packaging of The Netherlands.

To create the manual, Rich worked closely with engineers from both companies. Rich completely redesigned their existing manual structure, added many chapters, clarified others, incorporated numerous photographs and graphics, and wrote and edited detailed text to explain how the machine operates and how to use the software interface to run the machine. Included were specific, detailed explanations of the machine's many safety features, which were of prime importance to Vaassen.

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Rich Completes Work on Hawaiian Electric 2013 IRP Report
28 June 2013; Honolulu, Hawai‘i

It was well over a year in its undertaking: the 2013 Hawaiian Electric Integrated Resource Planning Report. Lisa Giang, Corporate Energy Planning Director, together with her staff—Ken Fong, Senior Corporate Energy Planning Engineer; Mark Nakasone, Corporate Energy Planning Engineer; and Christopher Lau, Corporate Energy Planning Engineer—spearheaded the monumental effort to research, project, analyze, test, assess, and create the final IRP and its action plans. Rich worked closely with Energy Planning to produce the final report; he designed the report and its graphic presentations, consulted, wrote, and edited the report. The final report was 774 pages supported by 17 appendices (an additional 1,456 pages).

Generation planning professionals, engineers, staff, and executives from all three utilities (Hawaiian Electric Company, Maui Electric Company, and Hawai‘i Electric Light Company) participated in planning and creating the report. By order of the Hawai‘i Public Utilities Commission (PUC), a 68-person Advisory Board (comprised of legislatures, environmental leaders, citizen advocacy groups, and ratepayers and facilitated by an Independent Entity) held monthly meetings together with Hawaiian Electric personnel to assess and comment on the content and final action plans of the report.

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The Rough Drafts Ride Again
6 May 2013; Atlanta, Georgia

The annual international conference of STC again provided the venue for The Rough Drafts to rock down the house. The band had a slightly different make-up this year. Returning were Viqui Dill on bass guitar and vocals, Robert Hershenow on lead guitar and vocals, and yours truly on drums (with a little vocals thrown in). The band was honored to have Stephen Adler on rhythm guitar join us. Rich is truly blessed to play music with this talented group of musicians.

As has become our tradition, many guest vocalists joined us on stage to sing a wide variety of songs, sometimes with choruses of people harmonizing. And, of course, all our music is meant to entertain and to get those dancing feet going. A fun time was had by all as we rocked late into the evening.

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Rich’s Term as STC Board Director Ends
6 May 2013; Atlanta, Georgia

At the Society for Technical Communication (STC) annual meeting held this Monday early evening, Rich’s five-year term as Board Director ended. After serving for three years as an assistant to the president of the STC Board (focusing on Competitions and Public Relations), Rich was originally elected to a three-year term, then re-elected to a two-year term. By-laws dictate only two consecutive terms, so end it did.

Rich ran for a second term mainly because he felt there was two main pieces of unfinished business that needed attending. Rich set these as his goal during his second term. With the assistance of other forward-thinking Board members, both issues were successfully resolved. As a result, the Society continues to move forward, now on stronger footing.

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Tidal Power Renewable Generation
9 February 2013; Eastport, Maine

A trip to Eastport, Maine, brought us face to face with one of the newest and most exciting advances in the field of renewable energy: tidal power generation. This unit, manufactured by Ocean Renewable Power Company, is currently submerged in the Bay of Fundy between the United States and Canada, connected to the Maine electricity grid, and generating reliable power above expectations. We met with company personnel and had the opportunity to inspect one of the units that was currently awaiting shipment. Impressive.

Popular Science thought enough of the technology to feature it on the cover of its June 2013 issue, whose main theme was “American Energy Independence’. The magazine, not surprisingly, listed the technology as one of the year's most promising inventions.

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Maggiani Completes Electricity Reliability Standards Study Communication
28 January 2013; Honolulu, Hawai‘i

Rich joined the Hawaiian Electric Company, together with industry experts and environmental leaders, in participating in the Reliability Standards Working Group (RSWG). One of the main accomplishments of the Working Group was the completion of the Generation Performance and Reserves Study that focused on electricity cycling on three of the five service islands: O‘ahu, Maui, and Hawai‘i (Big Island). The Group was closely monitored by the Hawai‘i Public Utilities Commission (PUC), and whose representatives attended regular Group meetings. The Group’s mission was very important to the fabric of electricity delivery that the Governor of Hawai‘i, Neil Abercrombie, attended and led a disussion at the final meeting.

The cycling study produced a 100-plus-page technical report. Rich’s role was to act as editor for a presentation that discussed the study’s findings and its recommendations on the renewable generation on all three service islands. Rich also wrote a 16-page Executive Summary of this technical report for general audiences, including legislators, the general public, and the press.

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Solari News for 2012

Rich Participates in Scenario Planning Workshop
20–24 August 2012; Honolulu, Hawai‘i

In preparation for creating the 2013 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for Hawaiian Electric Company, Rich participated in a week-long workshop to develop four scenarios on which the IRP's planning was conducted. The 68-person IRP Advisory Council developed five sets of potential scenarios during the first two days of the workshop. Hawaiian Electric generation planning experts, together with Rich and an outside consultant, used the input from the Advisory Council, to finalize four scenarios that represented potential futures for Hawai‘i’s energy future. Planners then based their projections on these scenarios.

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Solari Announces Three New Clients
28 June 2012; Essex, Vermont

We are exceedingly proud to announce our working with three new clients.

Hawaiian Electric Company (Honolulu, Hawai‘i) — together with their partner electric utilities Maui Electric Company and Hawai‘i Electric Light Company — hired Maggiani to plan and write their 2013 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), an immense task given that it involves three utilities working in concert with a 68-person Advisory Group, and an independent project administrator.

Sung An Machinery, a manufacturer of high-end converting machinery and multi-station gravure printers based in (Ssangsong–Ri, Korea), contracted with Solari to design and write operation and maintenance guides for a new extrusion coating machine.

The provincial government of Ontario awarded our strategic partner, Front Runner Training (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), working together with us, a vendor of record contract in their business communication category. Maggiani will be teaching three different classes on presentation skills.

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The Rough Drafts Rock Chicago!
21 May 2012; Chicago, Illinois

The Rough Drafts—Tommy Barker (lead guitar), Viqui Dill (bass guitar), Robert Hershenow (rhythm guitar), and Rich Maggiani (drums) with guest vocalist Steve Jong—rock the house with Honky Tonk Women during STC’s Summit ’12 Conference.


 

The Rough Drafts cover the Bonnie Raitt tune Love Me Like A Man, with Viqui on vocals, Steve Adler adding another guitar, and Bruce Poropat sitting in on bass.


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Rich Attends Annual STC Conference and Board of Directors Meetings
18–23 May 2012; Chicago, Illinois

Rich attended the STC Summit ’12 Conference. He also participated in STC’s Board meeting beginning his fifth year as Director.

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Rich Attends Energy Resource Planning Conference
15–16 May 2012; Portland, Oregon

Maggiani attended the “Resource Planning: A Practitioner’s Toolkit for Current Issues” conference in Portland Oregon, sponsored by Electric Utilities Consultants Inc (EUCI), an energy industry organization.

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Rich Teaches Half-Day Session on Presentation Skills
26 April 2012; Waterloo, Ontario

The Southwestern Ontario chapter of the Society for Technical Communication (STC) held its annual Education Days conference on 25–26 April 2012. Chapter leaders invited Rich to teach a half-day session on presentation skills. Topics included how to:

  • Determine your objective and analyze your audience.
  • Open your presentation.
  • Employ verbal presentation skills.
  • Employ nonverbal (body language presentation skills.
  • Develop your presentation style.
  • Close your presentation.
  • Rehearse and practice your presentation skills.

There were three other sessions on communication over the two-day conference.

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Solari News for 2011

Rich Speaks about Interviewing at Career Day
1 October 2011; Toronto, Ontario

The Toronto chapter for the Society for Technical Communication (STC) held its annual Career Day in early October. Solari President, Rich Maggiani, presented a session entitled “Interviewing: Before, During, and After”.

As the title suggests, Rich discussed the steps to prepare for an interview, the nuances of being interviewed for a job or contract position, and what to do following the interview. Attendees benefited by better understanding what needs to be done to help smooth the path to that ultimate 'yes' decision necessary to garner that special job or contract.

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Rich Speaks at East Bay (California) STC Chapter
8 September 2011; Danville, California

The East Bay chapter (California) of the Society for Technical Communication invited Solari President Rich Maggiani to speak to their membership in September.

Chapter leaders asked Rich to present his session called “Listening! A Most Vital Business Skill” as they understand the fundamental importance of listening in communication (slides).

Topics included how listening differs by culture, why listening can be so difficult, what benefits are gained from listening, what skills are needed for effective listening, and the two fundamental keys that underlie superior listening. Listening is a skill that can be learned; this session helped put attendees on that path.

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Rich Speaks about Social Media to Sacramento STC Chapter
7 September 2011; Sacramento, California

The Sacramento chapter of the Society for Technical Communication (STC) invited Solari President Rich Maggiani to speak to their membership in September. Maggiani proposed a number of topics on which he could speak. Chapter leadership chose a session on using social media to enrich your professional career.

Rich spoke about leveraging social media to enhance your professionalism, to cultivate business relationships, and to engage in a web of communication — all designed to boost your career. What is key, however, is to have a plan and goal, and Rich presented a strategy for achieving success.

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Rich Completes Work on GMP 2011 IRP
15 June 2011; Colchester, Vermont

Green Mountain Power (GMP) filed its 2011 Integrated Resource Plan for Electricity (IRP) today with the Vermont Public Service Board (PSB). Rich wrote, edited, and designed the IRP. He worked closely with GMP generation planners and an outside consultant, Daymark Energy Advisors, to strategize the content and resource planning used in the report. Planning was based on scenario planning; the team developed four scenarios on which to base its resource generation for both the short- and long-term planning.

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Rich Attends STC International Conference and Board Meeting
13–18 May 2011; Sacramento, California

Solari President, Rich Maggiani, attended the annual STC Summit ’11 Conference and STC’s annual Board of Directors meeting.

During the conference, keeping with Board succession policy, Rich’s first term of office as Director on the STC Board ended, then he subsequently began his second term as Director. Rich also proposed to the Board continuing to lead the Membership Committee and to form a Value Proposition Task Force. Both measures passed.

The STC Summit ’11 Conference is the largest gathering of technical communicators in the world. The conference featured over 80 sessions organized by eight tracks, featured a certificate program, with many additional educational opportunities, plus networking. Contents are available through Summit@aClick; an online collection of the conference’s content, with audio and PowerPoint synched together.

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Rich Re-elected to STC Board of Directors
1 April 2011; Fairfax, Virginia

Rich is re-elected to a second term on STC’s Board of Directors with the highest vote count for the Director position.

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Rich Invited to Present at Spectrum Conference
31 March–1 April 2011; Rochester, New York

Organizers of Spectrum invited Solari President Rich Maggiani to speak at their conference. Spectrum is an internationally-oriented conference of the Rochester chapter of the Society for Technical Communication (STC). The theme for the conference was building better solutions for communication professionals, especially technical communicators.

Maggiani presented his session on “The Art of Questioning”, which contains detailed information and steps to take in virtually any interviewing situation in order to gain the needed information. Rich highlighted how questions can best be sequenced and asked to elicit vital information from the person (especially a subject matter expert) being interviewed.

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Rich Seeks Second Term on STC Board of Directors
9 March 2011; Fairfax, Virginia

Rich is nominated to run for a second term on the Board of Directors for the Society for Technical Communication (STC).

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Solari News for 2010

Maggiani Invited to Speak at PCOC Communication Conference
7 October 2010; Nashville, Tennessee

Organizers of PCOC — the Practical Conference on Communication — invited Solari President Rich Maggiani to speak at their conference. PCOC is the internationally-oriented conference of the East Tennessee chapter of the Society for Technical Communication (STC). The theme for the conference was building and sustaining your career in technical communication.

Maggiani plans to speak on two topics. First, STC Vice President Hillary Hart and Maggiani, in his capacity as an STC Board Director, presented a panel discussion entitled “The Regeneration of STC and What It Can Mean to You”. The session discussed the current direction of the Society and the benefits it holds for members.

In a second session, Maggiani presented “Enrich Your Career Using Social Media”. Rich drew on his expertise in social media to give practical advice on finding work, creating a personal brand, and promoting your career through social media.

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Rich Speaks at ASTD Professional Development Conference
6 October 2010; Berlin, Vermont

The Vermont chapter of the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) invited Maggiani to speak on how to “Enrich your Career Through Social Media” at their Fall Professional Development Day conference.

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Rich Presents Social Media Webinar
23 June 2010; Fairfax, Virginia

Maggiani presents “Promoting your Career through Social Media” as part of the STC Webinar series.

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Rich Speaks at Future of Technical Communication Conference
5 June 2010; Chelmsford, Massachusetts

The organizers of The Future of Technical Communication conference invited Solari President Rich Maggiani to present a session “Social Media: Present and Future”.

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Rich Presents at Annual STC Conference
2–5 May 2010; Dallas, Texas

Rich Maggiani presented “The Art of Questioning” at STC’s 57th annual Summit. The presentation discussed the various question types and how they can be employed. Tom Johnson interviewed Rich about the session.

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Solari News for 2009

Rich Presents Cloud Computing Session
13 October 2009; Burlington, Vermont

Solari President Rich Maggiani presented “Cloud Computing Is Changing How We Communicate” at a meeting of the Vermont chapter of the Society for Technical Communication (STC). While cloud computing is mainly an IT function, its implementation directly affects technical communicators and how they perform their important jobs.

This session explained cloud computing and presented some of the applications that can be used for professional communication, some of which you might already be unintentionally using. There was time allocated to discuss the implications that cloud computing might have on your everyday work.

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Rich Presents Social Media Session
18 September 2009; Hamden, Connecticut

The Connecticut chapter of the Society for Technical Communication (STC) invited Rich Maggiani to be their featured speaker at their fall kick-off event. Rich presented his “Social Media Is Reshaping Communication” session.

Due to requests from some attendees, Rich put greater emphasis on setting up and implementing a blog, and discussed how best to promote it and engage an audience. The session also explored social media privacy issues. A lively discussion followed.

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Rich Presents Cloud Computing Session at the Professional Communicator Conference
20 July 2009; Honolulu, Hawai‘i

Rich Maggiani presented an “outstanding” session entitled “Cloud Computing Is Changing How We Communicate” at the International Professional Communicator Conference (IPCC). The session explained the intricacies of cloud computing, presented various communication tools that are currently available in the cloud, and ended with a lively discussion about the merits of cloud computing.

Maggiani followed his presentation with a bit of business, and a long tour of O‘ahu and the isle of Hawai‘i with his son. Together, they took some wild hikes, hit the surf at many beaches, hiked to the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawai‘i’s high point, and watched new lava flow crash into the Pacific.

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Solari Web Site Wins Publication Excellence Award
1 July 2009; Springfield, Virginia

Communication Concepts, an organization dedicated to clear communication, presented the Solari Communication web site with its Award for Publication Excellence. We here at Solari are proud of this achievement, and will continue to create and maintain our award-winning site and its robust content — one that you can count of for the latest information on professional communication.

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Maggiani Attends STC Annual Conference and Board of Directors Meeting
30 May 2009; Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta was the setting for the 56th annual international conference of the Society for Technical Communication. Solari President, Rich Maggiani attended the entire conference and, as a Director at Large, participated in the Society’s Board of Directors meetings. Maggiani also moderated an open forum for members to discuss Society matters with the Board.

While in Atlanta, Maggiani had the privilege of visiting the museum of the Center for Disease Control.

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Rich Presents Social Media Session at the Vermont Business Expo
20 May 2009; Burlington, Vermont

To give participants as much information as possible, Rich Maggiani successfully presented his 84-slide session entitled “Embracing Social Media” during his seven-minute time slot at the Vermont Business Expo. The Expo is the event for companies throughout the state of Vermont, and was attended by more than 1,500 business representative.

The session was followed by a wonderful networking event; kudos to the event sponsors.

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Rich Presents Boost Your Career Session
16 April 2009; Tucson, Arizona

The Southern Arizona chapter of the Society for Technical Communication (STC) invited Rich Maggiani to present his session entitled “How Time Off Can Boost Your Career”. The presentation tells how professionals can enhance their career by taking some time to examine their situation and set achievement goals.

This session is based on Maggiani’s six-month sabbatical that he took during the first half of 2003. Living full time in Honolulu, Hawai‘i in the Kaimuki neighborhood with his family, Maggiani created the plan for founding Solari Communication. He also hiked and climbed extensively throughout the island of O‘ahu.

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Rich Presents Solari’s Listen! Session
14 April 2009; Phoenix, Arizona

As part of a two-stop southwestern swing, the Phoenix chapter of the Society for Technical Communication (STC) invited Rich Maggiani to present his interactive session called “Listening! A Most Vital Business Skill” (slides).

Listening is the core skill for communication. This session examined the business benefits that all professionals can gain from becoming a better listener by learning to listen not only with their eyes and mind, but more importantly with their heart and eyes.

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Rich Presents Social Media Session
11 March 2009; Burlington, Vermont

The Vermont chapter of the Society for Technical Communication (STC) invited Rich Maggiani to present his session on “Social Media and Its Effect on Communication”. This session discussed social media from the perspective of a technical communicator.

The session included many topics, including blogging, micro-blogging, social and professional networking, and virtual realities; and discussed how they are interconnected with clear communication.

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Solari Receives Merit Award for Client Work
15 January 2009; Burlington, Vermont

Solari Communication received a Merit award for the writing, photography, and design of a trio of Set-up Guides for Ascension Technology. Based in Milton Vermont, Ascension Technology makes three-dimensional tracking devices for medical guidance, minimally invasive surgery, real-time visualization, and target acquisition. The Pittsburgh Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication awarded Solari with this honor through its regional communication competition.

Through the use of large format broadsheets, these guides explain in detail how to set up three of Ascension Technology’s tracking devices: the driveBay, the medSAFE, and the trakSTAR. These set-up guides are designed for neophyte users, helping them set up their tracking devices without the need to contact technical support.

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Solari News for 2008

Maggiani Speaks about Social Media at DocTrain East
30 October 2008; Boston, Massachusetts

DocTrain East, a conference of technical communicators, instructional designers, and other documentation professionals, invited Solari President Rich Maggiani to speak about social media. Maggiani presented a session entitled “Social Media in Organizational Communication”. He spoke about how social media is permeating the infrastructure of companies and organizations, and how it affects their internal and external communication.

The session focused on the fundamentals of social media, and on companies such as Motorola, Coca-Cola, Accenture, Deloitte, Nokia, Best Buy, the Mayo Clinic, and Intel and how they employ social media to attract and retain employees, convey information, and promote their companies through blogs, wikis, videos, and social networks.

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Maggiani Presents Professional Development Session
10 October 2008; Dallas, Texas

Maggiani presented his “Rediscover Your Inherent Skills” session at the Dallas Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication. Participants worked through a review of their professional and private lives to determine common threads that, upon further examination, lead to the discovery of their most valuable and natural skills, which can then be applied most effectively during their career choices.

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Solari Receives Award of Distinction for Its Position Papers
29 August 2008; New York, New York

Solari Communication and Rich Maggiani received an Award of Distinction from the Communicator Awards for Solari’s Position Papers.

The Communicator Awards, a national communication competition based in New York, has awarded Solari Communication an Award of Distinction for its position papers. Every month, Solari President Rich Maggiani writes a position paper on a communication topic that is of interest to Solari’s clients, prospects, colleagues, and greater community. These papers fall into five general categories: communication, communication plans, social media, listening, and technical communication. The Communicator Awards cited the clarity of writing, the relevance of topics, and the overall design of the papers in conferring its award.

Solari’s position papers are free, and can be downloaded here. The position papers are also available by subscription: sign up here and the papers are automatically sent to you as they are published.

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Maggiani Becomes an STC Fellow
2 June 2008; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The international Society for Technical Communication (STC) awarded Rich Maggiani the distinguished rank of Fellow for his insightful research and writing in the field of corporate communication. STC awards this rank to less than 0.2% of its membership.

Maggiani’s plaque reads “For your service as a business, STC, and Vermont chapter leader and for your exemplary contributions to the technical communication profession through support of civic activities at all levels… and because you rock!”

Linda Oestreich, STC President, formally presented Rich with his Fellow award at STC’s annual conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Tuesday, 2 June 2008.

Rich’s Fellow citation reads as follows:
“Rich Maggiani proves inspirational as a corporate communicator, marketing communicator, entrepreneur, community advocate, teacher, and promoter of STC and its programs. Rich is a Communication Consultant, and President of Solari Communication. Previously, he founded and operated PDI Creative, an award-winning, full-service marketing and technical communication agency providing creative design, writing, graphic design, prepress, technical communication, and consulting services. In 1999, the company was recognized as Employer of the Year by the Vermont Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Association. Earlier in his career, Rich was a writer and trainer at the Vermont State Colleges, and an Information Developer and Project Manager for IBM.

Rich as given generously to his community, providing leadership and participating in the Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (where he served on the Board of Directors and as Board President), the Business Advisory Committee for United States Senator Bernie Sanders, the Vermont Leadership Institute, the Commission on Childhood Poverty, the White House Conference on Small Business, and the Welcome Alternative Food Cooperative, among others.

Rich currently teaches technical communication at Champlain College in Burlington Vermont. His teaching career at St Michael’s College (Colchester Vermont) includes graduate business writing classes, undergraduate business development classes, and introductory computer classes.

Rich is a Director on STC’s Board of Directors. At STC’s international level, he has served as manager of the Public Relations committee and the Competitions committee. He has also served as a member of the transformation communication committee and membership manager of the Consulting and Independent Contracting SIG. He is a major contributor at STC annual conferences, and as a panel judge and lead judge for the International Technical Art Competition.

As co-founder of the Vermont chapter, Rich has served in several roles including editor of their newsletter, The Communicator, which receives two STC newsletter competition awards — Distinction and Excellence — under his leadership. His publications have received a number of awards in STC publications competitions, as well as numerous other national writing and designs competitions.”

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Maggiani Presents Solari’s Listening Session at the Annual STC Conference
2 June 2008; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Solari President Rich Maggiani presented an informative and instructive session, “Listening! A Most Vital Business Skill” (slides), on the value of listening in the workplace. Professionals earn between 40% and 80% of their salaries listening. Attendees to this session learned how they can make the most of this by employing exceptional listing skills. We can all listen better.

There are those who listen, and those who are waiting to talk. Maggiani demonstrated how professionals can advance their career and how companies can become more profitable by practicing the skills of effective listening. These skills begin with listening to the spoken words and, more importantly, with seeing the nonverbal aspects of communication. It's this nonverbal communication — the body language — that provides the needed insight to true understanding.

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Maggiani Speaks to Area High School Students
7 May 2008; Burlington, Vermont

Maggiani spoke to a Burlington High School senior class about the meaning of life and planning for the future.

Andrew Mack, mathematics teacher at Burlington High School, invited Solari President Rich Maggiani to speak to his outgoing class of seniors. Maggiani spoke on two main topics.

First and foremost, he presented some of the basic concepts of Solari’s ‘How Time Off Can Boost Your Career’ class in a presentation called “Aspiring to Greatnest”, focusing on the principles of achieving greatness and on living in the moment. The presentation contained dozens of photographs from Maggiani’s his life and professional sabbatical. Maggiani focused on some of the many lessons he learned during his sabbatical, lessons that graduating seniors might find valuable in their impending transition out of high school.

And since this was a math class, Maggiani taught the basic concepts behind and contrasted the differences in the cash and accrual accounting systems.

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Maggiani Elected Director-at-Large to the STC Board
18 April 2008; Arlington, Virginia

Solari President Rich Maggiani has been elected as Director-at-Large for the Board of Directors of the international Society for Technical Communication. This 14-person board directs the vision for the Society.

Maggiani’s campaign platform centered around his desire to make STC the global leader in the field of technical communication and to strengthen the profession’s impact in corporate strategic planning. In an article all STC members, Maggiani stated:

“STC needs Board members who are experienced in the field, who understand our profession and the contribution we make to the world, who recognize the role that STC plays in representing and promoting our profession, who understand the services STC must provide for our membership, and how STC must be the global leader for us. This is my vision for STC and one that I will arduously pursue as your Director-at-Large.”

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Maggiani Presents Effective Interviewing Techniques at WritersUA
17 March 2008; Portland, Oregon

Solari President, Rich Maggiani, spoke at the WritersUA conference for software assistance on “Effective Interviewing of Subject Matter Experts”.

Through a storyboard concept, Maggiani presented basic techniques for interviewing, focusing on two often overlooked principles: making a personal connection with the interviewee, and listening then questioning effectively.

Through thoughtful, thorough interviews, professionals can obtain much needed information — about how the software works (from subject matter experts) and about how people use it (from your key audience). Attendees learned how to conduct an interview geared toward obtaining more considered information that can deepen your understanding and attain a more comprehensive grasp of the topic. Attendees learned how to prepare for an interview, how to create questions that can build on responses, and how to conduct an interview in-person, via email, and over the Internet in real-time.

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Solari News for 2007

Rich Presents Solari’s Inherent Skills Session
9 October 2007; Burlington, Vermont

Maggiani presented “Rediscover Your Inherent Skills” to the Vermont Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication (STC) at their invitation.

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Solari Receives MarCom Excellence Award
7 September 2007; Arlington, Texas

Solari Communication received an Award of Excellence from the MarCom Awards for the enQuesta marketing sell sheets for graphic design and writing. Solari created these marketing materials for Systems & Software of Williston Vermont.

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Rich Completes Work on GMP 2007 IRP
21 May 2007; Colchester, Vermont

Green Mountain Power (GMP) filed its 2007 Integrated Resource Plan for Electricity (IRP) today with the Vermont Public Service Board (PSB). GMP wanted the report that set a new standard in clarity. Working closely with GMP executives and technical consultants (including Daymark Energy Advisors), Rich designed the overall report, revised and edited text, and redesigned many graphics to successfully meet the target deadline and GMP’s communication goals.

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Rich Reappointed PR Manager for STC
14 May 2007; Minneapolis, Minnesota

Linda Oestreich became the second consecutive STC Board President to appoint Rich Maggiani, Solari President, to manage STC’s Public Relations committee.

Under Maggiani’s leadership, the committee (comprised of members from 12 countries) developed the concepts and tools for public relations and for educating the various STC committees and stakeholders; wrote a definition for technical communication; rewrote the Society’s mission and positioning statements; clarified STC’s brand; and tied the committee’s objectives and outcomes to STC’s overall strategic plan and vision.

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Rich Again Serves as Art Competition Lead Judge
24 March 2007; Arlington, Virginia

Rich Maggiani was the Lead Judge in the International Art Competition for the Society for Technical Communication (STC).

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Rich Heads STC Re-Branding Effort
5 January 2007; Arlington, Virginia

Maggiani led the meeting to recreate the branding messages and visual image of the Society for Technical Communication (STC).

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Solari News for 2006


Rich Presents Branding Session to STC Board
13 October 2006; London, England

Rich Maggiani presented a report about the Society for Technical Communication’s marketing identity to the Society’s Board of Directors. This report led to a redesign of the Society’s logo.

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Rich Sits on Consultant Panel of Experts
10 May 2006; Las Vegas, Nevada

Maggiani sat on a panel of experts during the “Being a Consultant” session at the International Society for Technical Communication (STC) conference.

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Rich Presents Solari’s Listening Session
9 May 2006; Las Vegas, Nevada

Maggiani presented “Listening? A Most Vital Business Skill” at the International STC conference.

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Rich Presents a Contract Negotiation Session
8 May 2006, Las Vegas, Nevada

Maggiani presented his session entitled “Writing Your Contract: Negotiating Better Terms” at the International STC conference.

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Rich Speaks at STC Conference Opening Session
8 May 2006; Las Vegas, Nevada

Maggiani spoke during the Opening Session of the International STC conference. He told a story about the unique nature of the Society’s art and publications competitions.

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Rich Appointed PR Manager for STC
6 May 2006; Las Vegas, Nevada

Paula Berger, President of the Board of Directors of the Society for Technical Communication, appointed Solari President Rich Maggiani as her Public Relations Manger for the upcoming fiscal year.

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Rich Serves as Art Competition Lead Judge
11 March 2006; Houston, Texas

Rich Maggiani was the Lead Judge in the International Art Competition for the Society for Technical Communication.

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Solari News for 2005


Rich Participates in Team-Building Workshop
22 September 2005; Denver, Colorado

Rich participated in a training workshop during the Board of Directors’ meeting of the Society for Technical Communication. The workshop was about team-building skills and methods.

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Rich Appointed Competitions Chair
17 June 2005; Mustang, Oklahoma

Suzanna Laurent, President of the Board of Directors of the Society for Technical Communication, appointed Solari Principal Rich Maggiani as her Assistant to the President for Society Competitions for the upcoming fiscal year.

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Rich Presents Solari’s Sabbatical And Career Session
11 May 2005; Seattle, Washington

Maggiani presented his session “How a Sabbatical Can Boost Your Career” at the International STC conference. This session detailed his six-month professional sabbatical in Hawai‘i where the roots of Solari Communication were formed.

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Rich Becomes an STC Associate Fellow
10 May 2005; Seattle, Washington

The international Society for Technical Communication (STC) awarded Rich Maggiani the distinguished rank of Associate Fellow for his dedication and leadership in the Society, his chapter, his community, and his state; and for his continued exemplary contributions to the field of business communication.

Suzanna Laurent, STC President, together with Larry Kunz, Associate Fellow Committee Chair, formally presented Rich with his Associate Fellow award at STC’s annual conference.

Rich’s Associate Fellow citation reads: “Richard P Maggiani is recognized and honored as an Associate Fellow for his dedication and leadership in the Society, his chapter, his community, and his state.”

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Rich Presents Technical Communicator Skills Session
10 May 2005; Seattle, Washington

Maggiani presented “New Skills for the Technical Communicator” at International conference of the Society for Technical Communication.

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Rich Receives Distinguished SIG Service Award
8 May 2005; Seattle, Washington

Maggiani received the Distinguished Special Interest Group (SIG) Service award for his five years as membership manager for the Consultants and Independent Contractors (CIC) SIG.

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Rich Facilitates Idea Market
8 April 2005; Rochester, New York

Maggiani facilitated the Idea Market for generating ideas about volunteering at Spectrum, the regional conference of the Rochester New York Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication.

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Rich Presents Professional Conduct Session
19 March 2005; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Maggiani presented his session “Professional Conduct for Contractors and Consultants” at the Philadelphia Metro STC Chapter annual conference.

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Rich Serves as Competition Lead Judge
12 March 2005; Houston, Texas

Maggiani served as a Lead Judge at the International Art Competition of the Society for Technical Communication (STC).

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