Chapter History

It all began in February of 1962. Are we really that old? Yes! Read on…

The Pacifica Chapter and STWP

The East Bay Chapter was originally called the Pacifica Chapter and was founded in 1962, serving people from both sides of the Caldecott tunnel. (Other names considered were San Francisco Bay, Pacific Coast, California, Berkeley Bay, Sierra Bay, and Far West.)

The first organizational meeting was held in February 1962, and the chapter became “official” in June of that year. The Society, then nine years old, was called the Society for Technical Writers and Publishers (STWP).

Chapter Name Changes in 1982

Other chapters present in these parts were the Golden Gate Chapter (now San Francisco) and the El Camino Chapter (now Silicon Valley).

In November 1982, under President T. R. Girill, Pacifica became the East Bay Chapter. The name was changed to better reflect the chapter’s location.

Chapter Divides in 1987

Because of the Chapter’s wide geographical range, meetings were originally held all over the East Bay: Hayward, Castro Valley, Newark, Oakland, Berkeley, Walnut Creek, Livermore, Dublin, Lafayette, and Concord.

In 1987, the chapter president, Dr. C. J. Wallia, started a separate Berkeley Chapter to serve the members living west of the hills, while the East Bay Chapter continued serving members on the east side.

Newsletter Connects Members

Our chapter had a newsletter right from the start. It was called the Pacifica News and was first published in the fall of 1962. After a brief time as the East Bay Log (1994-1996), the newsletter was renamed to Devil Mountain Views. This name was suggested by Susan Moxley in a contest to rename the newsletter and is still in use today.

Devil Mountain Views has won several awards. We are particularly proud it won the Best of Show, Most Improved, and Distinguished Technical Communication award in the 2002 – 2003 STC international newsletter competition. Ashwini Tharval was the managing editor at that time.

Other Highlights


  • 1998: Started the Technical Literacy Project for high school students (Lenore Weiss). This project continues today and is fully embraced by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
  • 1999: Wrote our chapter bylaws (Rick Roberts, June Schaefer, and Gwaltney Mountford).
  • 1999: Sponsored the Region 8 Conference under the direction of chair Gwaltney Mountford.


  • 2003: Created a 3-year Strategic Plan under the direction of Becky Rude.
  • 2007: Sponsored the Society Board Meeting in Berkeley under the direction of chair Gwaltney Mountford and Helen Cheung.
  • 2007: Began podcasting some of our speaker programs and started the Yahoo Group Network under the direction of Joseph Humbert. (Publishing our speaker programs again would be an excellent task for a new or existing member to take on.)
  • 2008: Sponsored an all-day writing Boot Camp by STC Director-at-Large Leah Guren under the direction of Helen Cheung and Ann Adams.
  • 2008: Submitted the Chapter Rechartering Plan to STC and also updated the 3-year Strategic Plan, both under the direction of Helen Cheung.
  • 2009: Transitioned from a July-through-June fiscal year to the calendar year, January through December. We also provided half of our financial reserves to STC to help the national organization through a fiscal crisis.
  • 2012: Updated the 3-year Strategic Plan for 2012-2015.
  • 2012: Celebrated the chapter’s 50th Anniversary!
    • See photos of our 50th Anniversary Celebration.
    • Take a tour through our first 50 years (pdf).

Looking forward to the next 50 years!