Panel Discussion Q & A - Consulting, Contracting, and Freelancing 101

From February 18, 2020 6:00 pm until February 18, 2020 8:30 pm
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Registration closes at Saturday February 15th at 11:59PM. Please register so that we can provide adequate food. Also, Taco Tuesday is in full effect during our meeting (if you want to purchase extra bites, you're welcome to do so).

February's Orange County Society for Technical Communication (OCSTC) chapter meeting

Are you interested in contract work but the thought of "temporary" holds you back from that next great opportunity?
Are you an expert in your tech com field and are ready to start your own consulting business?
Are you looking to supplement your income with freelancing but you aren't sure where to start?

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, come with your own questions and be ready to pick the brains of our consulting and contracting experts! Enter the world of contracting, consulting, and freelancing!

We will hold a panel discussion with experts who will share their knowledge with you. And yes, they will answer your questions too!

About the presentation

 The pannelist will discuss the following topics and more:

- How do you handle self-employment taxes?

-Should I do 1099? A corporation? Something else?

-Legal nuances (risks) of being an independent contractor in this state (especially in light of recent changes in the law that took effect Jan. 1).

-How to protect yourself both when you’re operating as a contractor and also if you’re working with other contractors.

-Marketing yourself.


-Writing Samples.

Learn from the pros

The pannelists will consist of  well-versed professionals who are experienced in the contracting, consulting, and freelancing field.

About the panelists

Mark Giffin is a documentation tools engineer. His company is Mark Giffin Consulting, Inc. in Los Angeles.
He is a member of the OASIS Lightweight DITA Subcommittee.

Vanessa Menzies-Flint  is currently a contract Technical Writer at Salesforce in the Content & Communications Experience (CCX) group. She has worked exclusively as a contractor for the past 3 years with clients such as ADP, IBM, and the NFL. Vanessa has over 20 years of experience in technical communications

Rosamund Lockwood Rosamund Lockwood is a senior associate with the firm's litigation unit. Prior to joining BKCG, Ms. Lockwood was an Assistant Attorney General with the State of Alaska's Department of Special Prosecutions and Appeals.


  • Civil Business Litigation
  • Auto Dealership Law
  • Trade Secret
  • Unfair Competition Claims
  • Contract Disputes
  • Securities Litigation
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Business Torts
  • Employment

Brian McCaleb has been an industry consultant since founding his own consulting partnership – Consulting Professionals United – in 1985. He has been retained to develop specifications, instructions, proposals, and technical solutions for clients in the medical device, telecommunications, computer, and aerospace industries.
Working as a technical communications consultant, writer, editor, information architect, trainer, and video producer, he is the author of more than 250 published documents plus training videos, proposals, and Web content. His publications have been shared with global audiences with work translated into 18 languages and distributed in 45 countries.
Brian teaches occasional classes in resume writing and in writing for the medical technology industry. Earlier in his career as a consultant, he contributed a monthly column on consulting topics to the OCSTC Techniscribe newsletter.
Brian is an Associate Fellow of the Society for Technical Communication and a member of the ACM and the Med Tech Council of Orange County. He is a past member of the Association of Proposal Management Professionals and a past president of the CSULB Technical and Professional Writing Program Advisory Council.

Meeting schedule

The OCSTC meetings follow this tentative schedule below. We encourage all attendees to arrive by 6pm to do some informal networking while you dine on appetizers and coffee or tea.  Bring business cards and be ready to network! 

  • 6pm to 6:45pm: Informal networking, light refreshments/appetizers 
  • 6:45pm to 7pm: OCSTC Administrative Council announcements and introductions
  • 7pm to 7:15pm: Break
  • 7:15pm-8:30pm: Presentation, Q&As, Wrap-Up


New admission types have been added for 2020! All paid entries recieve self-serve refreshments, coffee, and tea. You may purchase your own cocktail or other drinks. You may also purchase Taco Tuesday specials:

(prices and availability subejct to change)

$2 Tacos | $4 Modelos
$5 Margaritas | $7 Micheladas
$3 Elote | $5 Tamales | $5 Taquitos
3PM 'til close!

A Job Seeker ticket has been added.
Students: The OCSTC will comp 1 student each meeting. The first student to register for the meeting will be not need to pay entry.

We accept paypal via online registration or in-person payment with cash or check only.

Ticket Type  Description  Price
 Member  STC member; appetizers and coffee service included  $15
 Non-member  Not a member of STC; appetizers and coffee service included  $20
 Student  Current student; appetizers and coffee service included  $10
 Job Seeker Currently seeking work; appetizers and coffee service included  $10
Speaker Only the speaker/presenter may register with this ticket type  n/a

Location and Parking

Where: Chapter One (in the Red Room), 227 North Broadway, Santa Ana, CA 92701

City parking garage is highly recommended at
Third and SycamoreChapterOne in Santa Ana
Average rate is $1.50 per hour for parking. Parking may be $2 at the time of the event. Prices may change. Bring cash for parking.

Street metered parking is available, but we highly recommend vallet or parking in the structure close by.