ATA’s Annual Conference: A Gauge for Professional Growth

From the Executive Director

Walter Bacak, CAE

This issue of The ATA Chronicle traditionally kicks off the Annual Conference. Conference planning is well underway, thanks to President-Elect and Conference Organizer Corinne McKay, those who submitted proposals for conference sessions, and the committee chairs and division leaders who reviewed the over 425 proposals we received. Here’s more on the Annual Conference and some other items of note.

Annual Conference: ATA’s Annual Conference—the premier professional development event for the language services industry—features something for everyone. Veterans will get advanced programming that’s hard to find anywhere else. Newbies will get a snapshot of the translation and interpreting professions and be exposed to many of the experts in the business. In addition, all attendees can take advantage of valuable networking opportunities. According to the overall conference survey, 96% of conference attendees said they made new contacts at the conference, and 43% said they got a job from attending the conference.

See for yourself what’s planned for ATA’s 58th Annual Conference, which takes place in Washington, DC, October 25–28, 2017. Check out the Preliminary Program for the conference, which was sent with this issue, and the conference web page: Register by September 15 to get the best rate.

Voting in This Year’s Elections: The slate for this year’s ATA elections is set: President-Elect: Ted Wozniak; Secretary: Lois Feuerle and Karen Tkaczyk; Treasurer: John Milan; and Directors (three positions): Jennifer Guernsey, Tony Guerra, Geoff Koby, Elena Langdon, Madalena Sánchez Zampaulo, and Kyle Vraa. Elections will be held at the Annual Meeting of Voting Members on Thursday, October 26, 2017, in Washington, DC. To vote, you need to be an Active or Corresponding member. Specifically, you must have passed an ATA Certification exam or successfully completed the Active Membership Review process. If you haven’t done this review, there’s still time. It’s quick, online, and free! For more information on the Active Membership Review process, please see:

Staff Changes: Please join me in welcoming Adrian Aleckna as our professional development manager. Her primary responsibility is managing the Annual Conference, although she will also look to create other learning opportunities, both online and in person. Adrian brings her energy and expertise to ATA after working for Experient, a meetings management company, for several years. Adrian takes over running the Annual Conference from Teresa Kelly. Teresa moves to a new position as web manager and graphic designer. She will work with key volunteers and staff in the redesign of ATA’s website and the subsequent day-to-day administration of the site. Teresa has done an outstanding job with creating and maintaining the conference site as well as designing the Preliminary and Final Programs for the conference.

Summer Learning: ATA is taking a break over the summer from offering live webinars, so be sure to catch up on ATA’s on-demand webinars. Each offers an hour of focused learning from experts in the industry. And the live Q&A session at the end of most webinars is great for putting the information into context and practical use. Please see: There are both free and paid webinars listed. In addition to the webinars, you can also catch up on the free ATA Podcast Series. These podcasts offer an inside look at various ATA programs and activities, such as the Annual Conference and the Certification Program. You can subscribe to ATA podcasts so you’ll be informed every time a new one is posted. This is a great way to stay connected to what your membership can do for you. For more on the podcasts, please see:

Board Meeting: The next Board meeting is set for July 29–30, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. More information will be posted in the members only section of the website. As always, ATA members are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Thank you for being an ATA member. We hope to see you at ATA’s 58th Annual Conference in Washington, DC!

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